Thursday, 24 November 2011


Hand turkey!
Today was my first Thanksgiving, ever, not to mention ever with Ben and his family. It was wonderful! We had such a fantastic day. It's much like Christmas in the sense that family come together to spend time with one another and appreciate a break in the go-go-go of everyday life. Having really enjoyed today and seen the celebration first-hand, it seems kind of a shame that we don't do this back in the UK, because it really does give you a pause before the mania of the Christmas season (not to mention wedding week, for us right now!).

I am so glad that these went down well! 
Ben and I spent the morning baking (everyone was bringing different things to my mother-in-law's sister's place, Ben's aunt Patti), and both of us decided to make a favourite dessert. I chose to make ginger biscuits, from an old recipe that I cooked way back when I was a youngish teenager (yes, I liked to bake; yes that, amongst other things, made me a super-cool teen), and that I hadn't made since that point in time. They turned out pretty well, considering! We bought ingredients and kitchen scales over the course of the last week (I measure in grams or ounces, not in cups, so that could have been annoying!), so we were all set to bake until it was time to leave. Ben went first, making his pumpkin bars (a pumpkin cake to start with, for all intents and purposes, and then icing is added and the cake is sliced into bars - recipe below and here!) and leaving them to cool, and then I started on the ginger biscuits. Before I go any further, I will just make it clear that "biscuits" in UK English means "cookies" in US English (a "biscuit" in the States is basically a scone, but more buttery and equally, if not more, delicious!), and these particular biscuits are more like Ginger Nuts (UK) or Ginger Snaps (US) in terms of brand. So we'll refer to them as ginger biscuits, because I am being stubbornly English (seeing as the recipe is from an old cook book of my Mum's called 'Farmhouse Kitchen', and provided by a nice lady from Yorkshire, I see no problem with my patriotism in this instance) but I essentially mean Ginger Snaps if any Americans are confused by the whole "biscuits" thing. So I mixed the ingredients up (especially pleased about finding Lyle's Golden Syrup here, as I wasn't sure I would), and got baking. It's a simple recipe, but the first batch of biscuits seemed a bit too crispy, so I made the balls of mixture a bit bigger, and reduced the cooking time to 18 minutes, and that seemed to solve it. This makes them chewy and crunchy and the same time and, according to my M.I.L., an wonderful partner for a cup of coffee!

Ben made his pumpkin bar icing - which is devilishly good - as I went for the second, third, and fourth batch of biscuits (the mixture makes between 30 and 40), and pretty soon, we were all set. After a quick shower, we were on our way over to Patti and Rex's place for food, chatter, and general chill out time with the family. It was absolutely lovely; Ben's family are very welcoming and loving, they are great fun to be with, and make an effort to make me feel part of things from the word go. On top of that, the food was amazing! The traditional meat is turkey, and then there's the veg (green bean and broccoli bakes; roasted butternut squash; potato cakes), and general deliciousness of devilled eggs and macaroni cheese. For dessert, we had a choice of pecan pie, coconut cake, chocolate cake, stewed apple, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bars, and ginger biscuits. So now, I hope you will excuse me while I slip into something with a more elasticated waistband...

Recipe for pumpkin bars

Recipe for ginger biscuits


  1. Sorry Eve but Ben wins the dessert war...I do not like Ginger biscuits! Actually, I'm wrong because I do like to put them in the base of lemon cheesecake. But otherwise, I don't like them. That cream cheese frosting of his looks delish. How wonderful that you picked a man who can bake! xx

  2. BTW! Happy First Thanksgiving! xx

  3. Ha ha ha, well, the ginger biscuits AND the pumpkin bars were lovely, so I'm okay with losing - seeing as we had both! :D And yes, he is rather lovely with the baking, and the thoughtful flowers, and the coffee, and the generally wonderful human being that he is. :D

    Maybe have a go at making the pumpkin bars and let us know how you like them?! :)

    And happy Thanksgiving to you, too! xx


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