Going to school in another country makes going home on weekends impossible. Even if my parents were willing to pay thousands of dollars to fly me home for two days, the time difference and flight time would probably leave me with about five hours of time at home. And those five hours? Well, if my previous experiences with jet lag are any indication, I’d probably be fast asleep.
So now that we’ve established the impractical nature of going home for an overseas student, you see the real issue with Thanksgiving. Oh, but don’t you get Thursday and Friday off? It’s a holiday after all! you wonder. If only. You’re forgetting it’s an American holiday, which means these silly Brits over here are not particularly observant and do not see a need to cancel class.
Unfortunately, I will still have Italian and Art History on Thanksgiving. Which means I won’t even have time to cook a big feast to share with all of my fellow ex-pats because, as everyone knows, you kind of have to start making Thanksgiving dinner in the wee small hours of the morning if not the day before.
There is quite a large American population here at St Andrews, so I will likely be celebrating on Saturday, when we have time to make a proper meal. But, seeing as it would be blasphemy not to have a little turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, I will happily sit down to a plate of mashed sweet potatoes (I don’t even have to turn on the oven!) and a some cooked turkey breast from the butcher. It may not be the most traditional Thanksgiving ever, but the sentiment is still there. (For another to-die-for microwave sweet potato recipe, go here.)
Hayley Daen is a sophomore at the University of St Andrews, where she lives in a dinky apartment right across from Tesco, which makes throwing impromptu tea parties a snap.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 medium sweet potato
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Scrub potato thoroughly and prick several times with a fork. Place on a plate. Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Slice in half and scrape flesh from the inside of the potato into a bowl. Add milk and butter and mash until smooth. Sprinkle cumin, salt, and pepper over potatoes and mash until combined.