written by Katrina Schollenberger

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. It's right on par with Christmas (it may or may not have something to do with the food spreads of epic proportions....).
I'm an American living in London, and although I'm far from home, my family here luckily never skip Thanksgiving. It marks the pilgrims arriving to North America and being shown the ways of the harvest by the Native Americans, the sit down meal symbolic of a thank you for their kind, hospitable ways. In modern America, the day consists of food, family, and football.

So when I was invited along to French's Thanksgiving dish lessons with Brad McDonald at Food 52 Cooking School, I was more than excited. I'd finally learn and be able to contribute something more than green beans this year to my family Thanksgiving (I'm not a great cook). I brought along my foodie friend Sofia (eastlondonfoodgirl.com), we got our aprons on, glass of wine in hand, and sat down in the homely Food 52 kitchens to get cooking.
4First, we made a potato salad with squash, egg, pumpkin seeds, chesnut and a mustard vinaigrette chive dressing. Our tasks included chopping/quartering/dicing the ingredients and cooking the potatoes. With the wine and the chatter flowing, it really felt homely, and like we had all come home for the holidays to help prepare this incredible meal.
Next: the green bean casserole. Chef Brad had sourced nifty green bean peelers earlier that day, so some of us peeled, while others chopped mushrooms, and a more confident cook was selected to create the béchamel sauce. Sofia and I couldn't resist dipping a spoon in that pot while everyone's heads were turned- it was heavenly. We cooked the green beans, laid them down in a casserole dish, and mixed it with the sauce and mushroom combination. The smells were absolutely tantalising.

Kindly, the team had prepared more dishes for the feast earlier that day. Our eyes were as wide as saucers as Brad, his wife Molly and the Food 52 team brought the following to the table:

• Roast Turkey with Tangy Mustard Stuffing
• Ginger Beer Mustard Glazed Ham
• Mustard Braised Greens with Almonds
• & Cornbread (Brad's Speciality)


In Thanksgiving tradition, we went around the table and said what we were thankful for. We sat down to our plates and ate what I can only describe as the best meal I've had all year. You could hear a pin drop as we all tucked into the food. The salty and sweet flavours all complemented each other perfectly from the tangy mustard gravy to the honey glazed cornbread. And for dessert: miniature pumpkin and pecan pies, topped with caramelized pumpkin seeds and bourbon infused whipped cream. What a treat!
3Sofia and I stayed chatting to the array of wonderful guests and staff for a while after we had finished our meal, before giving into the food coma and calling it an evening. We left with a goody bag full of French's products, and even a little ceramic cooking dish! Look out for the French's Thanksgiving recipes to be put up on lady.co.uk in the following weeks!