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One of the few American holidays I celebrate is Thanksgiving, from the first year I arrived and enlisted Batman’s help (and kitchen) to serve 33 people to rather more civilised years with our wedding china and chairs (if not space around the table) for everyone.

We didn’t have Thanksgiving at our house last year, which felt strange, so I’m feeling particularly nostalgic this year. It’s not a very focused list, more a set of observations.

1. I like Thanksgiving better now that I live somewhere it isn’t a national holiday.

2. I usually make at least two dishes that I don’t eat (sweet potatoes and chestnuts), this is not unusual in my family. (It’s not that no one eats them, it’s just that I don’t really like sweet potatoes and chestnuts sent me to A&E for stitches once and I’ve never forgiven them.)

3. I dreamt about stuffing the other night. Not in an abstract way, but observing myself making both of the two kinds of stuffing I can’t decide between.

4. I like to make gravy so thick you can just about slice it.

5. My favourite Thanksgiving memories are the ones we spent with our next door neighbours. We kids would eat chocolate covered espresso beans and put on plays.

6. I went to A&E on Thanksgiving for three consecutive years.

7. I have never eaten green bean casserole (this will change as of this year).

8. A friend told me her granny’s trick of putting a bed of leeks under (and a few leaves over) the turkey. It’s schmaltztastic and rarely makes it out of the kitchen. I’ve started to consider it a reward for cooking rather than a dish in its own right.

9. I always try to capture the cheeriness of a pan full of cranberries before I cook them, but the photographs never come out right.

10. We always make sure everyone draws a hand turkey