Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! It’s been a busy week here preparing for it. Thanksgiving is always an odd thing as an expat. Generally you are the only one celebrating the holiday, no one is off work or school, and it is hard not for it to seem like any other day.
Thanksgiving is also one of my favourite holidays, right there next to Christmas. I love the ritual of preparing the food, setting the tables and gathering together as a large family. Since we don’t have any family near by we usually invite friends over to celebrate with us, even though they themselves don’t celebrate the holiday normally. The large gathering of people helps me feel less homesick on this holiday.
I love how Thanksgiving gets us together to focus on gratitude just before the gift giving season of Christmas. Throughout November, we like to take the month to reflect on the many things were are grateful for. This year my younger kids are finally old enough and I’d decided to start a tradition of a thankful tree, like so many others do with their families. After dinner we each pick out a paper leaf and write down something that we are grateful for. We have all kinds of things on this tree all the way from worms to oranges.
For just a little bit of fun this Thanksgiving morning, I wanted to share with you 10 kitchen items that I am grateful for this year:
I’ve been wanting one of these for over a year and just never got around to getting one. I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to buying things. I just am afraid to spend money, but I am so glad a splurged the few pounds to buy this gadget. I could have gotten an easier and better quality one but this little one does the job and is the perfect size for little hands. We’ve used it with carrot, zucchini and cucumber so far and we love it! The only problem is that its a bit tricky to wash.
Cast Iron Griddle Pan
We love steaks at our house, not that we have them very often, but with the weather here in Scotland we don’t own a grill so this pan is great for cooking steaks.
I have a little obsession with mason jars, but its only recently that they became affordable to buy over here. This year though I bought 6 of each size and we use them for everything. I try to avoid using plastic whenever I can and these jars are great for storing leftovers, soaking oats, fermentation (when I get around to it), storing nuts, seeds, and other pantry items and holding our homemade coconut milk.
The UK seems to be a bit behind (or at least Scotland is) the US when it comes to home trends and I’ve been looking for a place to buy them for a while. I have not been given the same green thumb as my mother and grandmother and as such I kill most house plants. I want house plants in my home for aesthetics as well as a practical way of cleaning the air in our house. Succulents are amazing, they cannot be killed. At least not yet. They can withstand my forgetfulness to water.
With a bunch of little kids running around these are a lifesaver. My boys are always hungry but I am often busy with the baby when they ask for something to eat or drink. With the step stool they are tall enough to get into the produce drawer in the fridge and help themselves to snacks. Though they have become a curse lately when they’ve used these step stools on tables to reach scissors or other art supplies stashed out of their reach.
Until I moved to the UK, I had not heard of an electric kettle. Now I don’t know how I would live without one to boil water for cooking or making herbal teas. I could just boil the water on the stove, but these electric kettles boil water in a minute and save so much time waiting for water to boil.
When my kitchen rugs are in the wash, I realise how much water we drip on the floor just between the sink and the stove. One of my biggest pet peeves is stepping into something wet on the bare floor, so having these mats there just soaks up all the little drips.
Dustpan & Broom
Kids are super messy eaters, between the hasty bites, talking with their mouth open, and jumping up and down in their chairs crumbs go everywhere. You throw a baby who is baby led weaning in there and it is a recipe for a disaster. I sweep the kitchen several times throughout the day and am thankful for these simple items (especially during this season of life).
Sometimes all our bibs are dirty and on those meals when my baby has to change his outfit after the meal, I am so glad to have bibs (especially those wipeable ones that cover their whole torso and arms).
I left the best one for last. I have only had this for a year when my blender broke and already would be lost without it. I use it several times a day, whether its to blend a smoothie, make coconut milk or to grind up grains and seeds. It is relatively inexpensive but blends effortlessly. In an ideal world, I’d love a Vitamix or a Blendtec but I don’t know when I could ever have that much to spend on a blender. So I am so grateful for my NutriBullet.
Now back to meal prep, my second favourite part of Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a great day of celebration and gratitude.