Those of you who know me will know that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. In fact I’ve adopted it and like most converts I’m not just crazy about it…I’m a fanatic!!
Now I know that as a Brit I have no business telling anyone how it’s done. I have no history of special family traditions. I’ve never eaten a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows nor have I tried cornbread dressing and I have no crazy Aunty Pat’s pumpkin pie recipe with the unbelievably buttery crust…in fact I don’t have any secret family recipes at all.
However I’ve made my own traditions and now I even make my own cornbread with cheese and jalapeños and my sweet potato meringue pie is legendary.
My very first Thanksgiving started as thank you from a very grateful Brit to all my American friends, customers and neighbours who lived in their thousands in Kensington and Notting Hill. Who, when I opened Ffiona’s, poured in through the doors and supported me, they insisted I turned the tables and then they tipped me 20%……. just because that’s what they do!!
So from our first thanksgiving 23yrs ago when during that wonderful evening I had a sort of out of body experience (probably due to too much bourbon) and suddenly as I looked around at everyone relaxed and happy, eating and drinking, the penny dropped and I “felt it”. I was overcome with thankfulness and decided to charge no one, so I gave everything away free. Thanksgiving will always be my way of saying thank you and that I’ve never forgotten your collective kindness to me or the fact that you get me!
That one dinner sitting has developed it into four sittings, two for lunch, and 2 two for dinner plus a takeaway service too.
However, in the real spirit of Thanksgiving we still offer the first sitting free of charge for some of our locals and charities. Everyone fights to work that shift, it’s really great fun. Last year we had one lady arrive alone, by bus, she had just turned 100 years old on the previous day. She enjoyed a cocktail and lunch, her two highlights being the spicy cornbread and the sweet potato meringue pie. So you see you’re never too old to become a convert!
Click HERE to see our 2016 Thanksgiving Menu.