Canadian Thanksgiving in NY

October 10, 2010

Hi guys and gals and everyone in between (and by that I mean puppies) (puppies who can read of course)!

While all you Americans are busy enjoying Columbus Day, Canada is busy with its own holiday this weekend: Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s right: Canadians don’t know when Thanksgiving is. Why do Canadians even have Thanksgiving, you ask? Well, it’s because Columbus never discovered Canada, since it was too cold (leaving it instead to the French), and the Canadians, being jealous of their Americans neighbo(u)rs always getting the second Monday of October off, needed some other reason to get a long weekend. And, since by the end of November everything in Canada is already frozen, the beginning of October seemed the perfect time for a harvest festival. And that’s the history of Canadian Thanksgiving.

Okay, I jest. I love Canada, even with their silly versions of American holidays. And Canadian Thanksgiving gives me the perfect opportunity to go down to New York for the long weekend and visit Caitlin, which is precisely what I did this year (and what I did last year). And Canadian Thanksgiving gives us the perfect excuse to make a festive autumnal dinner (as if we really ever need one). And that’s what I’m here to share with you today: two Americans’ take on Canada’s take on an American holiday.

(Actually, I just checked Wikipedia, and it appears that Canadian Thanksgiving may have actually started before American Thanksgiving, but, like the Canadian origins of Labo(u)r Day, I think everyone has well forgotten this by now, in true American, culturally imperialistic spirit.)

For our small Thanksgiving dinner, Caitlin and I prepared a simple three course meal. We got a lot of help from the wonderful Canadian food blogger Ricki and her wonderful Canadian food blog Diet, Desserts and Dogs, which conveniently featured a list of tons of amazing Thanksgiving recipes yesterday. So thanks Ricki—we couldn’t have done Thanksgiving this year without you!

Our appetizer for the evening was inspired by DD&D’s wonderful recipe for Potato Bruschetta. Both of us were quite taken away with the idea of making bruschetta out of potato slices, and we decided to do our own little twist on the original recipe: Instead of a traditional tomato or pesto topping, Caitlin had the excellent idea of using cheese and English pickles. Here she is at work:

And here’s the finished product up close:

What a combination! The red potatoes we got at Whole Foods worked incredibly well for roasting, and the English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions cheese from Trader Joe’s Caitlin had left in her fridge was wonderful, and the perfect complement to the English pickles (which, if you haven’t tried, you should—I really can’t explain them except as delicious). I loved these, and Caitlin agrees. I will definitely be keeping this recipe in my pocket for future dinners!

Our main course was Ricki’s excellent Nut Roast Extraordinaire, which is indeed extraordinary—so extraordinary, in fact, that it was also our main course in our American Thanksgiving in Canada dinner last year. This is probably the best vegan loaf recipe I’ve ever tried, so I’m always happy to revisit it. And to change it up a bit, we made this year’s loaf in a cake pan:

Of course, this really didn’t change the loaf that much in the end. In other words, I still ended up with an absolutely delicious slice of loaf on my plate!

In addition, we had the pleasure of using some genuine French wine from France that I recently received from a friend, both in the loaf itself and alongside the loaf in nice big wine glasses. And it really was some really good wine:

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much more about this wine, except that it was a 2005, since the label is all in French (and all the French I know I learned from Pierre Escargot).

And last but most certainly not least, we had some dessert on hand: a delectable box of Jacques Torres chocolates!

For those not in the know, Jacques Torres is a maker of super delicious chocolates and has several shops around NYC. We picked out this make-your-own box of a dozen chocolates, which included fantastic varieties such as: Love Potion #9 (dark chocolate ganache), Grand Cru (made with red wine), Ménage à Trois (made out of three secret flavors), Heavenly Hazelnut (self explanatory), Earl Grey (yeah, with tea), and Golden Espresso (with a piece of gold on top!). These were really excellent, and the perfect way to close our pleasant Thanksgiving evening together.

And that’s all I’ve got to share for today! To our Canadian readers, I hope you too enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving this weekend! And to American readers, I hope you’re now geared up for real Thanksgiving, which is only a month and a half away! And in the meantime, Happy Columbus Day.

Until we eat again,



  1. You are too funny! Thanks for the quick history of Canadian/American Thanksgiving (and I fear that many of your readers will actually believe that Canada is all frozen by November!!). And I’m so glad you enjoyed the bruscetta (yours looks divine) and nutroast. But I must say what really made me swoon was that box of chocolates–oooh, who needs other dishes when you’ve got chocolate?

    Happy Columbus Day to you! We’re happy over here enjoying the “first” Thanksgiving! 😉

  2. Of course, I ALSO had a piece of the load too!

    Here’s my contribution to the language arts, since Willie is so insistent on showing me up all the time.

    Grand (large) wine of Bordeaux
    Castle Castegens
    Coast of Castillon
    (je peux pas lire cettes mots)
    Bottled in Chateau
    … can’t read the rest!

    Happy Thanksgiving! Excited for American Thanksgiving in Canada!

  3. […] We Eat Again Adventures in Long Distance Cooking « Canadian Thanksgiving in NY Canadian Thanksgiving in Canada October 13, 2010 Hello again, […]

  4. I love your summary of Canadian Thanksgiving! I wrote about Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday, too, (while sharing an apple cobbler) though I stuck more to history, but not before I joked about the differences – and the misunderstandings – that come with it.

    I found your blog through Ricki (Diet, Dessert, and Dogs) and I love the concept! I will be coming back. 🙂

  5. I stumbled across this blog while searching for a vegan pizza recipe, and I’m absolutely charmed by both of you! What a lovely couple (and what great taste in food!) Best of luck in your studies. Hope you can be together again soon.

  6. […] the great northern tradition that is (Canadian) Thanksgiving, let me rehearse a brief explanation I shared on this occasion last year: While all you Americans are busy enjoying Columbus Day, Canada is busy with its own holiday this […]

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