I love Thanksgiving. I feel like it’s all the best things about Christmas- the feasting, getting together with people you love- without all the stress (and cost!) of buying presents. I’ve lived in England for eleven years now, but I’ve still never failed to celebrate Thanksgiving in some way or another! A few times over the past five years that I have been living away from my parents, I have gone home, often with friends in town, to celebrate with my family (and eat my mum’s food!) Other years, I’ve gone solo, hosting from my student house or flat. This year, I went pretty big.
Let me first just set the scene. I live by myself in a tiny one bedroom flat. There is a separate living room- but it’s certainly not big, and you struggle to fit more than one person in the kitchen at a time. Despite this, and much to my family’s amusement, I invited fifteen people for Thanksgiving dinner. I have a total of eight chairs- although squeezing eight around my table is a stretch! – and six sets of cutlery. The cutlery was not a problem, and I was able to borrow nine more knives and forks. For seating, I had to get a little more creative (again, much to the huge amusement of my family!)
I got three large cardboard boxes, arranged them in a row on the floor and threw a table cloth over the top- a makeshift table. I then grabbed all the cushions from my sofa, and tossed them around the boxes for seats- Japanese style (on the floor). I was very impressed with my seating arrangements, although some of my longer legged friends were less so.
But anyway, on to the food. Regrettably, there was too much sheer chaos in the kitchen when it came to serving for me to remember to photograph anything. This recipe was one of my side dishes- and it was so easy to make and delicious to eat that I decided to recreate it for a light lunch. My other vegetable sides were roast potatoes (compulsory, really) and brussels sprouts, halved and fried with parmesan, all covered with a good helping of mushroom gravy.
Roast Beetroot and Carrots with Goats Cheese and Almond
to serve 6-8 as a side
6 raw beetroots
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper
half a log of soft goats cheese
handful of almonds
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Peel your beetroots. Individually, wrap each one in tin foil (I have been experimenting with roasting beets for a while, and I’ve found that this method is way easier (and cleaner) than attempting to peel them after they’re cooked). Peel your carrots, and cut into sticks, then place in an oven dish. Drizzle a splash of olive oil over the carrots, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper.
Bake the beetroots for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are soft and juicy. The carrots need about 25-35 minutes. You want them softened slightly.
When the vegetables are finished, unwrap the beets and cut into cubes. Arrange the beetroot and carrots on a serving dish, and crumble over the goats cheese. Roughly chop the almonds, then spindle those over too. Finish with a pinch of salt and pepper, and wait for the compliments to the chef to start flowing!