Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Thanksgiving October 13, 2008

Filed under: adult picky eating — Claire @ 11:11 pm

Being English, or shall I say, British, Thanksgiving is not a festival generally celebrated within my realm.  But I know that plenty of you reading this are from places that celebrate Thanksgiving, and that Thanksgiving in the context of being a picky eater can be a source of stress.

The closest analogy I can think of is with our own traditional family British Christmas dinner.  Turkey, stuffing, sausagemeat, bread sauce and oodles of various veg.  Myself, I eat my own personalised subset of this (aka turkey, potatoes and gravy), and I have to say it is probably my most favourite meal of the whole year.  I know that not everyone is this lucky.

But once that main course is over, that’s the end of the meal as far as I’m concerned.  Christmas pudding?  Christmas cake? They don’t count as food to me.  No way, no how.  To my mind, a Christmas dinner is a one-course meal, end of story.  My mother always asks me what she should get or make for me to have for pudding on Christmas day.  Now, while I do appreciate that, the thing is, there isn’t anything traditionally “Christmas” that I would be able to eat.  You could substitute with an everyday pudding that I love, but then it wouldn’t be Christmas dinner, would it? 

Which makes me sort of understand how people might feel at Thanksgiving (or Christmas) if there was nothing in the traditional cornucopia that they could eat.  These festivals are about ritual, and it just so happens that for “normal” people, the ritual foods happen to all be highly edible.  For many people with SED though, I think these occasions translate into a choice between satisfying one’s hunger, and participating in the ritual. These options are mutually exclusive.

So is it preferable to join in with these ritual foods but just not eat them, or to bring your own picnic so you can join in with the eating?  For me, it’s definitely the former.  It’s not so much about eating together, as about sitting round the table together, and the table must only have on it the traditional ritual foods.

But what of those of you who can’t eat turkey?  Is it better to substitute, or to not eat at all?

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6 Responses to “Thanksgiving”

  1. Z Says:

    I think that Thanksgiving is more of a problem than Christmas for non-turkey eaters, as the turkey is an integral part of the festival. I think that at Christmas you can eat whatever is your favourite food or one that’s a big treat. My family prefers beef to turkey and I know lots of people who choose something else because a turkey is too big for two or three people.

    Chocolate is traditional Christmas food (chocolate Yule log etc) and I would suggest, if you can eat it, Delia’s chocolate torte from her Christmas book. It’s basically chocolate mixed with cream on a crushed biscuit base, inverted for serving and dusted with cocoa powder. It is delicious and luxurious and definitely Christmassy and the details you might not eat (almond flavoured biscuits) can be changed to something you do, such as digestives (?). If it sounds possible, let me know and I’ll email you the recipe.

  2. Claire Says:

    Well yes, I am probably embarrassingly ignorant as to the subtleties of Thanksgiving traditions. Within my family, though, turkey is integral to the proceedings. Though there are other things on the table too (ham, sausagemeat etc), the turkey is definitely the centrepiece, and I think I’d feel sad if I couldn’t join in with it. But still. I get what you’re saying.

    I get what you say about chocolate too, but here’s the thing. To me, a chocolate torte is not chocolate, it’s a different animal altogether. This means that it is equally likely to be disgusting to me as to be delicious. Being from Delia’s Christmas book is definitely Christmassy enough for me. Whether I’d be able to eat it is another matter. 🙂

    Thank you for the kind offer – I think I have the book you mean. I will look it out.

  3. Robert Says:

    Again, surely the analogy with vegitarians is relevant here. The ritual is the thing, so they should eat, but not the Turkey.

    Being English, or shall I say, British, Thanksgiving is not a festival generally celebrated within my realm.

    I think its fine for you to say “English”, here. The Scots have Burn’s Night, with the ritual ode and eating of haggis.

  4. Claire Says:

    Yes, and yet no, Rob. Vegetarians, and everyone who knows them, don’t think they are the only one in the world like that, or that there’s something “wrong” with them. A vegetarian option is such a widespread thing, I’d say it’s been incorporated into the ritual. So they have their own ritual, which they know is shared to some extent among the broader vegetarian community.

    The Scots, like other British people, do not celebrate Thanksgiving though, which is what the post was about. I do not think Burns Night is really a fair analogy.

  5. Jack Says:

    Thanksgiving is a nightmare for me.
    Its the one big dinner event of the year that I have to sit at the head of the table. Typically Easter and Christmas we have buffet style and its grab a plate and sit wherever.

    At Thanksgiving I truly enjoy the family gathering, the saying grace and remembing those no longer with us and celebrating the new. Its all great, but having to watch everybody enjoy the meal while I mostly eat biscuits and cranberry is a little troubling for me. I mean; I’m glad they enjoy the feast, but even if I liked turkey and the trimmings I can’t honestly understand how they can pile so much food on their plate.
    They pile the food so high and seem to mix it all up together it just is so unappealing to me.

    There are some foods that I just can’t tolerate to have on my plate. Turkey and Thanksgiving side dishes are not that way with me. It is just the spectacle of shear amount of food they all seem to require that freaks me out…..I don’t get it.

  6. Social Impediment Says:

    I have never ever sat down at a Christmas dinner and ate with the family. Unless you count having two slices of bread and butter with some crisps on the side! I have never experienced that year of waiting for the big special dinner of the year. Yet another massive social period that I am unable to take part in 😦


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