Celebrating Thanksgiving Irish American-style


"I'm just happy to be here in America and thankful for all the opportunities it offers."

Mike Brewster.

"I will be thankful that all in my family are healthy. Also, my wife and I are especially thankful for our new arrival, Sienna, who was born in September."

James Foley.

"I will be thankful for such things as the food I receive, the house that I can come home to everyday, my loving and caring family, and that all of my loved ones are doing well."

Deirdre Burns, student at Dominican Academy High School in Manhattan.

"Good health of my family is most important. I am very grateful for my 84-year old grandfather making it through risky hip replacement earlier this year at Mount Sinai and making a full recovery from complications after surgery. My mother also just celebrated her two year anniversary as a cancer survivor and her long Irish hair is finally back, growing faster and faster each day. So a lot to be grateful for this year."

Lauren Woods.

"I guess I will be thankful for having family here to support me. It's tough not having your immediate family around so I am grateful for the family I do have and the friends that have become my extended family."

Shelia Hughes.

What is Thanksgiving like for an American living in Ireland?

Rebecca McAvinchey is originally from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a suburb outside of Cleveland. She now lives in Dublin with her husband, Paul, who hails from Kilruane, Co. Tipperary.

Rebecca met Paul four years ago when she went to Ireland to do a master's at Trinity College. Her father knew an acquaintance of Paul's family through work and Paul was nice enough to let her stay at his apartment before she moved into her dorm in Trinity.

And the rest is history! Here's her story on how she celebrates the American holiday in Ireland.

"My husband and I generally pick a Saturday close to the end of November (since we don't get any time off here!) and invite his siblings and a few close friends to our house for dinner. We normally get all our recipes from foodtv.com (I love the Food Network in the states) as I only wanted to include real, American Thanksgiving recipes.

"My husband kept suggesting we have a soup course at dinner and I kept telling him that is not really how my family does Thanksgiving. The only real challenge we had was finding some of the ingredients in the shops here, and of course converting the recipe measurements. And we also have a terribly small oven, so my husband makes ham instead of the Thanksgiving staple, turkey.

"Fortunately, Fallon and Byrne, which is kind of like an American-style grocery store, opened in Dublin about a year ago, so we were able to find a few things we needed there. They even sell canned pumpkin to make pumpkin pie which is very exciting.

"Although, I have to say most Irish people do not seem to keen on eating pumpkin. Good thing everyone is open to eating everything else!

"So, as I said, we have everyone over around 4 p.m. (that's the time my family would eat at home) and I try to put some sporting event on the television in the background (in place of an American football game), and this year I requested that everyone wear a holiday sweater for kicks and pretend to speak in an American accent (though the latter did not last).

"After dinner we drank quite a bit and played board games. We just tried to incorporate quintessential aspects of American culture, I guess. I suppose in a way it's what our guests were hoping for and it made me happy even though it's cheesy."

Originally published Nov 2009



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