Even after living here for ages now, I just cannot make it through this time of year without serious pangs of homesickness.
I don’t know what sets it off. Maybe it’s the change in weather (two pairs of tights weather), hearing the NFL theme song, or the official smell of fall – the Starbucks PSL – wafting through Wimbledon station. It all makes me want to get off this island and return the good old US of A.
And missing Thanksgiving is the worst of all.
Since the Brits don’t do Thanksgiving, the past few celebrations have consisted of some dismal ‘American style’ turkey dinners and I am not gonna lie, eating pumpkin pie for breakfast.
Yeah and I eat it with whippy cream from a can.
I am all class, people.
So enough with this pity party. This year, I am going to try and whack it together after work with a few tweaks, like duck confit instead of turkey, store bought stuffing and in the place of sweet potato casserole (the right type are hard to find here) this Roasted Butternut Squash and Bean Mash, which can be made the night before.
Creamy, sweet, earthy and so satisfyingly moreish, you’ll never miss the extra carbs. What you do miss, however, is Black Friday. Trust. Oh and Target, bloody Target.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Bean Mash
Serves 4 greedy people or 6 normal ones
1 large/1.5kg butternut squash
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, skin on
2 tins of butter beans, drained
½ tsp winter savoury or thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 knob butter
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Peel, deseed and roughly cut the butternut squash into 2-3cm cubes.
3. In a large baking tray, arrange the squash into a single layer (I had to use two trays). Add the garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper then coat evenly with the vegetable oil.
4. Roast for 40-45 minutes until golden. Remember to turn the squash halfway through the cooking process.*
5. While the squash is roasting, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beans, winter savoury and heat through gently for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
6. Once the squash cooked, remove the garlic and peel off the skins.
7. In food processor, whizz the squash, garlic, and beans together. Add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture to the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve immediately or prep the night before and it will heat up brilliantly in the microwave for the next day.
*Don’t worry if the cubes look a bit shrivelled, as long as they are not burned. The object is to get rid of the most of the moisture or your mash will be too wet.