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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Some Samizdatistas give thanks the American way

Some of the Samizdatistas have been in the USA for Thanksgiving, much to the consternation of the turkey population, given that we are all members of PETA (People for Eating Tasty Animals).

As for much of the time we have been in the wilds of Pennsylvania without an internet connection (the horror, the horror), we have been unable to post about our various jolly japes in the Land of the Free.


We were releaved to have made it out of the People’s Republic to the relative safety of the Keystone State


I could hear the turkey’s crying “The British are coming! The British are coming!”


An Armalite toaster? Is this country great or what!


The womenfolk in these here parts are made of stern stuff


Getting ready for Thanksgiving Dinner with twenty friends: the quintessential American experience


Celebrating dangerous (thankfully) right wing extremists


Vast mounts of turkey washed down with red wine: tryptophan overdose!


A local family tradition: eat the turkey and then take the young ones out and show them how the turkey ends up on the plate


One of the Samizdata editors goes looking for those turkeys who ratted us out earlier. The British are coming and this time they are armed and pissed off.

Good food, great people and things that go boom. Damn I love this place.

We will be back in London soon. Bugger.

50 comments to Some Samizdatistas give thanks the American way

  • Stuart

    Bugger indeed. We have take a trip to London next week too because our six months is up. We’l be back though (everything we own now is here), God and the INS permitting. About time the US Government gave their biggest ally a break on the immigration front. If we’re good enough to die alongside Americans we ought to be good enough to live among them too. It’s still the best place on earth though.

  • Verity

    Perry wearing a ‘celebrate diversity’ t-shirt? Wha’?
    Was your Che T in the laundry?

  • Frogman

    INS permitting?

    Hmmm, British . . . let’s see . . . Educated, white, English speaking, work for a living, don’t deal drugs, bathe . . . entered the country legally?

    What else you say?


    Y’all don’t stand a chance . . .

  • RAB

    Love Thanksgiving but not the Turkey. Dry and tasteless.
    The Aboriginies didn’t exactly go out of their way to help either.
    When asked a direct question, they said
    “Well if you want to eat this winter your best bet is, well you see those fat waddly birds over there that look like they’re still chewing Christopher Mayers socks…
    theyre so dumb you can take them out with a flick of your hand. But don’t forget the sauce cos their dry”

  • As a Brit who moved to America last year, I enjoyed Thanksgiving a lot on Thursday, and the extra freedoms I find myself able to enjoy here (like the firearm I just purchased – a Glock 27 subcompact semi-automatic pistol .40 caliber – EXCELLENT). Love it.

    Love it, I say.

  • John J. Coupal

    Perry pooped after “Vast mounts of turkey” ?!

    Even I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving that way, but I’ll give it a go next year!

  • Coward

    Where all in Pennsylvannia where you? Did you visit God’s country in SouthWest/Pittsburgh?

  • Verity

    Oh, no …. now I’ve just seen the rest of Perry’s T and feel like an idiot! A thousand apologies!

  • mike

    I quite like the ‘Right Wing Extremists’ shirt, the young chap is wearing.

  • Sandy P

    My fresh turkey wasn’t dry at all. It was very moist. No more than 185 degrees F.

  • guy herbert

    Those motifs on Perry’s T-shirt are diverse guns, Verity, so not really out of character.

    However, I don’t see why a libertarian wouldn’t celebrate diversity. We most of us here want people to be entitled to live however they like. That’s going to lead to some diversity, and I, for one, am happy about it.

    The official version of “diversity” is actually conformity, plus quotas and box-ticking. Real diversity is the management-defying mess you get when personal taste gets to do its work and squirms free of overbearing regulation and social pressure. Look for it in big, open cities.

  • You know, there’s no reason you guys can’t celebrate Thanksgiving over there. Get yourself a turkey at the store, look up a sweet potato recipe online, add a British flair with some of the side dishes and have yourself a feast of Thanksgiving!

    I like the heading out shooting after the meal. We might have to add that as a tradition in our family.

  • Pete_London


    There’s no reason at all why we shouldn’t join in the fun. After all it was our British ancestors who had reason to give thanks. The direct link from then to now is that the US developed the way it did rather than turn into yet another basket case. That’s alot to be thankful for.

    Oh, and it will annoy those who deserve to be annoyed, something which should never be overlooked.

  • Andy

    I was watching a programme on American survivalists last night and you guys look worryingly cut out for that sort of a life! What are your thoughts? I know of a good spot on the South Downs where Samizdata can dig themselves in and arm up for when Tony sends the troops in.

  • Verity

    Guy Herbert – as you’ll have noted, I had already posted an apology to Perry, having looked again and seen the guns.

    I see nothing about diversity to “celebrate”. It is there. Fine. So what?

  • I see nothing about diversity to “celebrate”. It is there. Fine. So what?

    Oh I see lots to celebrate about diversity, but see things much as Guy does: “The official version of “diversity” is actually conformity”

  • Never point a gun at a person. Even if they are holding a camera: it will not protect them.

  • Alisa: we really do not need safety tips and no one was actually pointing a gun at anyone.

  • Verity

    I think we all enjoy diversity of everything – people, car choices, restaurants, fruit. I do not see anything to “celebrate” which is leftyspeak. Dear god!

  • Bell Curve

    I do not see anything to “celebrate” which is leftyspeak. Dear god!

    You had a humor bypass or something? Of course its leftyspeak! THAT is what makes the t-shirt so damn funny”

  • Verity

    Bell Curve – “a humour bypass”! The phrase “humour bypass” has now reached British socialist politicians and council workers. Lazyspeak.

  • Mike James

    It escapes me where I read this, but I seem to recall a claim that Thanksgiving had its roots in a celebration called Harvest Home, that the Pilgrims used to celebrate back in England. Do any of you British persons know anything about this?

  • Verity

    Of course Thanksgiving came from the Harvest Festival (a thanksgiving in church for the harvest, which is still a part of the church calendar today. It’s not a holiday; it’s a Sunday church service).

    That’s why Thanksgiving is in the autumn. I thought that was generally recognised.

    But I do think your Thanksgiving is particularly poignant and touching because your ancestors were in a new country, growing things they weren’t familiar with, and they were dependent on the help of the indigenes. I think it is the loveliest holiday, and thank god the Americans have managed to resist commercialising it.

    Another nice thing about it is, it is so inclusive. When I lived in the US, I never once spent a Thanksgiving alone – although I wouldn’t have cared, because it didn’t have any resonance for me. But Americans just can’t bear to think of someone not having a table to join at Thanksgiving and they twist your arm to join them. And it’s always lovely.

  • RAB

    Er Churches in England have a Harvest Festival that gives thanks for God’s bounty, but Harvest Home I have not heard of. Sounds a bit Steven King to me!
    I read an article recently, but my little grey cells refuse to tell me where, from a British Muslim who thought a lot of the Thanksgiving experience he had in the States this year. He found it inclusive, wheras strictly religious festivals are exclusive.
    He reconed that Britain could benefit from a similar celebration as Thanksgiving and so do I, But we need a peg to hang the hat on.
    Any suggestions?

  • Verity

    RAB – It is called Harvest Home in some parts of the country.

    No, I do not believe we should start manipulating our ancient festivals to accommodate immigrants. It is their role to either fit in or just ignore our holidays. By the same token, I don’t want to get involved in any of their festivals, either.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “By the same token, I don’t want to get involved with any of their festivals, either”.

    A lot of them pesky foreigners will be gutted to hear you won’t be partying with them, Verity!

  • RAB

    Neither do I Verity.
    I was thinking of something NEW.
    But like I said, it’s hard to “Invent” customs and festivals. Borrowing other people’s doesn’t work.
    I think it was the inclusivity of thanksgiving that got to the writer, and me too when I have been there for it.
    It’s human not factional, and I wish we had something similar in Britain.

  • B's Freak

    In a true celebration of a free market, an English blogger celebrates an American holiday with a Russian gun. Well, considering that it is in the US, it may be a Clinton era Chinese gun, but still the point’s the same. By the way my sister and brother were up in God’s country (northern Maine) celebrating Thanksigiving hunting deer. Got a 3 point buck. Dressed out at 160 lbs. Plenty of deer meat this year(Mainiacs are not allowed to call it venison).

  • Verity

    Jonathan – they party?

  • Midwesterner

    The inclusiveness thing is catching. One year when I was away from my family at Thanksgiving, some friends of ours who had immigrated from Scandinavia invited me over for the feast.

    It was great. Very traditional with one slight exception. They also served a traditional Scandinavian dish. It was the first, and so far only time, I’ve had lutefisk(Link). Strange enough, I liked it.

  • Whilst not being against a new festival,in principle, I just hate the idea of eating turkey twice a year.

  • RAB

    Yus Peter, back to my main point – It’s tasteless and dry.
    My friends in San Fran tell me they had Buffallo.
    You don’t have to slavishly follow traditions, it’s the feeling not the actual food that matters, dont you think?

  • Johnathan

    Personally, my favourite autumnal dish is roast partridge, accompanied by a nice Burgundy.

  • John Steele


    Yes, it’s the gathering that matters, not the food — but the food certainly doesn’t hurt! Ever since my wife’s parents and mine passed away our family Thanksgiving has been much smaller (no longer 20 people or more), confined to our kids and us, but still a great holiday.

    Around our house Christmas is a big family deal too (yes we still call it that around our house.) Because my wife is Cuban and my mother was English we overdo the food on both Christmas Eve in the Cuban tradition and Christmas Day in the English/American tradition. Christmas Eve is a big family gathering (20+ folks even without the parents) and we litterly ‘pig out’ on roast pork Cuban style (whole piglet if there are enough folks attending) and Christmas varies year to year; standing rib roast, roast potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding some years, goose on rare occasions, roast lamb, etc. All in all my favorite time of the year

    I’m pleased that some of the Samizdatistas were able to enjoy it this year the way it was intended.

  • verity

    I don’t like most Thanksgiving food. They put sugar in everything. I think pumpkin pie is absolutely revolting.

  • Larry Anderson

    Perry, et al,

    Samizadatists are ALWAYS welcome to travel a bit further afield an see the vast hinterland that the east and west coasties refer to as “fly-over country.” Here in Minnesota/Wisconsin, you get a unique “Norsk” take on Thanksgiving.. You haven’t lived until the mid-to-late afternoon snack of lefse-booses; A bit of lefse (Like a Norwegian flat bread… Google it), with a mashed meatball in the center. Add gravy as you please. Think of it as a Norwegian burrito..

    That, and scalloped corn, and we will leave you a full kilo heavier than when you arrived…

    Larry in Rochester (MN)

  • Pavel

    Adriana with the gun. This is what I call sexually explicit picture. I’m gonna have hard time to fall asleep tonight 🙂

  • RAB

    Frankly I’m dissapointed Samizdatas.
    We have taken a discussion of cultural celebration down to the level of mere animalistic pleasure in food.
    So who’s got the receipe for those Nordic Meatballs!
    They sound like scottish deep fried kebabs to me. And what kind of gravy!!
    It’s late and I’m hungry!!

  • Running Bison

    Great, more white people.

  • stephen ottridge

    Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving but it happens on the second Monday in October. The harvest better be in by then here. As regards the food we keep it very European, you must have Brussel Sprouts and English style baked potatoes. Being ex brits we also do not like the sweet pumpkin pie but love curried pumpkin soup. We always have a British Columbia Pinot Noir with our bird.

  • Verity

    Ooooh, curried pumpkin soup! Now that sounds interesting …

  • Mike James

    Tardy thanks for the clarification, and the generous words, Verity.

  • I quite like the ‘Right Wing Extremists’ shirt, the young chap is wearing.

    Thank you Mike, it was a gift from my mom.

    Alisa: we really do not need safety tips and no one was actually pointing a gun at anyone.

    oh Perry, you forget, we were doing more than just pointing guns at those communist pumpkins.

  • Also, you wouldn’t happen to have that picture of me with the AK, would you? I’d like to show it to my friends.

  • Turkey takes a bit of care to avoid drying out. Choose a smaller bird and insist on a fresh one, preferably right from the farm. My favorite method is to cut it up and put it in the smoker (real charcoal & hardwood chips under a water pan). Cook for a couple of hours or until properly drunk.

  • Wild Pegasus

    I thought we fought a war a couple of hundred years ago to stop the British from carrying firearms around the country. Huh.

    – Josh

  • Larry Anderson

    I thought we fought a war a couple of hundred years ago to stop the British from carrying firearms around the country. Huh.

    – Josh


    Two wars actually, but bear in mind that the visiting Samizdatists were more “American” in thinking than many of the benighted souls who languish in the People’s Republics of Massachusetts and California. In fact, I propose a new form of cross-Atlantic Free Trade.. England can have Madonna, we’ll keep Perry de Havilland.

    We could also trade Michael Moore.. We should be able to secure a whole passle of free thinkers for him, pound for pound..

  • Michael Kent

    Yowsa! Who’s the babe with the gun?

  • Old Jack Tar

    Judging from pervious pictures herein, I do believe that is Adriana, one of the editors of this august establishment.

  • Michael Kent

    In that case I may have to browse here more often! 😉