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Project Xpat: No Tinned Pumpkin

Rowan Crutchlow, at age 3, helping to make her great-grandmother's pie cust.
Rowan Crutchlow, at age 3, helping to make her great-grandmother's pie cust.

Recipes, like memories, transcend place and time. Wherever American Kelly Crutchlow lives, she brings along remembrances of her family and their ways of observing Thanksgiving.

Today Kelly, who is originally from Iowa, is living near Coventry, England, with her British husband, Adam, and their two children, Rowan, 4, and Ewan, 2.

Star cookies from leftover crust.
/ Kelly Crutchlow
Star cookies from leftover crust.

The Crutchlow Thanksgiving meal is relatively traditional, she says, with the usual suspects: turkey or ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole. For dessert, Kelly calls on various pie recipes from her Iowa grandmother, who worked in catering during World War II and wrote a cookbook.

Pumpkin pie is a family fave. "For many years, I couldn't find tinned pumpkin here, so I would have to make sure to make and freeze fresh pumpkin puree ahead of time," Kelly says. "I can buy tins now, but still usually make the puree. We always topped our pie with Cool Whip at home, but we whip our own cream here."


We hope American expatriates will share photos of Thanksgiving celebrations and tables and gatherings from around the world. Please send them to us on Thanksgiving Day — and over the long holiday weekend — at or post them using the hashtag #nprexpat. We will display as many as we can.


The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj

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