Around France

Lockdown Thanksgiving for Americans in Uzès. A Story of Sharing

Thanksgiving for Americans in Uzés this year is truly a story of sharing.  One traditional Thanksgiving meal fed over two dozen Americans, in thirteen different households, plus leftovers to share with the local Montessori school. 

The idea was the brainchild of one of our favorite friends and gourmet caterers in Uzès, Susan Seagram. She offered to create a homestyle American Thanksgiving dinner to share with her ex-pat friends. A Canadian by birth, Susan knows Thanksgiving. She reminded me that Canada celebrates the holiday with similar traditions. Just not on the same date.

Thanksgiving for Americans in Uzès

When Americans around town learned of Susan’s grand plan to cater a  portable Thanksgiving dinner, they eagerly signed on. Susan is well known for her extraordinary flair with food. So what could be better than a gourmet holiday meal prepared by a pro? The very idea made lockdown and eating alone a lot more palatable.

The preparation

One thing I learned about cooking Thanksgiving dinner in France is that it’s not easy to find a turkey. You might remember the story from my first year here about the adventure at the turkey farm.  Seven years later, it’s not such an ordeal.

Susan started the preparation for the Thanksgiving feast with two free-range turkeys, about 4.5 kilos each, or about twenty pounds. Fresh vegetable stock and turkey carcasses went into the gravy. Extra legs and thighs, roasted to perfection, heightened the flavor.  Susan made corn pudding from fresh market corn she’d frozen at the end of the season. Her favorite recipe for green bean casserole (see recipe below), and a “to die for” cranberry sauce, rounded out the perfect “home-cooked” holiday meal.

What’s a holiday meal without the family pets supervising?



Pickup and delivery

Since everyone in Uzès is on strict lockdown, Susan arranged for food pickup in the center of town. Petra Carter happily opened her cooking school Le Pistou to receive us.


During a two-hour window of time, we filed —  masked and socially distancing —  to pick up our individually selected packages of goodies.


Thanksgiving for Americans in Uzès

Let the celebration begin!

I don’t know about the others who took home their bags full of food, but I could hardly wait to eat. I piled my plate high and ate in the early afternoon.

Others were equally enthusiastic but saved their dinners until evening. They shared their private event with me to bring to you.



Betsy and Jacques

How did you spend Thanksgiving? 

I would love to hear how you spent your Thanksgiving holiday. Tell me how you connected with loved ones. For me, I’m so grateful for FaceTime and WhatsApp. Calls from my family help keep me from feeling so lonely for them.

A Thanksgiving call from this little one definitely made my day.

There’s no way to learn how to put on “pink lemonade” lipgloss without a closeup. Priceless!


Here’s Susan’s favorite “Best Green Bean Casserole”  from Bon Appétit. Click here Bon Appétit

Susan Loves Cooking 








23 replies »

  1. Thanks for writing this up, Deborah. Susan saved our day! I had been wondering how to pull off the meal just for the two of us, but Susan’s offering was so much better than anything I had ever made for the holiday. We could truly feel the care and love she had put into this meal. This was certainly a unique year, and let’s hope it’s the only one of its kind.

    • Susan is a master at food preparation. She gets it right every time. This time her meal was truly memorable for all us Americans away from our families. Happy Holidays … and thank you for reading the blog!

    • I know you must miss your visits to France. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer. Happy holidays to you!

  2. Thank you for sharing the details of how Americans living in Uzes were able to pull off such an amazing meal and the enjoy the holiday with a community spirit. A very heart warming story about community and friends coming together, even in difficult times such as Covid.

    • Friends in Uzés are sticking together as much as we can given the restrictions. Many are enjoying Zoom quizzes and other in-line get-togethers. It’s fortunate we live in an age of technology. It could be so much worse. I hope you are staying well and safe. Perhaps, we’ll all be traveling before too long. Thank you for your comment. Stay in touch.

    • Wish you were our neighbor! Can’t wait until you can visit again.. and we can meet. Feels like old friends already! Thank you for the note and for reading BFB.

      • Next year you should take a trip to Picard. They sell frozen cranberries so you could make your own sauce, much cheaper and so easy to make. We can get Picard in the Uk and I have just made my cranberry port and orange sauce ready for Christmas.
        Thanksgiving sounds fun and I am glad to hear that you managed to find a way to celebrate during lockdown.
        Love your blog but it makes me homesick for our apartment in Uzes!

        • Good to know about cranberries at Picard. Unfortunately, our store has been closed for renovations; but I’ll remember for next time. Our green grocer has fresh cranberries, too. This year I was happy to just have a taste that was along with our shared dinner. Thanks for the tip. Happy holidays!

  3. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story in such trying times. How wonderful you have such a great community. My husbands friend Gary is thinking of moving to Uzes once COVID is done.

    • I am so pleased you enjoyed the post. The day will be interesting to look back on someday. How strange it will seem to sit around a table with friends and family again. I hope you found a way to connect with loved ones. Be sure to tell Gary about the FaceBook group “Barefoot Uzès” if he has questions about life here. Please stay in touch!

  4. Thinking of our Thanksgiving with you four years ago (4 years-how did that happen!). It was one of the highlights of our time in France. I’m so thankful we had that time and I cherish the memories. Xoxo

    • I’ve been thinking so much of you. Even a photo I ran across yesterday. Please let’s touch base by phone when you can. Thank you for reaching out. Big hugs 💕

    • Friends here are the reason I’m so very happy. They are from around the world and they’ve changed me. Thank you for your message. Happy holidays!

  5. What a beautiful story! A story full of creativity, community, and caring under very challenging situations, and one you will never forget! I fondly remember our Thanksgivings abroad, the celebration is uniquely North American so we were not surprised to see how expats rally around the Turkey together to share in the event. It looks like you’ll be able to wander much further to burn off calories as Covid 19 restrictions begin to lift. 20 kilometers will feel like an exotic adventure now! Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving experience, Deborah. You have fine friends and neighbors in Uzès. We look forward to wandering back to La Belle France in 2021!

    • It was fun sharing this story with you. My friends were so generous, too. They had fun participating in the picture sharing. It made us really feel connected. Can’t wait for you to visit again! Happy holiday!

  6. Oh Deborah I forgot to send you a picture of our delicious Susan Seagram Thanksgiving dinner. It hit all the holiday notes. Loved seeing everybody else’s pictures – especially that little doll in lip gloss!

  7. Deborah, I’m so pleased you and fellow Americans were able to celebrate your important festival in such delicious style! I just hope that next year you will be able to do so in company. I’m yearning to get back to Uzès but not yet possible from lockdown London sadly….

    • It’s become so much easier to find traditional American foods here. It’s a treat for the holidays if I can’t get to the states. I’m anxious to have our international friends back in town so we can all enjoy the life here. Let me know when you’re here!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.