Follow by Email

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in Sweden

Of course, there is no such thing as Thanksgiving day in Sweden according to the Swedish calendar and yet, as an American I can hardly let Thanksgiving day go unnoticed!  Since the last Thursday in November is a regular work day here in Sweden, often Americans celebrate the holiday with the traditional meal on the Saturday following the real holiday.  I've done this and while it is fun to gather with people and acknowledge this wonderful American tradition, I've also found myself dreadfully homesick and out of sync with my home country on the actual holiday.  I've been grumpy at work all day as I think about everyone else scurrying about, getting the big bird ready to go in the oven, watching American football and making general merriment all the while I sit at my desk in a bad mood.  I've even resorted to taking part in "Black Friday" by going on my favorite shopping sites just to see what's on offer!  Thanksgiving has always been my most homesick of all days because it is so totally unacknowledged here in Sweden!
So this year I decided that I would simply give myself a holiday, prepare the meal and invite people to come eat at 19.00 on a Thursday night!  And it was really the best decision.  The only bummer was having to get up and work on Friday!  I'm a total novice at cooking this meal so after looking on the internet and consulting an old college friend who is a great cook and talking to my mom on the phone, I was ready to tackle the bird.  Having bought the largest the store had, 9 pounds at $4.00 dollars a pound, I didn't want it to go to waste!  I got up early on Thursday and baked a pumpkin pie that turned out quite well, if I say so myself given that I haven't made pie crust since, well, ever.  Then I made cornbread that didn't turn out.  Oh well, you can't win them all!  I set the table, and then starting messing around with Mr. Turkey.  He went into the oven around 3.30 and then I was busy with everything else.  Given Doug's broken leg, and given that it is a normal work day, we had only invited 6 others.  The countries represented around our table included The Netherlands, Sweden, Ghana, and the USA!  In the end, we were 7 around the table, with 1 more coming as we cut into the pies! Two of our guests have a daughter who bakes the most incredible apple pie and she graced us with this magnificent gift! Everything turned out quite nicely and I have to say, the turkey was really quite delicious!  It was very hectic at about 19.30 but by 19.40 we were seated and feasting.  It was really great to feel like I was doing what the rest of my nation was doing, even if a bit ahead of schedule!  We had to tape the football games as it was far too late to watch football, but we skipped the nap as it was midnight by the time we had spoken with family and began to tackle the Herculean clean up task!
When we said good-bye to the last guest, turned on the dishwasher, and crawled into bed I felt very, very thankful indeed.
In the hullaboo of the day, I didn't take one photograph so I hope you can picture our celebration in your mind, but most of all, for all you Americans...I hope you had a great day of feasting and Thanksgiving as well.  Oh, and by the way...I'm headed over to an American friend's house later today, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, to enjoy yet another feast in the company of other Americans, anAustralian and of course a Swede!