In a somewhat Swedish-Halloween style, I’ll take this opportunity to say Happy Thanksgiving! a week late. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, which means that last week on November 28th, the population of the U.S. took some time to chill with family, eat delicious food and be thankful for all the wonderful things we have in life.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. What’s better than eating great food and being with the people you love? This is my second year celebrating Thanksgiving outside of the country, the first being last year, when I was living in Germany. Last year, I spent hours finding the recipes for the necessary Thanksgiving foods and invited everyone in my collective (we were only four people, so that’s not nearly as impressive as it sounds), plus whoever happened to be in the corridor at the same time as me and was reasonably friendly looking.
This year, things were looking a little iffy. Having been sick for a week and then away on a school field trip to Göteborg, the thought of spending a whole day cooking and then inviting people, clean-up etc. was a little daunting. However, in a miracle-of-the-holidays twist of events, I met a fellow American who had just moved to Sweden and invited me and Martin to a Thanksgiving potluck. It was a wonderful night—a combination of nostalgia brought on my the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, the excitement of meeting new people, and the comfort of knowing that I am where I want to be and doing what I want to be doing (in Sweden, learning to be an engineer for those of you who aren’t up to cryptic comments right now).
So, what are traditional Thanksgiving foods? Well, turkey is of course usually the main dish, although this years’ Thanksgiving potluck was strictly vegan/vegetarian so there was no turkey to speak of. Otherwise, mashed potatoes and some variation of baked or mashed sweet potatoes are standard, stuffing is a must (this is basically bread that has been allowed to stale and then baked with delicious vegetable stock, mixed with celery and sometimes carrots and raisins or something like that), and my all time favorite: cranberry sauce. After eating a heaping pile of all this goodness comes of course a slice of pumpkin pie. If this sounds like a lot of food, that’s because it is. Thanksgiving is all about eating more food than you can and having leftovers for several days so that you can eat your delicious three day old mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce at work and remember how fun Thanksgiving was.