Friday, November 26, 2010

"Are There Like, Thanksgiving Songs?"

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving, everyone! Even though it's usually just a casual affair with THaack and the CHaacks (great band name, or awesome band name?), Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart, right next to April Fool's Day and Halloween (beginning to think that my holiday priorities are a bit...skewed, but whatever, sorry I'm not sorry); it's a day that was set aside for the sole purpose of getting a day off school/work, eating delicious food, and spending time with people you love. Could there be anything better? I normally don't get homesick, but I knew that the holidays would be difficult, and that the reality of being away from friends and family until June would hit particularly hard around Thanksgiving. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and have a Thanksgiving dinner here in Gothenburg.

Prepping for Thanksgiving in Europe was definitely bizarre. I woke up early to go to the grocery store, and I mean, I KNEW that no one here even knows what Thanksgiving is, but I was still bracing myself for the stores to be packed and all the food to be completely picked through. They weren't, and it wasn't, to my pleasant surprise, although there were so many old Swedes kind of shuffling around and blocking the aisles; AU Abroad Insight: the elderly are a nuisance no matter what their nationality. I also had a major DUH moment when I asked someone (in Swedish, no big deal) where the majsirap was, and received a blank stare and confused shrugs. It took me another twenty minutes of wandering around aisles until I realized that Sweden doesn't have corn syrup because they don't have corn subsidies. Total burden. I made it out after about an hour relatively unscarred, and ready to make some Thanksgiving magic happen.

After a quick break for OUTDOOR ICE SKATING (post to come once I acquire Joy's pictures), I put on my heels and apron and got down to business. I started at 4:30, and while I was only making pecan pie, stuffing, glazed carrots, and vegetarian gravy, the cooking process still took a solid three hours. Mom, I have a newfound appreciation for your Thanksgiving Day efforts. Anyways, it was worth the wait, because the dinner turned out, kind of to my surprise, beautifully. Everyone brought typical Thanksgiving dishes as well, so we had a veritable spread of stuffing, mashed potatoes, the BEST cranberries I've ever had, roasted vegetables, vegetarian gravy, pecan pie, and apple pie. It was quite the feast:
the gang, minus katrijn and ellen
oh yeah, that's six loaves of gluten-free bread right there. your eyes don't deceive you
It was really great and heartwarming that my friends got so into it. It's not their holiday, but they still all made food, dressed up, and genuinely wanted to follow all the traditions. A bunch of the girls even made me a card, which was super sweet:

except, you know, the other way around
This actually may have been the best Thanksgiving ever? I mean, no one responded to my Thanksgiving Day cheer with YEAH, HAPPY NATIVE AMERICAN SLAUGHTER DAY, there was wine, and no relatives were around to comment on my weight and ask me what I'm doing after graduation IN TWO YEARS*. I did, of course, miss my family dearly, but we got to have a little Skype date while eating dinner, and everyone in Sweden decided that the Haacks all sound "so American." Thank you?

*Actually, my pecan pie turned out so well (beginner's luck? what's that?) that I'm considering just dropping out of school and pursuing a career in Southern housewifery

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