Kalkon (Turkey)

I have so many things to be thankful for.

One of the things I thought I would miss the most when studying abroad in the fall was Thanksgiving with my family. Luckily, I didn’t have to miss out on much.

Sitting down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner (not pictured: my dad)

In place of a family trip this year, my parents and little brother Max decided to come visit me in Sweden over his week-long Thanksgiving Break. Initially we were bummed about missing out on a traditional dinner with family, but then I had the idea to make our own Thanksgiving dinner to share with my host family. We decided to make it on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, which is the day I typically make dinner for my host family.

A delicious finished turkey

The first problem was figuring out how to get all of the necessary ingredients that they don’t usually sell in Sweden. The American Food Store (according to Charles) came in handy – there, I bought shortening, canned pumpkin, and cream of mushroom soup and French’s fried onions for green bean casserole (my favorite Thanksgiving side).

In the thick of cooking dinner

Turkey is not a common meat in Sweden, and whole turkeys are not typically sold in the grocery store. In the US, they stock them around Thanksgiving. My host mom was able to order one to be picked up at a local grocery store.

Delicious sides

One food we look forward to every year is my mom’s aunt’s homemade applesauce. My little brother was really sad about missing out on it, so I made him a batch as a surprise.

Pumpkin pie and a Vanderbilt nutcracker from my family

In order to get everything finished in time, Max and I made the pumpkin pie the night before. On the day of, my family and I started the turkey, then I took them to their first ever Swedish fika at the popular Swedish chain Espresso House. When we came back, it was time to make the sides – mashed potatoes, stuffing balls, and of course, green bean casserole.

A beautiful red to go with dinner

The meal was delicious, complete with wine from my host mom’s brother’s vineyard. It was so wonderful for my Swedish family and American family to connect, and to bring this tradition to my Swedish family for the first time.

A Swedish interpretation of Thanksgiving

A positive note on the end – I made reservations for us to go to a Thanksgiving Buffet on the actual Thanksgiving day at the Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm. Because of the time zone differences, we were able to watch the Detroit Lions game at dinner. My dad was very thankful.

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