Food Friday: American-style Thanksgiving

November 16, 2012

in An American in Europe,Life as an expat,Living in Sweden

turkey lunch

The meal.


The fall harvest cornucopia.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US. Last week, I went to the Thanksgiving luncheon for the American Women’s Club here in Stockholm. It’s an annual tradition for me to go and celebrating this holiday has become an important part of my life in Sweden.

At our table, we had people from the US, of course, but also from Canada, the UK and Argentina. The conversation turned to how Thanksgiving was celebrated in each of our homes. For me, it meant that on the day before, my Mom would bake a few pies, usually pumpkin, pecan and apple. My Dad chopped up the celery and onions for the stuffing that would slow cook in the crock pot. On Thanksgiving morning, while my brothers and I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, they  began preparing the meal, getting the turkey into the oven and the potatoes peeled.

As the smell of the baking turkey filled the house, we would all gather around my Mom in the kitchen as she basted it, inevitably asking, “is it done yet?” over and over again. After the last-minute frenzy of carving the turkey, mashing the potatoes (my grandmother Clara was officially known as the best masher and gravy maker) and serving up all the dishes we finally ate sometime in the late afternoon around 3 or 4. The menu included turkey, dressing and stuffing, gravy, cranberries, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and rolls. It was a carb overload that in more recent years, become a bit healthier in a few ways.

thanksgiving memories

A classic Carpenter thanksgiving dinner. Yes, that's me in the stylish red dress with the big white collar.

Needless to say after all that food, the food coma set in while everyone lounged in the living room watching all the NFL and college football games. My Dad and grandfathers would typically have a little nap sometime during the games and then at some point, my Dad, brothers, uncles and cousins would head outside for a game of touch football. Later in the evening, we would wander back into the kitchen for a few leftovers. And that is what you call an eating holiday!

Food Friday is an on-going series on 59 North.

thanksgiving menu

The women's club luncheon menu. I really missed the stuffing.

american women lunch

A few American women from the lunch, including one Canadian and four from the US.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kezia November 16, 2012 at 20:23

Thanks for the Thanksgiving memories, Sandy! I always looked forward to our Carpenter family gatherings in Cincinnati. I loved the rowdiness of the kids’ table as we got older and the card playing that happened later in the evening. Would it be okay to snag the family photo? xo

2 Sandra November 16, 2012 at 22:17

Thank you Kez. We did have fun. I was planning to send you the photo, but yahoo mail has been down. I have another one to send you as well.

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