I invited all our best buds and shockingly, this year, they ALL said yes, which, EEK, shit, now we have to buy and cook FOUR turkeys. We have to do this because Swedish turkeys are basically the size of chickens and it takes at least 3 of them to make up 1 American Butterball + enough for leftovers. And then one family (of 5) had to bail on us (for a sad reason) a week before and Anders and I figured 3 turkeys would be plenty. Until I went to the store to get said turkeys and saw that they were only 4.5 kilos and called him, and he said, "Get four." We have a LOT of leftover turkey, not that I'm complaining.
In addition to the turkey quartet, we had 4 kinds of stuffing (including LIVER stuffing), cornbread muffins with jalapeno, spaghetti squash, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, black olives, gherkins and pickled onions. There was also some vegetarian main dish that I never even saw, that Kelly brought for her 2 girls. And for dessert? THREE pumpkin pies with whipped cream, 2 blueberry & raspberry cobblers with vanilla sauce and a full tray of individual pannacottas: chocolate on top, vanilla on bottom, with a dark chocolate wedge.
We had 14 adults, plus 9 teenagers/children, and 1 dog. And in that mix were 5 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 Brit, 10 Swedes, 6 Swedish-Americans..and a labrador mix, It was very loud. After dinner, while we women were all in the kitchen cleaning up and washing dishes, Kristian turned on Netflix and dialed up (does anyone dial up anything anymore?) the Chargers vs Cowboys football game and it all felt so American and traditional and fun. Ola asked me if I could turn the noise down because he couldn't hear the game, and then I smacked him because he meant the women. We had a great time.
We've been hosting this Thanksgiving potluck with most of these same people for nearly 20 years. Some years, someone can't come, and some years another someone can't come. There have been other people added to the mix, new additions, and some who have moved away, but every year, we gather friends who feel like family around us for an evening that makes me miss being home with my first family just a little less.
This year, Martin wasn't here again. Last year, he was in Peru, and this year, he celebrated the holiday at my mom's with my grandmother, 2 of my mom's cousins and my sister and her family. I wished I could have cloned myself to be in two places at once, but I was very grateful that he has my mom and family to spend the holiday with if he couldn't be with us, for the second year in a row.
Today was still a busy day, washing more dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up and moving tables and chairs. I watered plants and ran to the grocery store to replace milk, and I baked a gazillion cookies for the annual AWC cookie exchange on Tuesday. This year: Iced Peppermint Sugar Cookies! YUM!
I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as we did, and that even if it wasn't a holiday for you, that you took some time to think about the things that you are thankful for, and the things that make your year, and your life, a little bit better.