Thursday, November 24, 2011


Everyone has special traditions that they share with their family and friends each year.  For some it's special mash potatoes, sugary candied yams or a certain pie.  For others it's 'watching' football games after dinner, which is really code for falling into a serotinin induced siesta until it's time for coffee and desert.  Being a wellness challenged family, we lost many of our food traditions, and the fact that we have never lived near family, we usually spend Thanksgiving on our own.  Our most consistent holiday tradition goes back to Thanksgiving 2001. 

Finance guy was still working his consulting gig.  The months leading up to Thanksgiving, he had been either gone on travel, or working into the wee hours of the morning.  I had been equally stressed and sleep deprived managing the demands of a three year old, and and infant.  So when Thanksgiving Day finally came, we pretty much dragged ourselves out of bed, stuck a bird in the oven, and set ourselves down in front of the TV to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York.  We had a turkey and pie alright, but never made it out of our pajamas.

The following year a good friend was talking my oldest daughter (then 4),  about how we would be celebrating Thanksgiving.   She proudly announced, 'Thanksgiving is the day we stay in our pajamas ALL DAY!!'  I being still in my, 'life should look a spread from Martha Stewart Living Magazine delusion stage', was mortified.  I understand now that life very seldom looks how we imagine it in our youth.  My life is never going to look like a well designed photo shoot, of a party that no one ever really comes to, with sparkly glasses and color coordinated centerpieces.  The thought of it now is laughable.  

For our first Thanksgiving in Stockholm, we weren't sure what to do.  It isn't a holiday, and black Friday is just another work day.  Turkeys aren't something that the regular grocery stores have, and with the kids schedule, I didn't have time to go into Stockholm to find the specialty stores that stock them.  We also were all fight a nasty cold virus.  Luckily, before Finance guy fell hard with it, he stumbled upon this place in Östermalm Saluhall.

 Here he found a great turkey.  Although KC wanted to bring this chicken home  ☟.

I have never seen a chicken with its feet and head still attached.

 I believe these were some smoked turkeys.

We also found Swedish funnel cake made with potato flour and lots of sugar.  We brought one home, well, really, just because we could.

So Thanksgiving Day came, and I woke up in the full throws of the head cold virus from hell. Luckily Finance Guy and the girls stepped up and saved the day.  They made a pumpkin pie with an experimental crust, since our usually pie crust flours aren't available in Sweden, and got our really beautiful turkey dressed and in the oven.  I managed to make it out of bed for dinner to enjoy the fruits of my family's labors.

So as I sit here, with sleep begin to creep back into my body I haven't the strength to fight the holiday cliché's.  This year as always, I am incredibly thankful for our family and friends.  It's not easy to be so far away from them.  I am of course, thankful for the days we enjoy health, but I'm also humbly thankful that I have a family for whom staying in our pajamas, doesn't stop us from having a very Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. Haha! Life - as it shows in magazines - is always an illusion! (read my blogg tomorrow about that, if your are healthy enough).
    I´m glad you found your turkey at last and that you could celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Dressed or in pyjamas doesn`t matter! Most of us have so much to be thankful of, and I think that we swedes could learn from you and celebrate that day more. Hope you get well soon.

  2. My contribution on Sunday I meant, not tomorrow.

  3. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday in the states, because everyone, regardless of their religion, celebrates it. No worries about offending anyone by wishing them a Merry Christmas, when they celebrated Hanukah the week before!

    I look forward to seeing your blog on Sunday Kyersti, I am definitely healthy enough to enjoy it.

  4. Happy New Year, Karen! I just came across this and laughed at the picture of the Bresse chicken. First, in Paris, chickens in butcher shops almost always have their heads and feet on, something to do with assuring they are high quality. But the Bresse chicken is something special -- first, because its coloring reflects the French flag (red head, white body, blue feet). Also, it's fed milk for part of its life, which makes its meat marbled and apparently delicious (I have yet to have it, partly because I was off meat for 5 years). They even have a special designation in France (AOC) which controls and protects every aspect of their breeding, feeding, etc. Finally, they are VERY expensive -- when I see them, they're usually 50+ euros per bird... Scary how much I know about them!