First of all, let me start off by wishing all the Americans a happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you ate too much turkey and pecan pie and felt a sense of serenity while you watched the Cowboys lose their Thanksgiving Day game.
Okay, maybe I, as a Texans fan, enjoyed the Cowboys losing more than the average American, but I hope you enjoyed this festive day nonetheless!
|I won't bore you with another picture of a plate of food,|
but here's a selfie of everyone that showed up for Thanksgiving dinner!
I was terrified.
I was mostly terrified because I was planning on having to do all of the cooking and baking that is required for a Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I've never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before - the most helpful I've ever been is baking a few pies - so to cook for 30 people for my first time was a daunting idea. I was in nothing short of a panic the entire week as I ran about Stockholm acquiring everything necessary for Thanksgiving.
Wednesday night was when the actual cooking and baking began. My roommate, Valentine, and I baked two cakes, which were delicious, but an absolute battle. The first and perhaps biggest problem we had was that the recipes I was trying to bake with used the customary system, which is pretty much only used in the States. That meant we had to convert all of the recipes to the metric system, which is what Europe (and pretty much the entire world) uses, while we were adding the ingredients. The next problem was the fact that we didn't actually have any measuring spoons or cups, so we usually ended up guesstimating how much to put in anyway. The next problem? The oven. The oven
in our common kitchen is.... Not Good. Our first cake should have taken 10-15 minutes to cook, but in reality it took almost half an hour. And the second cake should have taken half an hour to cook but ended up taking almost an hour. It was ridiculous, but both the cakes were a hit at dinner, so I
suppose I can't complain too much. After we finished baking the cakes and getting them iced, it was time to baste the turkey to let the seasonings set overnight. When I'd asked my mom what to season the turkey with, she responded with "poultry seasoning," but guess what! We don't have that in Sweden, so I Googled what's in poultry seasoning and bought what I could find of it, which was really only two spices. But we worked with what we had, basted the turkey, and put it in the fridge overnight.
Dinner itself was a hit! Throughout the meal, people kept telling me that everything was wonderful and that they were very happy they'd come. During dessert, people kept asking for more slices of cake and raving about how delicious both cakes were. Their compliments really warmed my heart, especially after stressing so much about that one meal all week long.
So what does one do after having a huge Thanksgiving dinner in Sweden?
They go to Latvia, of course.
That's right, the day after Thanksgiving, instead of rushing to the newly opened Mall of Scandinavia (which I really do need to visit) for Black Friday deals, I headed to the sea to visit Riga, Latvia for the weekend.
|Hello Riga, you are beautiful.|
Anyway, from what I experienced, Latvia has managed to westernise themselves a bit more than Estonia has. In Tallinn, you still get somewhat of a Soviet feel when you walk down the streets, everything is still written in Russian, most people still speak Russian, etc. But in Latvia, this isn't the case. Latvia has really made an effort to create a national identity for itself. When you walk down the streets, you rarely see or hear the Russian language - mostly just Latvian and sometimes English.
It was a very nice city to visit. Latvia is a tiny, tiny country, and you definitely recognise that when you visit the capital city of Riga. There's just something about it that makes you feel at ease and at home.
During international day, I also had the opportunity to try foods from other countries, which was probably my favourite part! All in all, I consider international day a success, and I think everyone their home with me.
|The Germans performing their "cultural duty" at international day|
That's about it! The trip I've been looking forward to all semester is rapidly approaching - our trip to Finnish Lapland! Now, where we're going is up north. Really far north. It's gonna be cold. Like, -15F at night cold. I am woefully unprepared but excited at the same time! I'm really, really hoping we'll be able to get to see the Northern Lights while we're there as well!
I can't wait to write my post about that trip; I'm sure there will be so much to tell!
Atā! (That's goodbye in Latvian!)