Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving in Norway - oh, Bieber Invaded This Day, Too

I'm going to say something that I thought was obvious, but clearly isn't since I get this question so often: No, Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Norway. It's very American. To people in every other country in the world, "Thanksgiving" is just another Thursday - everyone is waiting for it to be Friday so it can finally be the weekend again.

I've been in Bergen for 4 months exactly (to the day!). I've met wonderful people doing wonderful things and I'm finding life to be pretty good here.

I'm part of a "tapas group" with some wonderful Norwegian ladies that I met, oddly enough, in line for the toilet in a bar just after arriving in Bergen. I think I've mentioned in another post how Norwegian's can be quite cold and unwelcoming at first - but these girls blew me out of the water because they talked to me first. I think just minutes after meeting them I might have said something like "I don't mean to be rude, but you're unusually friendly for a Norwegian girl." And I meant it. I've noticed that many girls are nervous to speak English, especially in front of friends or significant others, and then can seem a bit standoffish (which is rarely how they actually are, most of them are probably the nicest people you'll ever meet once you get to know them). I get it. I have to muster up lots of courage to try out my Norwegian, too.

Anyway, these sweet girls have kind of  'adopted' me, and somehow it came about that we should have a Thanksgiving dinner at my house.

I was looking forward to it, but I will be the first to say that I've only ever watched the meal being made; never really took part in the cooking.

While I was in California, I stopped by the grocery store with Grandma and bought a can of pumpkin pie mix and a can of condensed milk. I brought it back to Norway and set out to make the crust.

(I love to bake, but I've never, ever made a pie).

All I have to say is that I'm thankful for Skype so that my mom could offer up some suggestions. Once it was rolled out, I laughed because I had dreams of a perfectly circular crust, and this is what I created:

It was then that I realized I didn't have a pie pan. Tart pan, yes. Kiesh pan, yes. But not a proper pie pan. Oh well, I made do and it looked pretty normal:

Then I added the pumpkin mix and put it in the oven. Looked normal, smelled divine. The smell actually made me the slightest bit homesick. Before that smell, it was just another Thursday...after that smell, it was Thanksgiving in California and I was missing it. 

While the pie was in the oven, I needed to get started on the stuffing. I was doing this all the day before our Friday night Thanksgiving celebration. The stuffing recipe called for 2 loaves of white bread, torn into small pieces and left out for a day. So I began tearing...and tearing...and tearing...until my thumbs started to hurt from ripping the crust. Over a loaf in, I realized something important when my thumbs really began to ache: 


Sometimes I could kick myself for always doing it the hard way first. 

I finished prepping for the stuffing, made a plan for the big day, bought the rest of the the turkey (yep, waited til the last minute on that, too), and went swimmingly. 

Here was what the table looked like (the day before..unfortunately I didn't take any pictures on the day of): 

I didn't find a whole turkey nearby until the day before, which wasn't enough time to defrost it, so I went with the turkey filet option...I'm so glad for that! It tasted great and it was easy. A little butter and some seasoning and viola! Dinner! The stuffing was good, but really needed the gravy to make it great.

It was sort of a potluck Thanksgiving, so the girls brought the cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes, candied yams, meat pie, and an extra cake (we just weren't sure how people were going to like the pumpkin pie...). It all came together and it was really fun. 

Oddly enough, Bieber invaded Thanksgiving, too. How this boy has weaseled his way into my life, I'll never know. It came up because someone had a dream about him, perhaps as a result of reading my previous blog post, and then we started talking about what we actually knew about the guy. Collectively, this is what we found out: 

1. One of his songs goes something like " baby, baby, baby, oooh" (I think?)
2. He may, or may not, have gotten someone pregnant at some point in his life. 
3. He sang some song with another famous artist...Ludacris? 

And to top it all off, we watched a few Justin Bieber YouTube videos together. I think that might have been the strangest part of the night - not bad, but definitely strange. 

It was a good Thanksgiving. 

I was (and still am) thankful for new friends, pumpkin pie, skype, family (near or far) and not stressing too much about trying something new. 

Already looking forward to next year!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Alyssa,

    That sounds most fun. New friends, too. Did you explain to them what Thanksgiving was about? Your writing is so funny. Keep it up. Love the pictures.