Posts Tagged With: thanksgiving

An American Thanksgiving in Finland

The holiday season is here, which makes being an ex-pat a little more difficult.  Without family and friends nearby to celebrate with, Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a bit sad.  So the best thing to do is plan a big party!

There are quite a few ex-pats here in town, working for The Company, so I checked around to see if anyone would be interested in having a big American Thanksgiving and renting out a place to do it.  The response was overwhelming.  We ended up having about 50 people, including a lot of the American ex-pats and some people of other nationalities who got to experience our traditions.  We had a ton of food, including 4 turkeys, and the location we rented was lovely.  It all went off without a hitch, and everyone was glad to have the chance to get together and celebrate.  There’s already talk of renting the space out again next year for a Fourth of July party, when we’ll be able to take advantage of the good weather and abundance of sunshine to enjoy the large yard included in the rental!

Did I mention yet how much food there was?  We kept having to add tables and move the dessert table down (then add a table to that) because there was so much food!  We had pretty much all the standard fare – besides the turkeys, there was mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, pumpkin pie, deviled eggs…the list goes on and on.

It was great to get together with new friends and celebrate Thanksgiving in a big, traditional, ex-pat way!

Only a portion of the buffet table(s)!

Only a portion of the buffet table(s)!

Our decorative turkey, put together by a Brit!

Our decorative turkey, put together by a Brit!

Enjoying the meal

A portion of the dessert table!

A portion of the dessert table!

I’ll be blogging about the Thanksgiving Kitchen Challenge soon, so stay tuned!

Categories: Finland, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hey, it’s November, give me a break

It’s been how long since I posted?  Shame, shame.  In my defense, it is November, which of course means National Novel Writing Month.  And, although I may not have been posting, I have been drafting blog posts.  Now to edit and post…yeah, I’ll get right on that.

I’m trucking along on the book.  27,000 words.  I shaved off a bit of length on my goal, so now I’m trying to hit 75,000 words instead of 90k.  Because, really, for the type of book it is, it shouldn’t be 90k.  So, 75k.  I’m almost halfway through my plot now, though, and I already know I’m going to have to beef up some scenes.  I’m saving that for after I finish, though.  Hopefully that will still be done in November, but we’ll see.  I’ll still hit the 50,000 NaNo goal, I’m just not sure I’ll hit my personal goal.  (You can follow along with my word count if you look to the top right of this page – see it?)

I’ve also been working on organizing a big American Thanksgiving here in Rauma, with a bunch of people from The Company.  I had to find a rental space, which didn’t end up being as difficult as I was afraid it was going to be.  I wasn’t sure how I would go about it in Finnish, and I didn’t really want to make any phone calls (because the whole answering the phone in Finnish and me saying “Hi do you speak English” and them saying something back in Finnish and it just being a huge cluster).  But I was able to take care of it through email (barely) and reserved a lovely hall with a large yard.  We’re going to have around 40-45 people, including some non-Americans who are excited to see what this whole Thanksgiving thing is about.  It’ll be potluck style, 4 turkeys, and all the regular fixings, plus some irregular ones (which is perfectly fine and dandy with me!).  We’re going to attempt to record the Thanksgiving Dallas Cowboys game and have that playing during the day, to make it feel right.  Since Thursday isn’t a holiday here, we’re having it on the following Saturday.  I’m going to be cooking one of the turkeys (the second turkey in my life), and I’m curious to see how it’s going to work with the small European oven.  I think I’m going to spatchcock the turkey, but then I’m not sure if I’m going to roast it or attempt to grill it.  Grilling seems interesting, a little something different, but I’m not sure if anyone we know has a big enough grill….

I’ve been working on a couple of sewing projects, I should have those done in the next few weeks.  I’ll post photos if they turn out well!

I took a couple of weeks off on the cooking challenge, after I was unable to find certain ingredients for something I was working on.  I figure my next cooking challenge will be the Thanksgiving Feast, so I’ll get back to the regular program after that.  I do have a bit of a backlog on the challenges, though (I started it a few weeks before actually posting anything), so I’ll post some to fill the gaps.  🙂

Let’s see, what else has been going on…

It’s getting darker here.  It’s not really “daylight,” where I can open the blinds and not have the lights on, until around 9am, and by around 3pm I have to turn the lights on again.  Of course, that’s on a normal, sunny day – today was so overcast it seemed to be dusk all day.  It’s good and dark by about 4:30pm most days – and we’ve got about a month left of dwindling daylight.  But then, guess what, it’ll start getting brighter again, and we’ll have 22 hours of daylight again before you know it!

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to a trip back home soon, where we get to see the family and some friends and do some shopping.  Then we’re going to MEXICO, where it will be sunny and warm and we can go swimming in the ocean and lay on the beach and drink fruity alcoholic beverages and Ican’tfreakingwait.

In other news, my permit for living in Finland is due to expire in a couple of months, and I filed the paperwork yesterday to have it renewed.  Hopefully I’ll have it before I need it, unlike my friend Pam, whose permit took four months and a lot of shouting from The Company.  She ended up getting detained in Germany, nearly missed her flight to the States,  and couldn’t come back to Finland until her permit arrived.

Oh, and the elections are over!  Yay!  It was hard enough to get through here, I don’t know how crazy we would have been if we were back home!  We were saved from the plenitude of political ads, the robocalls, the 24hour news cycle for the weeks leading up to the election.  We both voted absentee without a problem, and I woke up Wednesday morning, checked the news, and knew who won.  Can’t get much better than that!  Although, we still had to deal with the sometimes nasty diatribes on Facebook…

Categories: Finland, Random | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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