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Happy Thanksgiving, amerikanerne!

Nov 23, 2006 • Karen

My Thanksgiving wasn't very eventful. I endured yet another day of despairing weather (and forgot my scarf when I left the højskole), went to class, gave an improvised presentation on efficiency in Danish culture, and had my usual pasta dinner. I did get a Thanksgiving card from my parents:

Q: What do baby sweet potatoes sleep in?
A: Their yammies.

SO CORNY. I love it.

Last Saturday, however, I did participate in some early Thanksgiving festivities. Jeff's host family in Nivå decided to hold a Thanksgiving dinner and he invited me and three other students to attend. That was a lot of fun, full of good conversation about Danishness and Scottishness and family traditions and high school stories and airport security and 9/11 and the DMCA and regional differences in the US...and so on.

The menu was sort of a synthesis of Danish and American. The Danes' "stuffing" was something akin to meatloaf, unlike our breadcrumb-based dish. Dessert was fruit salad with Danish ice (softer and less sweet than our ice cream; it's similar to Dairy Queen soft serve, but a million times better!), which was absolutely delicious. On the more traditional American side, we of course had turkey (Danes' usual holiday birds are geese or ducks, I gather), potatoes (not mashed, though), and cranberry sauce. Jeff made candied yams, despite his host mother's skepticism (you should've seen her recoil in disgust when I mentioned that my family made them with *gasp* mini-marshmallows!).

My family *never* has alcohol on Thanksgiving. However, this was a Danish dinner, so the wine flowed like water. I had a glass of rose wine when we first arrived and were meeting everyone, a glass of white wine during the first course (a salad with cucumber and tuna)...and after that I'm not quite sure. I was seated next to Jeff's host uncle Jimmy, who was Scottish and a very interesting character, and he dutifully refilled my wine glass during the meal whenever it got low. Very gentlemanly of him, but it made it hard to keep track of how much I had. I would guess about five glasses, maybe more--the most alcohol I've ever had in one evening. It wasn't a big deal, though--we'd stuffed ourselves with Thanksgiving goodness and it was over the course of five hours. I've been more tipsy than I was that night.

After the meal, Jeff's host father poured several of us glasses of cognac as a digestive. I'd never had cognac before; it reminded me of rubbing alcohol with fruity overtones. That description's pretty unflattering, but I rather liked it. Unfortunately, though, we then realized how late it was getting and had to run to the station before the trains stopped, so I only got a sip of it.

I finally made it back home around 2 AM, having walked almost an hour from Hillerød station since the buses had long stopped running. Wearing heeled shoes was a bad choice. My feet were very blistery in the morning. But I had so much fun getting out, enjoying good food, and meeting people that it was totally worth it.