Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

December 1st, 2007

What's that you say? Thanksgiving happened already a few weeks ago. That is correct. But since Thanksgiving is not a Finnish holiday there is no national day of celebration for this. It has become a tradition between two families to celebrate this dinner over the years since moving to Finland in 1990. At first we invited different branch of the family each year for the dinner so that they could experience the meal. After we had run through the family we had some friends over for the meal. These are Marko and Päivi Haikkola. At the time, way back when, both of our families had no children. Now we do. Our family has the two boys and theirs two girls, Josefine "Jofi" and Frederika "Freja". The eldest, Jofi, is less than a year younger than our Nicholas and Freja is two years younger than Alexi.

Tiina and Päivi first met when they were studying at Åbo Akademi in Turku. At that time her husband, Marko, was a Lieutenant (now a Major) in the Finnish army and stationed at Säkylä. We were living in Kustavi at the time. Päivi was renting a small flat near the school so she wouldn't have to drive the long way back and forth from base to school. Tiina was in the same situation. Päivi offered Tiina a place to stay in that same flat so that she wouldn't have to make the long trip back and forth as well. We were very thankful for this and it allowed Tiina to carry on with her studies. As time went by we moved to Espoo and started a family and the Haikkola's as well began their family. I haven't counted exactly but I think out of the 17 years we have lived in Finland we have shared Thanksgiving with the Haikkola's about eight or nine times. In 2003 we didn't have a dinner.

We coordinate between the two families for a free day on a weekend as close as possible to Thanksgiving Day. Sometimes it is closer sometimes a few weeks later.

This year was a bit different. Päivi came a day earlier and spent the night with us. Her and Tiina went shopping for the food and then began to prepare it that evening and continued the following morning. Päivi made most of the dishes as well as preparing and stuffing the bird by herself. She did a fantastic job at it and all was just so picture perfect as you can see by these photos. As usual we ate too much! We had the turkey, stuffing, creamed green beans, fried breaded carrot sticks, in memory of my Grandmother Flossie Kujala, deviled eggs or (evil eggs) as the kids called them, for the first time, mashed potatoes and gravy, a salad made with orange peppers that we grew ourselves, cranberry sauce, black olives, miniature pickles, and corn bread. The dessert consisted of two pies, apple and coconut cream and two flavors of homemade ice-cream. Yummy!
During the meal preparation Marko and I watched Nicholas Cage's movie Next. After the meal we all watched the movie Click. Again it was another successful dinner with our good friends. We do look forward to next year for another fantastic meal and get together!!!!

No comments: