Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas time in Umea

It's about a week until Christmas time and it is SUPER DARK but school is out for winter break so the darkness isn't as bad. And after Christmas it'll start getting lighter! I thought I would post a few pictures from around town and Christmas activities!

We made lussebullar yesterday, saffron buns. They came out really light and fluffy and nice (and very yellow!). I'm not used to the taste of saffron though so it's a little weird to me still, but they were fun to make :)

 There is a big real Christmas tree in town! :)

They've made the center of town look very cheery with lots of lights and people and little tents set up. When we were there last they were setting up what looked like a little Christmas market, but I haven't been back yet to check. But I go back tomorrow and I hope they are still there!

Alex and I celebrated my last day of class (well not really last day, but last day before Christmas!) at Lotta's Krog in town. It was lots of fun. We hadn't been there since my parents visited!

The snowy walk to the grocery store! Sadly the snow melted today again and now it is a mess of icy sidewalks and slush. I'm hoping it'll snow again before Christmas! 

Well that was just a little glimpse of Christmas time here, I'll miss seeing all my family members on Christmas but I know it'll be very special here too and I hope everyone has a wonderful day. I will try to post more pictures after Christmas :) 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Swedish Thanksgiving

Last week was Thanksgiving! Of course they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden so it was a bit weird to have no Thanksgiving break or big dinner with family. But we still had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! Just by coincidence I had the day off of school so we had plenty of time to cook a yummy meal.

Getting the potatoes ready to boil for mashed potatoes! One of my favorite foods. There is no shortage of potatoes in Sweden so this ingredient was easy to find.

One ingredient Sweden did not have (or that I couldn't find) was evaporated milk for the sweet potato casserole. So I evaporated some of my own milk! 

Taking the sweet potato casserole out of the oven to put marshmellows on top. I didn't realize that this was a weird dish until Alex gave me a disgusted look when I added sugar to the mashed sweet potatoes. I think it was a bit too sweet for him, he called it a dessert, but I loved it! It was my favorite food at our dinner.

Our Thanksgiving dinner! Meatballs for me and quorn for my vegetarian substituted for a turkey, but I did buy a packet of presliced turkey to keep some of the tradition. I thought it would be a bit silly to cook a turkey for myself. But it was an amazing dinner and we watched the Macy's Day parade on the computer while we ate which was fun.

One sad part of Thansgiving in Sweden was no pumpkin pie. There is no canned pumpkin sold here and the real pumpkins disappeared weeks ago. We even took the bus to the big supermarket in town, ICA Maxi, but had no luck. We did get some maple syrup though which our supermarket doesnt have. Yumm.

Without Thanksgiving it means that basically after Halloween it is Christmas time which was nice especially in the dark winter. Lights are up in town and everyone has stars and lights in their windows, including us! This is a snowman we made and hung by our door.

Our Christmas tree haha. It's very cute. We bought it on the way home from school yesterday. It fits in a coffee cup and fits perfectly on the window sill. Hopefully Santa doesn't bring us anything too big! ;)

The tree with lights on it! It makes me laugh.

Well that is it for now! My last week of school before Christmas break is in a week and a half, which is crazy! Lots to do but with so little daylight it definitely takes away some of your energy. The sun rises after we get to school and sets before we get home. The good news is that soon it'll be getting lighter each day instead of darker. Woohoo!