Happy Thanksgiving week to everyone in the US! I know I’ve been writing a lot about the US and fall, but I promise this will be the last post of this kind. We just got our first dumping of snow in Stockholm and it’s definitely putting me in the Swedish Christmas spirit! But for now it’s still November and that means fall, right?
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and it’s one that we’ve figured out how to make wonderful even while living outside the US – in fact, my first blog post was actually about our Thanksgiving celebration last year. This year we hosted another lovely dinner with 15 of our global friends and family, and it brought all the Thanksgiving feels (and smells!) to our home. Spending the day roasting the turkey, everyone bustling around the kitchen trying to get everything ready (and inevitably eating at least an hour later than planned), lots of laughter during a hearty meal as everyone fills their plates with seconds (or even thirds!), and of course, the classic going around the table saying what each person is thankful for… it was all there :).
So, to make this into a truly cheesy Thanksgiving post, I’m going to share what I am thankful for this year (in no particular order)…
- Being in Sweden – for so many different reasons, including getting a chance to connect with my Swedish roots, be close to my family here, and all the benefits of living in this amazing country (free healthcare while having a baby is a BIG one).
- For Chris – who has supported me so much, especially as I completed my master’s degree this year and through this pregnancy… financially, emotionally, and recently, physically (it’s a bit hard to get snow boots on with a big belly!).
- For this baby – getting pregnant didn’t happen for us right away and through that journey I’ve learned that it’s not always easy for everyone. So, I am truly thankful for this baby in more ways than I could have imagined a year ago.
- Friends and family – both near and far. I am thankful to keep in contact with many close friends back home, but also for the new friends in Stockholm who have become like one big international family. And of course, our actual families in Sweden and the US who we love so much!
I could probably go on forever, because I really have found that this year especially, I am appreciating how everything in life seems to fall into place. It may not be what you planned or expected, but it always works out. And I am thankful for the life I have at this moment :).
Each year that we host Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving as we sometimes like to call it) there is at least one person that is celebrating it for the first time, and it’s always fun to see this uniquely American holiday through their eyes. They are usually surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is almost a bigger holiday in the US than Christmas… I mean, you get more days off work for Thanksgiving than Christmas! There are also lots of shocked faces when you explain the craziness of Black Friday shopping (something my family never really did) and how yes, people in America will spend the night in cold parking lots and trample each other for a discounted TV.
And of course, people always comment on the strangeness of Thanksgiving food!
“Green bean casserole? What’s a casserole?”
“Why is it called stuffing? Do bread and apples and walnuts and bacon and cranberries REALLY go well together with broth and herbs??”
“Sweet potato and marshmallows… is it a dessert?”
But despite some skeptical looks at first, everyone always ends up enjoying the food! And one of my personal favorites is the sweet potato casserole. This is something my aunt used to make back in the states and as I got older I became in charge of learning to make it with her. My aunt passed away a few years before my mom, so the memories of making Thanksgiving food with her is very special to me. And it’s a delicious recipe that always ends up with leftovers!
Thanksgiving leftovers are great the next day… and sometimes even the day after that… but at some point they start to get a little boring. So, last year when I ended up with lots of leftover sweet potato, I decided to try and turn them into something different… pancakes!
The texture of these pancakes is a little different than a regular American pancake (they are a bit more dense) but the flavors are AMAZING. Cinnamon… brown sugar… walnuts… and that delicious taste of sweet potato, all come together so well in this perfect breakfast combination. And this stack of pancakes doesn’t even need syrup if you cover it in the cinnamon-brown sugar whipped butter and candied walnuts.
And once you go to whipped butter, you’ll never want to go back. It’s so much lighter and melts all over the pancakes (and in your mouth)… and it infuses all those flavors perfectly. Trust me on this one.
So, if you find yourself wondering what to do with some of those Thanksgiving left-overs, maybe give this recipe a try for your Saturday or Sunday brunch! And to those of you in the US, enjoy your break :).
Leftover Sweet Potato Pancakes
- 2 cups leftover sweet potato casserole / 4.75dl sötpotatis
- 1½ to 2 cups milk / 3.5 – 4.75dl mjölk
- 3 cups flour / 7 dl vetemjöl
- 2 eggs / ägg
- 2 tablespoons baking powder / bakpulver
- butter / smör
- See notes about making the sweet potato casserole.
- Stir together the sweet potato casserole and eggs, then add the milk until well combined.
- Mix together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, then stir into the rest of the batter.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat adding a little butter to the pan.
- When butter is bubbling, add about ½ cup of batter, smoothing it out into a circular shape.
- Cook each side of the pancake for a couple minutes (be patient – these are thicker than regular pancakes and take longer to cook through!).
- Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding a bit of butter to the pan between each pancake.
- Serve with whipped cinnamon-brown sugar butter and candied walnuts (see notes) or your own toppings!