Here I am celebrating Thanksgiving in Iceland. I am having emotional breakdowns every five minutes because I love this place so much (even if the people leave a little something to be desired). I am pleased to report that the weather here is better than it was in Sweden and Norway and definitely better than my family in Seattle is currently experiencing. It is +3C here with clear skies, bright sun and stunning views of Mt Esja. This makes me unspeakably happy.
Unfortunately I find that my Icelandic skills are slowly being supplanted by Swedish/Norwegian, so that simple things elude me. I want to say “ja” instead of “já” and keep misplacing the correct Icelandic numbers (fjórir, fjórar or fjögur should be ‘four’, not ‘fyra’ but in those crucial moments when I need to blurt out the right version of ‘four’ in Icelandic, I cannot think of any of them and say ‘fyra’ instead).
While the concept of customer service is forever lost on Iceland’s inhabitants, I marvel at and revel in the fact that in this tiny, compact city, you can pretty do and get anything you need at any hour of the night or day. It is so easy to go from one place to another and very simply get what you need. If at 3 a.m. I suddenly find that I need to start a new hobby, such as knitting, I can go out to the store and get yarn and knitting books. If you know me at all, you know that my unusual sleep habits make this kind of flexibility very handy. (Of course, if you know me, you also know that despite my grandma-like demeanor, behavior and lifestyle, I am never going to take up knitting.)
Meanwhile, though I am on vacation and on hiatus from work baking, I have baked a lot here so far. Since yesterday I baked five lemon cakes (a universal favorite) and am today baking all the Thanksgiving goods (today is technically Thanksgiving, but I am celebrating on Saturday since it is not a holiday here and I need for people to be able to actually come over for more than an hour or two). Homemade rolls, pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, a variety of pumpkin breads as take-home gifts for guests, and maybe some pumpkin fudge if there is time.
Tomorrow I will make most of the foods that can be made ahead of time and should be in good shape for the last bits of cooking and prep on Saturday morning.
I don’t want to go ‘home’ to a land where I am surrounded by people who do a lot of talking and not a lot of doing and really are only good for disappointment.