I love this holiday. I love the warmth of home, the rich smells and gathering of friends and family all together for an evening of table conversation and after dinner fun. Things have changed in the last few years as my family has spread out and started their own traditions. For me this means I spend the day of thanks with my soon-to-be-in-laws. The food and company are always wonderful, and I’m glad to have somewhere to spend the holiday…. but I still miss the days of my family home, chock-full of people squeezed into our small victorian dining room.
As I’m getting older and making my own, new family home, I’ve begun dreaming of the day that I can try my own hand at the family Turkey Tradition. Here’s a little taste of what the day might be like when I’m the host some day. Anyone hungry!?!
Ever heard of a SwedishCrayfish party? I hadn’t either until I started dating Brian a few years ago and began hanging out around his Swedish childhood friend Conrad. From what I understand this kind of party is about eating lots of bottom crawlers and making toasts, calling out “SKOAL!” before each one. I kid, I kid, well sort of… there are also lots of songs that end with “SKOAL!” and a shot.
Now, I’ll admit that while I did get a bit tipsy I mostly sipped my shot with each skoal, and I didn’t actually try a crawfish… but it was still an awesome party with a great backyard party atmosphere. Conrad got married last summer and I think the new wifey might have had something to do with the pin-worthy decor ;-).
I’ll let trusty old Wikipedia tell you a little more about it:
“A crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in the Nordic countries. The tradition originated in Sweden, where a crayfish party is called a kräftskiva. The tradition has also spread to Finland via the Swedish-speaking population of that country.
Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. Today, the “kräftpremiär” date in early August has no legal significance. Dining is traditionally outdoors, but in practice the party is often driven indoors by bad weather or aggressive mosquitoes. Customary party accessories are comical paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns (often depicting the Man in the Moon), and bibs. A rowdy atmosphere prevails amid noisy eating and traditional drinking songs (snapsvisa). The alcohol consumption is often high, especially when compared to the amount of food actually eaten (crayfish shelling is tedious work).
It is culturally correct to suck the juice out of the crayfish before shelling it.” – Wikipedia
I think I know who really enjoyed the party though…