Sometimes it’s hard not to be ‘home’ and I’m feeling it particularly this year, since it will be one of the first times I’m not making it to the UK for Christmas. I do feel lucky that I will manage to see friends and family at other times of the year (when it’s cheaper to travel!) so it’s really the little things that made Christmas special at home that I’m missing in Sweden: Christmas crackers, advent calendars and mince pies.
I was bemoaning my lot to a friend who lives in the States and is also pining for a few British treats and she mentioned that she used British Corner Shop regularly for things she missed.
I talked about the British Corner Shop with some other people here and not only had they great things to say about them, they also told me that their shipping rate to Sweden had just been decreased from £20 to £11.99, a flat rate for between 25-30 kg. I could fit a lot of mince pies in that space. Also selection boxes, stuffing, tree decorations, gravy, spices for mulled wine, tea, biscuits and a hundred other things that are totally yummy and I cannot get here easily. Woohoo!
Anyway, whenever I find something I love, I think of Your Living City. Maybe there were lots of people missing things from home, like me – they had an International section too, where they were selling Libby’s canned pumpkin, maple syrup, Bewley’s tea, Maggi chilli sauce and Twiglets among other items. I contacted them and asked if I could get a deal for us. They came up with the goods, so I’m impressed already.
TYPE IN YOURLIVINGCITYBCS12 for 10% off all purchases between 19th November to 16th December. Please click on the banner below or on the site – Your Living City is a community site and by clicking through us, you will be supporting the cost to run it.
After all this talk of food, I’m off to place my order – it’s going to be a very merry Christmas at my flat this year. And it should be fine for January too – I’ve checked and they have Weight Watcher’s chocolate mini rolls too!
Here’s my must have Christmas list:
Crackers. I was always in charge of choosing the Christmas crackers at home and I would buy them religiously on the 9th December (my birthday) and hang them on the tree. That gave me 16 days to eye them up lasciviously and wonder what treats were in them. I would even put off using them until the late evening on Christmas Day as they were even better than the presents for me. I think it was the excitement of not knowing who was going to get the gift or what it was, coupled with that satisfying *BANG*when you pulled them. Crackers aren’t really a Swedish tradition, so they are difficult to find here.
Advent calendars were another treat, a literally sweet way to count down the time till the big day. In a previous life, I worked for Mars confectionery on their seasonal selection, which meant that we weren’t allowed to have any other type of chocolate in the house, much to the chagrin of my housemates. I am free from that self-imposed loyalty now and can revert to my favourite Cadburys Dairy Milk. Cadburys isn’t all that readily available here either though, in advent calendar form or otherwise.
I thought I could do without mince pies; I’ve never really liked them. But it’s an odd thing about being away from home; you even miss the things you disliked. I have attended countless mince pie and mulled wine parties in England and grumbled about them, but it would be nice to sink my teeth into some short pastry and get that rich, sweet, nothing-quite-like-it flavour. Some brandy butter wouldn’t go amiss either; I’ve always liked that! I do like baking but am a bit scared of making mince pies for some reason – I think it’s because every part of it takes time and care. Anyway, part of the fun was comparing the different ones. Not sure where Swedes stand on mince pies, but I’ve not seen them at ICA.