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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delving even further back...

Oh yeah, I also used to live in Sweden. I was on exchange there for a semester during my undergraduate degree, and lived in a 'Flogsta corridor' with 11 other students. I'll spare you the tales of cleaning rosters, people waking me consistently in the wee hours by rocking out to Tina Turner and Rod Stewart, and making the most of our rooftop sauna. Mine was not a typical Flogsta corridor, that usually only has a couple of foreign students, as we had three Italians (one who lived in the next corridor over but would visit a lot), one German, one Greek Cypriot, myself and 7 Swedes. We often ate together, and started this off by having a typical kräftskiva or Crayfish Party.

Svenska kräftor and some little prawns too

Tomas' super impressive balloon kräftor

A recurring event was the corridor pizza night, where we would all chip in a few kroner, someone would head down to the nearby ICA for supplies, and we would get covered in flour and dine on delicious homemade pizzas for dinner.

One of many, many corridor pizzas

One night we all felt like doing something, and many phonecalls were made to see what was going on in town and whether it was worth walking in to go to one of the student bars for some booze and dancing. Half of us were psyched up to go out, and half weren't, and in the end we all just decided to stay home and make waffles instead. As you do. There were a few of us, so we thought we'd better triple the usual waffle mix quantities. We uhh, might've overdone it a little.

Mixing up way too much waffle batter

The remnants, after many a waffle was consumed with cream, ice cream and jam. And possibly champagne.

The leftover mix after everyone was completely stuffed. We were eating waffles for days.

One of our Corridor Dinners had a theme - Homeland Food. Oh it was a delicious theme. I was torn about what to make, and although I toyed with making meat pies, vanilla sliceeventually decided on making sushi as I figured I was representing the entire Asian/Oceanic region.

Organising the deliciousness

Everyone getting stuck into Round One of the Homeland Dinner

Someone's first round of homeland chow

What a sight! This is a smörgåstårta which is essentially a Swedish sandwich cake, made with bread and various fillings and layers.

We also held a Corridor Christmas dinner so that we could all celebrate together before we all headed off to spend Christmas elsewhere (the UK for me). This dinner involved the imbibing of much glögg, which I miss in Australia. There's a lot to be said for mulled wine in cold weather, especially when it is served with raisins and almonds. In glasses with little red hearts on them.

Serving delicious warming glögg to all and sundry

Christmas dinner, corridor style, complete with red wine and Julmust

Christmas dessert - my choc berry meringue, lussebulle and tiramisu

More lussebulle....mmmmmmmm I can smell the saffron from here (please ignore the dirty sink)

Christmas markets in Sweden are worth braving any dreary weather to check out. Chances are you might have some angels, sockervadd or hot hot nuts to see you through the cold. Hot hot nuts.

Making some cash before hitting the club?

Father Christmas keeping himself busy before the big day, selling sockervadd (fairy floss/cotton candy)

Hot nuts! Hot nuts! Get your hot nuts here!

During my semester in Sweden I was lucky enough to be invited to a soiree at the Australian Ambassador's residence in Stockholm. We felt right at home, with a selection of (Swedish) beers, Vegemite sandwiches, sausage rolls, party pies, ANZAC biccies and lamingtons. I was surprised to learn that one of his daughters is a barmaid at one of the Australiana bars in the city, which I never got around to visiting. No great loss, I'm sure.

Classy Aussie fare at the Australian Ambassador's residence in Stockholm

While living in Sweden I had the opportunity to head over to St Petersburg for a few days on an organised tour with other students. I didn't take many food photos there, probably because I didn't really want to remember the food. I did however take a photo of the boot of the car of a man who pulled up when our bus stopped for petrol, kindly offering to sell us any manner of drinks to sustain us for the remainder of the bus trip to our hotel.

A typical Russian boot?

One of our nights there was spent on a river cruise down the Neva River, including singing and dancing and drinking and... not much eating. Sadly the only food we were given to line our stomachs against the vast amounts of champanski and vodka was a little plate of white bread and caviar, and a little bowl of fruit.

Dinner on a river cruise down the Neva River, St Petersburg

I also spent a few weeks in Italy with my newfound Italian friends on my way home to Australia, and was absolutely spoilt by their mothers' cooking. Every meal was a feast, but of course you'll just have to take my word for it. I did however manage to take a few window shopping photos. Anyone for pasta fresca?

No? Hmmm, well how about a chocolate spanner, or mobile phone?

I can't for the life of me remember where the next two photos were taken - somewhere on the Italian coast during a day of much driving and sightseeing. I do however remember how tasty the farinata was.

Hard at work making farinata

Slicing up the farinata ready to be taken to a table of hungry girls

Now I think I really have exhausted the depths of my foodie photos, and really that's probably for the best as I don't want this to turn into one of those slide show nights where everyone is looking at their watches and thinking of ways to make good their escape.

Hej då, до свидания and arrivederci!


penny aka jeroxie October 19, 2009 at 4:28 AM  

That swedish sandwich looks HUGE! So much to be living in another country and cooking, eating and having so much fun.

Anita October 19, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

So much waffle batter! I gasped a little when I saw it, imagining waffle batter going everywhere :P . Looks like you had a fantastic time in Sweden, and that you've always been interested in good food.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge October 19, 2009 at 7:11 AM  

what a diverse and interesting array of food delights! Sounds like your time abroad was fulfilling....I especially love the corridor parties, they sound like a hoot!

Anonymous October 19, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

What a delicious trip down memory lane! The smörgåstårta looks very impressive! Definitely fare for hungry students. BTW - You can purchase glogg at any IKEA during the holiday season. I developed a taste for it a few years ago.

Belle@Ooh, Look October 19, 2009 at 7:47 AM  

So you have a Swedish connection - do you feel at home in Ikea, hehe? A corridor party sounds fun, brings back memories of student days.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 19, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

LOL at the classy Aussie fare and the typical Russian boot!

All I can say is that it's good that most of my photos are not digital otherwise I would be weeks writing posts about memory lane!!

Lovely post - great pics and writing (as usual!)

Trissa October 19, 2009 at 6:32 PM  

I really enjoyed the last two posts - I am similar -I love to take pictures of the food I eat when travelling...- I do love the corridor party idea - maybe I should host a floor crawl at my office too!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz October 19, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

A great way to travel, wow...thanks. Oh I went one year in Montreal to the Swedish Crayfish party...man does not take a lot of Aquavit to get plastered!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 19, 2009 at 11:09 PM  

penny aka jeroxie - it was huge!!! Enough to keep you energised through a cold Swedish night :D

Anita - I know, thank god we didn't decide to quadruple the mixture!

Maria - they certainly were a hoot... I also have some video files from them but I'm not going to share!! :D

Bromography - oh yes, perfect for hungry, freezing students :) Yes I've seen it at IKEA but you can only get the nonalcoholic version at our IKEA stores anyway, and it's not quite the same! Still, I guess you could add it to red wine?

Belle - I do actually! It's funny, I went back to visit my friends in Sweden in January and went with them to IKEA as they needed to buy some stuff, and now I can't go into IKEA without remembering us somehow crammed into this tiny little hatchback, with knees up around our ears and flatpack boxes poking out the window!

Mardi - oh yeah, classy to the max! At least they weren't serving us Fosters :D Thank you!

Trissa - thanks!! It's great how things can be so exciting to a traveller when they're totally mundane and boring to a local. I miss the corridor parties, but I can't say I miss cleaning up after them.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz - you're welcome my dear! Oh yeah tell me about it.. combine it with all their drinking games and songs and next thing you know you're outside some student bar buying god knows what from the hotdog man ;)

Megan D October 19, 2009 at 11:27 PM  

Ikea Glogg with a dash (or two!) of something stronger in is most tasty. We still have a few bottles left from last Xmas hehe.

Iron Chef Shellie October 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

Woah! That's awesome you spent some time abroad.

That Swedish sandwich cake looks like something from thisiswhyyourefat.com :P

Ahhh... I wish I could go on an overseas adventure now... well i'm going to Tassie next weekend, and that's over some sea :P

Betty October 21, 2009 at 8:07 AM  

oh wow that cake looks amazing im gonna google more abt it hehe

Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 21, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

Megan D - served with little umbrellas??? ;) As much as as I love glögg, I guess a chilled sparkling shiraz is more suitable in our climate over Christmas. Served poolside.

Iron Chef Shellie - yes I'm very lucky (and happily I have finished paying off the student loan that got me to Sweden)! Oh I love thisiswhyyourefat, even if it makes my teeth and arteries ache, and robs me of self-respect when I find something looks tempting. Have fun in Tassie! Don't freeze!

Betty - It blew me away. I look forward to seeing your version on your blog ;)

Rilsta October 22, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

I wish I had gotten the opportunity to travel more, either by studying or working overseas. Now it's too late - I am chained down by a mortgage!

The picture of the angels is so funny! I thought all people did in Sweden was go to IKEA. Haha, just kidding! :P That was pretty offensive, much like how that dumb actress thought there would be kangaroos waiting to greet her at Sydney airport!!!!

P.S. Sorry for all the long comments - just getting a chance to read through your posts now!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 22, 2009 at 10:42 PM  

Rilsta - Thanks for making me feel better about being property-less and paying good money onto my landlord's mortgage ;) Nah Swedish people also spend time singing ABBA songs and eating herring, hehe. Now, where's my pet koala gone?
Also, please don't apologise, I love your comments!

Agnes November 3, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

Hehee, I loved reading this post! But you never told us whether you bought anything from the Russian man's boot??

Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 4, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

Thanks Agnes! By that stage, the only thing I was interested in buying was a new back, or possibly an entire new body. Sitting in a cramped bus from Turku to St Petersburg was not much fun. I guess I could have dulled the pain with the contents of a few of those bottles though :D

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