17 December 2009

Pause

As you may have noticed I haven't posted for a while here. And I'm sorry about it. I had a lot more ideas about Christmas food both in Sweden and in France. But I simply don't find the time right now. There's quite a lot happening in my life: happy, sad, annoying, exciting...

So I will try to stop having bad conscious about not posting here. Now you know why there's nothing new. But I will be back soon. Probably after Christmas but maybe even before that.


But if now, I will you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

09 December 2009

Advent: Julöl



For those who haven't followed since the beginning of December, I am writing my own kind of Advent calendar by trying to tell about Advent & Christmas traditions in Sweden and in France. You can scroll down to see the previous posts.




For those who have been following you will know already that Jul means Christmas. And öl means beer. Christmas beer then. Indeed, Sweden as well as Denmark or even France are brewing special beers for Christmas. I haven't tried many, just he Tuborg I think but I remember it was more bitter than a normal beer.




I am not a big beer drinker and I don't know if that is because of that or if that is because I don't like julöl but I don't really see the point of a drinking a different beer at this time of the year.

Anyone liking julöl or Christmas beer or bière de Noël that could explain, please?

06 December 2009

Advent: St Nicolas

Today is St Nicolas' day. This day is not much celebrated in Sweden but in many countries in Europe: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, UK, some Eastern Europe countries and in the northern parts of France. And especially in the Lorraine region because St Nicolas is the Patron Saint for Lorraine.

My name as you know is Lorraine and I was named so by my parents as an homage to my grand-father because our family (on my dad's side) comes from Nancy in Lorraine. As a result, although I grew up in the South of France, we celebrated St Nicolas when we were kids.

Celebrations can be slightly different from one country to another but in Lorraine St Nicolas is coming with his donkey to distribute sweets and oranges to kids that behaved well during the year. Some families even give presents as a complement or instead of Christmas.


At home we didn't do much and didn't get any presents but we got a special gingerbread shaped as St Nicolas as on the picture. Oh I loved it! I remember how happy I got every year. Those gingerbreads have a taste that is very representative of northern France and even northern Europe I would say. It can be compared to some tastes I have encountered here in Sweden. But it was very different from all the food we have in the South of France. It really was something different, something that made me travel far away to a region I had never been to. I loved it!

05 December 2009

Advent: Chocolate

As you will be able to read here this month, Christmas in Sweden is not only about giving presents but a lot about food. And there is a lot of food that is special to the Christmas time (ham, bear, bread, cookies...).

Swedes are very proud of their traditions and are keeping them year after year and I love that. Unfortunately in France, we are loosing these traditions and it seems now, nothing is happening during the whole month and people are waking up on the 23rd and are forced to go and buy all the presents at once and because everyone is doing the same, it results in a nightmare with overcrowded shops. When it comes to the food, turkey is a traditional meal for Christmas in France but not everyone is cooking it. Some families are just buying "expensive" food, things you may not be able to afford during the year: smoked salmon, foie gras, oysters, lobster, etc...



But Chocolate is equally important in Sweden and in France I think. In both countries you have several kinds of boxes but with some favourites.


In Sweden, people's favourite chocolates are without a doubt, Aladdin. It was created in 1939 and is now so popular that it sells a box per household during the Christmas time. That's around 6 millions boxes for 9.3 millions inhabitants. It is distributed by Marabou/Kraft foods.





This year they have a campaign called "Rädda julen", Save Christmas. They are planning to introduce a new pralin next year and therefore they have to take away one existing, one in = one out. And instead of chosing themselves, they ask the Swedish people to go and vote for the ones they want to keep. And of course, they are doing it right now, a way to advertise both for this year and for next year. Smart!



In France we also have many sorts of chocolate boxes such as the escargots de Lanvin, belgian chocolates (shaped as sea food) and more but my favourites are the Pyrénéens by Lindt. I admit it's a bit chauvinistic as it comes from my region and the factory is only a couple of kms from where I grew up (was about to write from where I live).

03 December 2009

Advent: Julskinka

If you read yesterday's post, you know Jul means Christmas. Skinka means ham. Julskinka is a special kind of ham cooked with mustard.


Julskinka is considered a must for Christmas Eve (the most important day) and lies on the tables both on this day and the days before. Every year, 7000 tons of julskinka are sold.
Source: Wikipedia.

This year, the situation might be a bit different and some people may want to break the traditions though. A couple of days ago, a big scandal happened here with consequences still today. Many farms with pigs have been accused of bad treatment on the animals: too little hay on the floor, not enough space and the most disgusting: leaving dead pigs to be eaten by the others. Usch! Consequence: people want to buy ecological julskinka this year.

02 December 2009

Advent: Julmust

Is there anything more Swedish that julmust? I am not sure. Jul means Christmas and Must is a soda. Julmust is the Christmas version of it (for Easter they have Påskmust). It belongs to the Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola family. Personally I hate it. My syster loves it.

And the Swedes? Ah they love it! Yesterday my friend Andreas saif we should get married because he had always dreamt of someone who would let him drink all the julmust.

Coca-Cola started to produce their own at the beginning of the 00's but it didn't really work. There's several brand, mostly small local brands but if you listen to people in Göteborg, there's only one brand: Apotekarnes. Right Andreas? ;-)

If you want to read more about it: Wikipedia of course!

01 December 2009

Advent Calendar

Today is the first day for advent calendar. And there's all kind of of these calendars. Both for kids and for adults, eatable ones or on the Internet...


The most traditional ones are the chocolate or sweets ones. I used to buy some of these a couple of years ago but then I had to eat the last 5 or 6 at once before I was flying to France so it was kind of cheating. Then the chocolate is usually not the best. And I am not perfect enough to make my own one...

This kind is supposed to be for the kids too but I suspect many adults to watch it too as it is apparently a tradition. This year the theme is as you can see "Superheroes".

Then you have new forms for advent calendars. On the Internet, mainly on blogs. And lots of Swedes are apparently fond of them. You have the ones with charades, the ones with pictures, the ones with Xmas recipes, and probably many more forms.

EDIT: Just found another one. About decoration & design with different prizes to win every day.
Source: www.trendenser.se

30 November 2009

Christmas is coming!

Tomorrow is the 1st of December and some of you will start opening those little windows to eat the small chocolate and have a countdown until Christmas.

I am also starting counting the days, not only until Christmas but until the 18th when I fly back to France for 10 days. For this countdown I was thinking about writing everyday about Christmas traditions mostly here in Sweden and a bit from France maybe.


26 November 2009

Food & Flags II


Here are the results of the game I posted last week here. Above is the poster for the food festival and as you can see there are a couple of new countries but nothing too hard.

1/ France, number 1 of course. Chauvinistic me? Nah... ;-)
2/ Korea
3/ Vietnam
4/ China
5/ Japan
6/ India
7/ Italy
8/ Lebanon
9/ Monaco (although I find it strange... or am I wrong?)
10/ Australia
11/ Brasil
12/ Greece
13/ Switzerland
14/ Spain
15/ Korea again.

How many rights did you have?

23 November 2009

Le perfect job?

Mes amis me connaissent bien, ils savent que j'aime bien faire du shopping. Matthieu a même trouvé le job idéal pour moi: International Shopping Consultant.

C'est un job dont la mission est de:

- Accomplir des missions shopping, dans chaque ville du parcours: Berlin, Milan, Paris, Londres, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong.​ Parmi les missions assignées : trouver et visiter les meilleurs quartiers shopping de la ville, trouver des produits qu’on ne trouve nulle part ailleurs, trouver des produits moins chers que dans les autres pays, faire découvrir les nouvelles tendances sur les produits de mode, les appareils électroniques, le matériel photo et vidéo, les gadgets….

- Partager son expérience sur un blog : l’International Shopping Consultant de LetsBuyIt.​com disposera d’un appareil photo et d’une caméra qui lui permettront de faire vivre son tour du monde aux internautes sur un blog dédié, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et Flickr.​

C'est pas une blague, si vous voulez vous aussi postuler et tenter votre chance: http://offre-emploi.monster.fr/GetJob.aspx?JobID=84337717

22 November 2009

The wedding planner

Har ni sett filmen "27 dresses"? Det har jag inte och jag är inte säker heller att den är bra. Men när jag såg trailern, jag kände igen mig med tjejen. Basically, hon är alltid brudtärna till alla sina vänner som gifter sig den ena efter den andra men hennes tur kommer aldrig. Därirfrån kommer de 27 klänningar...

Jag har inte 27 klänningar, har aldrig varit bridesmaid men jag har ändå varit bjuden på ett flertal bröllop. Det började i juli 2004 i Provence med 40 eller 45 grader och min kusin som gifte om sig men en underbar italiensk tjej, Silvia. Sen dess har det bara fortsatt och varje år är jag bjuden till 2, 3 eller 4 bröllop. Och jag åker till de flesta eftersom det är nära vänner eller min bror eller nån kusin. Alltid lika roligt. Alltid singel men det är en annan femma...

Och jag är en tjej, en riktig tjej. Därför kan jag inte låta bli att kolla på alla detaljer och tänka "det här gillar jag", "det här vill jag också göra på mitt bröllop", "usch nej, det där var full", osv osv. Jag kan allt om klänningar, buketter, hemmagjorda inbjudningar, menyer, teman till borden... Därför började tänka för ungefär 2-3 år sen, när jag pratade men min god vän Maria Elena om att starta ett eget företag, att jag skulle kunna göra nånting i bröllop-industrin. Men jag visste inte exakt vad. Och sen var jag inte riktigt redo att hoppa än.

För lite mer än ett år sen, introducerade Maria Elena mig för Maite som nu är också en väldigt nära vän. I år har Maite startat ett bolag som heter Bröllopia och som uppenbarligen har att göra med bröllop. Inte alls vad jag hade tänkt mig men väldigt smart tycker jag.

Bröllopia är en sökmotor om bröllop. The google of just bröllop kan man säga. Man kan leta efter kategori (blommor, catering, fotograf, osv) eller efter stad. Sen kan folk lämna omdöme om de olika företag vilket kan hjälpa dig om du inte har nån koll. Som jag, hahaha! ;)
Sajten är väldigt enkel att använda, man använder sig om sin facebook-profil så att man slipper registrera en femtielfte konto. Sen kan man spara sina favoriter. På det sättet har man en "one-stop shop", man samlar allt info på sitt bröllopia-konto och det kan vara smidigt eftersom det finns tydligen en heeeel del att göra. Fråga alla par som håller på och förbereder sitt bröllop, alla kommer att berätta samma sak: så mycket att göra, det tar så mycket tid, bla bla bla. Well, nu kan bröllopia hjälpa dem!

Nu är jag fortfarande låååångt ifrån dagen då jag gifter mig, sen vet jag inte om jag kommer att gifta mig i Sverige men om jag nånsin gör det, då ska jag säkert behöva bröllopia. Check it out folks!


19 November 2009

Xmas

Which type are you when it comes to buying Xmas presents? Starting in August and done by October or buying everything on the 23rd or December?

I'm somewhere in between, buying most of it at the end of November and usually I am done around the 15-20th of December. One reason for that is that I am usually flying to France around the 20th of December and I like to have all my presents then. So that when I come home I don't have to stress and I can just relax and enjoy being with my family and my friends (and eat good French food of course. :p).


So far I haven't bought much online, Xmas presents I mean. I remember one of my friend who was living in England ordered almost only books from the Internet, books for everyone, had everything shipped to his parents' place and just had to come home, enjoy and share the gifts.

Although I spend a lot (too much) time on the Internet, I don't buy much, mostly travels and cinema tickets. I'm not such a big fan, I want to see the product, feel the material, make sure it doesn't look of feel cheap... But I think I will buy a few presents online this year. And maybe some on this web site: http://www.keepcalmgallery.com/. I really like some of their stuff. Both images in this post are from their website.


The only question is: who gets what?

16 November 2009

What was I thinking?

Another contest. This week you have to guess what I was thinking when I made this face?

This photo was taken this summer by my good friend Virginie (and posted on her blog) when she payed me a 2-weeks visit this august. The other paparazzi, the one on the right also posted about the good time we had (here and here). Both blogs are in French though but a picture says more than a thousand words no? Especially if the words are in the wrong language. So go and check the pictures at least if you're too lazy to check Google Translate.

15 November 2009

Gunnebo

Vendredi midi, je suis allée déjeuner avec mes deux collègues préférés, Gunilla et Daniel au chateau de Gunnebo. C'était la deuxième fois que j'y allais mais les conditions climatiques étaient diamétralement opposées par rapport à la première fois. En effet, la première fois était un 14 juillet et je m'y étais rendue avec ma mère pour participer aux "célebrations" du XIV juillet organisées par le consulat. A savoir, un cocktail avec champagne et marseillaise pour tous les francais de la région. Il faisait tres beau et chaud ce jour-là.


Je ne peux pas en dire autant de vendredi où le froid était mordant, qui m'a fait regretter mon choix de ballerines + mi-bas du matin même. Des moonboots, quoique immondissimes et digne d'avertissement par la police du bon gout, auraient été plus appropriés.


Mais cela valait le coup, compte tenu du repas qui nous attendait. Le cadre est superbe, une vieille maison, déco à l'ancienne, murs en bois peints dans les gris bleu, cuisine délicieuse, thé maison, pain bio maison à tomber à la renverse. Pain que nous avons pu acheter pour ramener chez nous notre découverte du jour (voire de l'année en terme de pain). Daniel a pris un pain au Lingon (airelles) et Gunilla et moi, un pain aux noisettes entières et raisins. Du pain bon comme en France. Ce qui n'est pas courant ici malheureusement. La boutique attenante au restaurant était... ah! Comme d'une autre époque, on y aurait bien passé des heures s'il n'avait pas fallu retourner au bureau...


Pendant le déjeuner, nous avons regardé par la fenêtre pour constater que des petites choses blanches tombaient du ciel. La veille au soir, j'avais rigolé quand Alexandra m'avait demandé au téléphone depuis Paris si nous avions de la neige. "Mais non pas si tôt! On n'est que mi-novembre!" Et bien voila, même si vendredi n'était que mi-novembre, il neigeait! Ah c'était super!!!


Malheureusement, temps typique de Göteborg, les flocons se sont trop rapidement transformés en pluie pour avoir quelques heures plus tard un temps typique de novembre, gris, pluie, froid et ennuyeux.

Nous avons tellement été emballés que nous avons décidé d'y retourner dès jeudi. Le jeudi en Suède, il y a une tradition qui est de manger de la soupe de pois et des pancakes. C'est une tradition qui date depuis plusieurs décennies et les gens ne s'en lassent pas. Certaines personnes pourraient manger ca tous les jeudis depuis l'enfance jusqu'a l'age adulte. Variation? Mmmh, je ne vois pas ce que vous voulez dire.

13 November 2009

Tout est relatif

Je n'ai pas vraiment envie de polémiquer sur la grippe porcine, suffisamment s'en sont chargés avant moi. Je voulais juste poster ce graphique que j'ai vu sur un blog hier et qui je trouve est intéressant car il remet les choses en perspective.

Voilà, sans commentaires. Tournons la page.


I don't really feel like discussing the swine flu, enough people have done it before me. But I just wanted to publish this graphics that I saw on a blog yesterday. I like the fact that it puts things into perspective.

There you go. No further comments. Next.

12 November 2009

Stimulation

video

This is so cute!

Listen to the father in the background, he's trying not to laugh at his kids but it's unmistakable that he finds it hilarious. I remember when my nephew was 1 year old, he couldn't walk yet but we liked to stand holding on a low table just like in the movie. And when we put some music on, he loved it and was always "dancing" or rather "shaking".

I should suggest this to my friends (5 of them got babies this year, 3 more in January/February). Audrey, do you think Albane would like Beyoncé?

11 November 2009

Food & Flags

A little game today. To start the week. I found these posters a while ago but never took the time to post them.

Can you identify each country?

COUNTRY 1 COUNTRY 2 COUNTRY 3 COUNTRY 4 COUNTRY 5 COUNTRY 6 COUNTRY 7 COUNTRY 8 COUNTRY 9 COUNTRY 10 COUNTRY 11 COUNTRY 12
Tips: look at the actual food, it comes from the country it is supposed to represent. It can help you in some cases.

This advertising campaign was realised in Australia for a food festival and I think it very well made. It engages the reader and make you want to know more about it. If I lived in Australia, I would have liked to go to the fair. For the food but also for the fast that it can make you travel in a way. Food and travel. Two of my favourite interests.

Source: http://www.ibelieveinadv.com/2009/09/sydney-international-food-festival-flags/

05 November 2009

Oh no!

My little sister got a bit scared of the guillotine as you can see. Fortunately no heads were cut that night...

01 November 2009

A night in prison

I spent a night in prison last week-end. Don't worry, I was not arrested. I chose to go there myself.

The prison of Långholmen

In Stockholm, they have transformed an old prison into a youth hostel and that's where I stayed for a night with my sister when we took a quick trip to the capital for a concert (Muse. Amazing. No words. Ah!).


The rooms are old cells so it's a bit narrow but the whole building is fun. The mirror in the room was a guillotine for instance and at the reception, they sell black&white striped T-shirt. There are a lot of details like that everywhere.

We were staying as you can see in the cell 303. Luckily the breakfast was not just water and dry bread. Instead we ate a super breakfast deluxe with mini-croissants, good bread and müsli. Mmmmh love breakfasts in Swedish hotels and hostels!




Great fun experience that complete my list of stays at peculiar youth hostel: a boat, an old train wagon, an olympic stadium... What's next?

Our room seen from above with the guillotine mirror

29 October 2009

Already?

Yesterday I saw some of these at the supermarket:


And I bought a bottle of this (for my sister, I don't like it):


What are this stuff you wonder? Some Swedish weird things. Swedish, yes. Weird, no. Very common even at this time of the year. Well, not exactly. It's actually a bit early. 'cause it's typical Christmas food. I loooove all the Christmas food here in Sweden, the pepparkakor, the julskinka, the glögg and the lussekatter, ah! The lussekatter! These are small saffron buns. If you go back to this post two years ago, you can see that I both buy them and bake them.

But as much as I love all this. It just feels like it's too early. These last weeks, we've had typical autumn weathers. Yes plural because there were two categories. Either grey, rain and wind. Or Blue sky, green grass and yellow leaves. Oh that was beautiful! It came very sudently and within just a few days all the leaves are now on the ground. It went so fast! Anyway, it's still autumn and it getting colder but not thaaaaat cold. It's not winter yet, it's not Christmas yet. It's October, not November yet (well almost ok).

The risk is, if you start eating this food too early. If you start buying all the Christmas decorations. If you start buying your Christmas gifts too early. The risk is that you will get bored when Christmas actually comes. But I discovered lussekatter only 4 years ago and I have many years of lussekatte-eating to catch up! I might wait a couple of days/week tough. Let's see how long I resist.

What about you, any special Christmas food you're looking forward to?

21 October 2009

Under construction

Once again I changed the layout of my blog. I wanted to have something more personal although I like the white/pink one. It's not finished yet but it already took way too much of my work time this morning so that will do for now and I will play more with it later. Would like to get the pink back until the end of the month at least...

Like it?

19 October 2009

Marstrand

On Saturday I spent the day in Marstrand, north of Göteborg on the Bohuslän coast with my sister and my father who came and visit ut for the week-end. Marstrand is a city that is partly on the mainland and partly on an island and you take a ferry that takes barely more than a minute to cross the channel. There are some great houses on the inhabited half and beautiful nature and sea sights on the other half.

Check by yourself.





16 October 2009

La famiglia

A little bit of self-promotion this Friday. This is the homepage of the Crystal company Daum. It was started by my grand-grand-grand father or something like that. I'm generation number 6 at least. It's no longer in our family but still has our name and I am really proud of it.

Go check it out! http://www.daum.fr