It is November and my favorite time of year; autumn. Cold crisp air, hats and mittens, golden foliage, hunting season. The satisfaction of going inside when you are chilled to the bone and cozying down with hot cocoa by a blazing fireplace. Baking cinnamon buns welcoming the heat the oven spreads. This fall I have to settle for enjoying this through instagram and Facebook of family and friends back home and I start missing things from home a little bit more. So this is a list of material things I can’t get here in Brazil and that I don’t want to be without.
1. Swedish Mayonnaise
Findus Äkta Majonnäs goes by “Sverige Majo” in our house. The kids coined it and always ask what mayo is used when I make sandwiches. I spread Sverige majo on one half and Hellman’s on the other in an attempt to make our precious finite supply of Swedish mayo last longer.
Hos long does a tube of mayo last? That is an important question. We go through about 1 tube/2 weeks. Sick but true.
We are a tea family. I grew up with nursery tea, black tea (milk first) for breakfast and 4 o’clock teatime as well as a cup of rooibos after dinner. Brazilians are not big on tea. Tea bags are sold in small packages of 10 teabags and are very expensive. So, of course, I loaded up on our favorite teas from our tea shop in Malmö last time we were home. I’ve realized, however, that Swedish climate is more suitable for tea. I don’t drink as much in Brazil because I don’t have the same need for a warming cup of tea. BUT occasionally I dive into my tea stash and enjoy.
3. Zip lock bags from IKEA
I love IKEAs zip lock bags and I make them last by washing and re-using. I haven’t been able to find good freezer bags or zip lock bags in Araraquara. The ones I have found are expensive and tear easily.
Oh how I miss good cheeses; Herrgård, Grevé, Präst mostly. The kind I just eat as is in slices or cubes.
Kids love it on anything that resembles bread or eggs. Peter can hardly eat a boiled egg without it whereas I like it thinly spread on a piece of buttered white toast. So, personally, I can survive without it.
6. Lingonsylt (lingonberry jam)
Can’t have Swedish meatballs without it. Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry is the dish most of us have chosen to represent Swedish cuisine to our Brazilian friends. It’s a hit!
7. Nose spray
The kind that shoots up into your brain. Not the drops or rinses we can get here.
8. Dip mixes
Taco Friday ain’t Taco Friday without taco spices from Sweden. Yes, we can make our own taco spice mix but it won’t give that special taste of GMOs and E-additives that take us back to childhood taco nights.
And good chips are NICE with a good dip. Not so good chips NEED a good dip. We realized quickly that packing bags of chips was out of the question (we were already maxed out on luggage) so we settled for the dip mix.
9. Swedish pick n’ mix candy and licorice
Salty or sweet. Doesn’t matter.
There are spices here but the range is small and the flavors not very potent. So I brought my own.
11. Vanilla bean
An actual vanilla bean is super expensive and I like using ground vanilla in a lot.
12. Snus – Swedish tobacco
Peter would never forgive me if I left snus out of the list. Obviously we can’t get it here and trust in our visiting friends to bring vital supplies.
So, friends…. when are you coming to visit??…..