Lockdown Culture Trip: Week 10



Our last visit together was in 2013 sans children. We were in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. Coffee, pastries, excellent recycling, “free to roam” laws, a strong passport, 480 paid parental days, gay relationships have been legal since 1944, and gingerbread – A small list of wonderful things in Sweden. Tonight we are enjoying the amazing smell and taste of “Pepparkakor.”


Today we had a Cuban black bean soup served with rice. After learning about the native Mount Iberia Frog (body is 1cm in length) the kids would like to adopt some. Somehow, I suspect that would be a no go with Australian customs considering baskets had to be tossed before moving here.


This morning we made a blueberry and apple bread pudding that I found on the Estonia governments tourism website. It was fairly easy to put together as I had some leftover sourdough and because I have children, I always have apples and frozen blueberries at home. It was very good although I am partial to a chocolate bread pudding myself.

I spent a day in Tallinn in 2014 on a day trip from Helsinki by myself. Stephen was in Finland for work and I was free to explore for a few days on my own. Tallinn is gorgeous. Full of character and right out of a storybook.



Today for lunch we made Chicken Machboos (Bahraini spiced chicken and rice). Don’t let the long list of spices put you off from making this fabulous dish. It is precisely those spices which make it so over the top wonderful. Rose water, turmeric, ginger, garlic and chilli, coriander and parsley, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, loomi (dried black limes) and Baharat spice blend (peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, paprika, and nutmeg).

We enjoyed learning that Bahrain is an island and the third smallest nation in Asia. We had no idea that Portugal had colonised it and that later Britain had control as did Iran on and off for many, many years. We were thinking of a holiday to Bahrain about a year ago and ended up travelling to the Seychelles instead. Looking forward to a day when we can travel again and hope to visit this unique little country,


We visited Greece over Easter 2016 and spent our time entirely on the island of Crete. We loved all of the blue (sky, ocean, paint), the rocky, mountainous terrain and the fabulous dry weather. It made for a nice, sunny holiday away from the gray of London.

Today we made Kourampiedes or Kourabiethes (Greek Christmas butter cookies) – ha, seems to be a theme here. I’m totally craving a festive season as it’s cold here in Melbourne as winter has just begun – in June! The kids loved these as they are very buttery and sweet with hints of liquorice (from ouzo), rose water and vanilla.



Today we celebrate the island nation of Jamaica. We made chocolate cookies with a salted caramel cream filling. Doesn’t sound very Caribbean, but what makes it so special is the spicy flavour. The cookies themselves are made with sweet potato and fresh ginger and the caramel sandwich filling which is flavoured with cinnamon and allspice. They were very tasty. For the food allergy sufferers in my house I made them gluten free by using a mix of buckwheat flour, rice flour and ground almonds. We also used a cashew caramel sauce and a vegan cream cheese for the filling.

Most of us in the house (4 out of 5 people) have not visited Jamaica. The littlest babe swooned when she saw pics of the beach in Lonely Planet’s “The Travel Book”. So it’s now on our “list” – along with everywhere else.


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