Looking back on 2011

I’ve joined the Apple family. I, who don’t have a TV and who haven’t downloaded music in six years is writing this on my iPad. My iPad, not the one I usually steal from the Italian. I feel down with technology.

So as I’m in a state of tech- euphoria I thought I’d also immerse myself in some nostalgia. Everyone seems to be writing their 2011 end of year chronicles, which made me think about my own experiences this past year.

This was the year of travel, the year of gluttony and also the year of love. My oldest and dearest friend K had a baby (Tiny M), I started a new job, friends got engaged and broke up, and my local hockey team became national champions. These things matter.

I travelled to Italy and France in January and tasted the forbidden fruit of Courmayeur: steak with a slice of foie gras. I heard the word Super-Tuscan for the first time but certainly not the last. In Grenoble I proclaimed my undying love for saucisson sec after eating it on an alpine top way above the clouds on my birthday.

Come spring I discovered Vietnamese cuisine via a review I did for The Arbuturian. I was also given the chance to go wild food foraging in Cornwall, something I wrote about on Times Online. Before summer struck London I was swept away to Madrid with the pretence of seeing Barcelona vs Real Madrid, but I had only eyes for the jamon Iberico. It was here I acquired my beloved nickname, Polpetta (Italian for meatball).

Come to think of it I even made it to Sweden for Easter, where I had wonderful days with my family. An old high school friend revealed that she was pregnant, and it felt like the whole world was getting knocked up.

My belly didn’t grow fortunately, but it should’ve had considering all the restaurants I visited. Two most memorable meals were at Tinello eating baked aubergine (melanzane parmigiana) and at Yashin trying parrot fish.

As I started my new job I quickly realised that lunch would be a miserable affair. Apart from a fantastic sushi place, Victoria is somewhat of a food waste land. Luckily, I went to Puglia and had so much raw seafood it’s a wonder I didn’t turn into a sea urchin. I learnt the Barese word ‘canarut’, which is the most valuable word of 2011. It means gluttonous.

Back to Sweden again and it was all about fika. V and her boyfriend showed me their sugarcraft skills and grandpa and I indulged in homemade ice cream in Nora. Leaving K- town once again, I felt like I had left my heart behind.

Until my mother came to visit me in London I had time to prolong the summer twice in Ibiza. Beach food suddenly became the best thing ever after lunch at Yemanja and deep house wasn’t so bad at all.

The summer ended and I welcomed KJ to the Big Smoke and fulfilled his wet dream, eating a curry. They don’t have too many Indian restaurants in north Sweden, you see. My mother came too and we enjoyed Kew Gardens, the hot October weather and tapas in South Kensington.

My last holiday before Christmas went to Sicily and there the Italian and I joined the Italian’s friend for wine tastings and general pasta eating. One of the best dinners of 2011 was at the fish restaurant Marmoreo. I will forever remember the freshly cooked langoustines.

Then for a while I remained in London, only occasionally jetting off to Glasgow for a deep fried Mars bar (ok, it only happened once). In Soho I had beef Wellington at Bob Bob Ricard, in South Kensington tapas at Capote y Toros and in Notting Hill pizza at The Oak. All divine and something I crave on dull Tuesday afternoons.

Before Christmas I prepared a Swedish buffet with Miss E for our Swedish crew and although essential things were lacking we felt like we were almost back home in Scandinavialand. And soon we were (except N who had to spend Christmas in the Caribbean).

The year ended with fireworks in Italy and I can honestly say that I haven’t felt so content about a year in a very long time. Happy New Year to you one and all and many thanks for reading my blog.

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2 thoughts on “Looking back on 2011

  1. U forgot about the lovely cheese and pickle sandwich and the awesome dried fruit when ms M visited London in april. Maybe we can go to Bamboo when i come back after easter?? Love

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