And when I was 15 years old, I had the opportunity to visit her for 4 weeks and go to school with her as well. Those 4 weeks as a 9th grader in Sweden during one summer, was a period of enlightenment and change for me. I came back a different person and till date I remember my time there fondly. One of the memories I carry with me was the time I spent in the kitchen with Ylva, my friend's mother. I was her sous chef in the kitchen and enjoyed spending that time with her during the weekends. Ylva, was a warm and caring mother who would churn out delicious meals for the family everyday. I went to Sweden as a scrawny teenager and came back as a plump one!! I gained 8kgs in those 4 weeks I spent with Evelina's family. So you can imagine what a fantastic cook Ylva was and still is!! Ylva has been a strong influence on me when it comes to my fondness for food and cooking.
Since 1995, I have visited Sweden numerous times and have been a big fan of Swedish home cooking. My favourite is of course, the Swedish meatballs. But I must say, that my most favourite are the breakfasts there. I love the different breads, honey, smoked salmon at times, the cream cheese and other cheese spreads!
During my short stay of 3 days in Sweden this October, I got to eat all my favourite dishes and what made it even more special was catching up friends after a long break. I was going back to Sweden after a break of 7.5 years, a lot of things have changed since my last visit there. For starters, Evelina has two little adorable boys aged 4 and 5 and I met them for the first time last month. Evelina put in a lot of effort to make sure that they were delicious dishes on her table for every single meal while I was there. What was very striking for me to know was that she has inherited the dining table from her parents after they moved and it was the same table that witnessed me gain 8 kgs in the summer of 1995. Only fingers crossed this time that it doesn't happen again! ;-)
This was probably my shortest trip to Sweden and the first time I did not visit Sven and his family. Sweden and its people are very close to my heart and I am already longing to go back to Sweden. I hope to make it back to Sweden in 2 years from now with my little boys and share with them the culture and friendship that is very special to me.