Always Wear Gloves When Cutting Jalapenos!

 

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We’ve had quite an eventual weekend since coming back from England, both preparing and going to a Halloween / Moving in Party. Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year so I always throw more enthusiasm into it than any other.

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For the past 2 years now I’ve been making a snack called ‘Mummy Jalapeno Poppers’ Not only are they easy to make but they go down really well at parties as! As soon as I walked in with them on Saturday I was met with a ‘Oh, I love it when you guys make these!!’ and proceeded to have 3 people waiting in the kitchen whilst they cooked in the oven.

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Here are the ingredients if you want to try and make these for yourself. The ingredients are all pretty common and you should have no problem finding them if England, Norway or anywhere else for that matter.

  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • 200g Softened Cream Cheese (such as Philadelphia)
  • 200g Grated Cheese (personal preference, I used Mozzarella)
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Candy Eyeballs
  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls / Pizza Dough Roll
  1. First take your jalapenos and slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside.
  2. Then, in a bowl mix together the cream cheese and the grated cheese of your preference. Add a splash of salt and pepper to the mixture.
  3. Fill the jalapeno halves with the mixture you prepared.
  4. Now, unroll the dough roll and cut the pastry into long slices. Use each long slice to wrap around each jalapeno ensuring to leave a small gap about ¾ up for your candy eyes.
  5. Wash the poppers over with egg.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, just until they start to golden.
  7. Once you’ve taken the finished product out from the oven, add two candy eyes to the opening you have left.

WARNING: Do NOT, I repeat, NOT cut and scoop out the jalapenos without using gloves. I’ve made this dish 3 times in total and usually I do not wear any gloves and I’m fine. This time was different. My hands felt like they were literally on fire. I tried everything to get rid of it: milk, sour cream, olive oil, dish soap. Lime. Nothing worked. For 8 hours I tried to stop the burning and it was still extremely bad when I went to bed. I ended up getting up every 30 minutes to get a pack of ice to sleep with my hands on. Not taking the time to protect your hands really isn’t worth the pain!

We had such a lovely time at the Halloween party this weekend dressed as Captain America and Star Lord. Everyone was in such a good mood and I actually took a good amount of photos for a change!

Happy Halloween everyone! Let me know how you’re spending your Halloween!

Beth xx

 

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Graduation

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This week has been insanely busy and therefore I have had hardly any time to write so this post is a bit delayed. We took a short trip back to England for my Graduation day and I whilst I would like to say I’d been looking forward to it, I really hadn’t. I was only really going for my parents, but that is okay and it was worth it to make them happy.

I finished my degree back in April so it felt odd to wait until now to have the actual graduation. I graduated from the University of Greenwich in London and spent the entirety of my degree studying on their Avery Hill campus (a bit run down) so it was nice to have the graduation ceremony in the Chapel on the Maritime Campus. The view from this campus is simply breath-taking and it has been used for many hit film and TV productions such as Thor: The Dark World, and The Crown.

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I took a degree in Psychology and I feel it was not the right decision for me. School systems thrust you into more education and it can be easy to fall into a subject that really doesn’t fit you. I had a gap year before starting at university and I remember how my Sixth form teachers howled at me for it. ‘If you don’t do it now you’ll never go!!’  Turns out it was less of them caring for my life and more that the higher amount of pupils that went straight into university from that school, the more money they would be budgeted. So if you’re currently struggling and want a gap year I heavily suggest you go for it!

At the moment I do not feel that my degree was worth taking and I carried this feeling throughout the whole day at the ceremony and felt a bit blue about the whole thing. I had several reasons for this however, not just for the degree itself.  I was not the best student and although I passed with a 2:1 I hardly attended any lectures or seminars because of overwhelming social anxiety and it made me feel like a bit of a sham to be standing there with everyone else.  It is also very easy to feel this way about your education when residing abroad. Living in Norway you need to know at least the basics of Norwegian to be able to get a job and with my degree and wanting to work in the health sector, this means I definitely need to understand the people I want to help. My current skill set does not allow me to do this and so I’m currently searching for any job and not using my degree. I feel very guilty seeing my partner go out to work every day whilst I stay at home, but for now that is how it has to be. It would have been easier on both of use if he had moved to England in the short time but we both love Norway and I’m sure everything will fall into place in time. It can just get a bit frustrating at times. He was my rock at my graduation ceremony though and I’m very happy he managed to take the time off work to come with me, even if it made it a very short trip.

We finished the day by going to TGI:Fridays and ordering massive cocktails! Although they have a few in Norway I have never been to one over here and it was really nice to go there with my parents.

I’ve summed up a lot of things here very briefly and I will build on some of the stuff I have talked about here in later posts but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Beth.

Spending Halloween In Norway!

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I have had the pleasure of spending the last two Halloweens in Norway. (AKA I meticulously planned and made it just so happen that my time off university fell into this perfect autumn spot of spooks, drinking and candy fun!)

Halloween Parties

Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year and that means that there needs to be at least one Halloween party to truly delve into the fun of the time. It can however feel extremely odd to celebrate a holiday in a different country when you’ve become so accustomed to how things are done elsewhere. This year will actually be the first time I spend Christmas in Norway (my parents are even visiting too!) I have no idea how they’re going to deal with everything being on the 24th December. It is certainly going to be amusing to say the least.

The best parties I go to here in Norway are always Halloween parties. Having an excuse to dress up yourself and others is always great fun and gives that extra edge to a party! But, that’s not to say that Norwegians don’t know how to party normally, I’ve certainly been caught out more times than I’d like to admit by this pesky little trolls…

There is a Norwegian expression called ‘Fylleangst’ which there is no exact word translation for in English. This expression can be described as ‘drunk anxiety’ or that feeling you get when you wake up from a heavy night of drinking, not completely sure of your actions the previous night, or if you should be worried about them. Having visited my partner here in Norway for the past 3 years I can fully understand why the Norwegians have this word. The price of alcohol over here can be expensive to put it mildly. You can ending up spending three times the amount you would on Wine or Spirits in the rest of Europe and supermarkets don’t sell anything over 5%. Therefore they pretty much just sell beer and the occasional cider. This can make the alcohol in your hand pretty precious. With this feeling in mind there are a lot of Norwegians that think if they’re drinking, they can’t stop until they can properly feel the alcohol in their bodies.

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If anyone is planning a trip to Norway and wanted to drink whilst here I would strongly advise buying alcohol at the duty free at the airport. Gardemeon has the biggest selection in their duty free than any airport I have ever been in.  You can always tell the Norwegians coming home from trips at the airport, no Norwegian would forgo the price of alcohol there even if they only drink once in a blue moon. I can only assume that the rest of the airports in Norway are this well stocked.

With my roots in England being very obvious as soon as I open my mouth, I have been asked a few times…how do you not have a direct translation for ‘fylleangst’? Unfortunately I think that there are too many British holiday makers out in top seaside destinations such as Spain and Greece giving the rest of us brits a bad reputation. Most Norwegians I have met have drawn a parallel between those individuals and my English heritage.  The tales of the English ‘pub culture’ are strong.

Norway and the Halloween tradition

Although they celebrate Halloween in Norway, they do not celebrate it to that same extent the English do, and definitely not to the Americans. My family went to Florida when I was about 8 years old whilst it was Halloween and it was insane how much effort people put into the holiday. Even the toll booths on the road were covered head to toe in decorations.

So what’s different in Norway at this spooky time of the year? The most famous Halloween tradition is of course ‘Trick or Treating’ or ‘knesk eller knep’ which translates to the English term pretty spot on. There has been a lot of debate in Norway over the years whether trick or treating is a good thing however there are plenty of homes in Norway that join in on the tradition. If you have young children and want to take them out on Halloween night I think you should go for it! I know where I live most houses that are participating either put a pumpkin or lights outside there house to make it obvious whether they are joining in on this newer tradition in Norway.

The first year I came here for Halloween I discovered my boyfriend in all his, then 27 years had never carved a pumpkin. I thought he was joking but no. He had never and neither had his parents. Thus the quest for a pumpkin began. We looked everywhere… Joker, Extra, Kiwi, Rema1000, Meny, Maximat (In Sweden). Not a single pumpkin to be found. I was left disappointed.  The past two years however we have been able to find them in Meny and Extra but be warned they can cost up to £12 for the same size pumpkin you would get from Sainsbury’s for £2. Buying that first pumpkin for 120 kr hurt my soul a tad bit. The accomplishment on Marius’ face once he finished making these Jack Skellington and Cat Pumpkins though was all worth it! My partner says Halloween is becoming more and more celebrated ever year that goes by in Norway from what he can see. I hope he’s right because I adore Halloween and all those spooky decorations.

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There are not too many stores that sell Halloween decorations or costumes, especially compared to England. Oh how I enjoyed the annual Halloween décor trip to Pound land. There is a store here called Nille that I would say is Norway’s nearest thing to a pound shop and you can get some cheap stuff there, including Halloween decorations. However, if there is one thing you can rely on Norway for to really shine, its candles. I have never seen so many candles in my life since moving here, they are everywhere, including Halloween themed ones. This year so far I’ve bought 3 pumpkin candles, 2 skulls and a white block bat candle. This country is making me slightly obsessed with candles and I’ve come to accept that. All these wood houses and candle lit rooms, its sooooo cosy.

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This year we’re going to be dressing as Star-Lord and Captain America, not exactly scary but they’re costumes we wanted to be able to use more than once this year! Fortunate for me my university graduation is in England on the 24th October so we are making a very quick trip back home and I can pick up all the Halloween costume parts I have ordered at the same time. Posting to Norway can be tricky, and frustrating and if you want a good Halloween costume you need to start preparing at least a month before to allow for postage time! And beware! Anything from abroad that costs over £25 will hit you with a fine off about the same amount to pick up. Ouch!  I’m sure there are cheaper ways of going about it but I am still learning the language and unless you know specifically what to search for in Norwegian it is very unlikely you’ll find it. I’m sure it’s something I’ll get better at.  If you know any good Halloween websites here in Norway or Sweden I’d love to hear about them!

Beth.

 

 

 

Why Norway? The simple answer to a…simple question.

Since this is the first post on this blog I thought I better keep it simple. My name is Bethan and this year I moved to Norway.

For the past 22 years I have lived in the UK and if you had asked me 4 years ago to point out Norway on a map I can almost guarantee you I would not have pointed to the country that is literally just a bit above us to the right on the map. Unfortunately alongside the English language, most of us Brits can be obliviously ignorant when it comes to the rest of the world. Now however? I’m happy to say that is a different story.

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At the time of writing this I have been living in Norway for little over a month and I can definitely say it is a very different experience to life in England.

So why did I move to Norway?

In simple terms: I became a lovepat.

A lovepat can be described as an individual who becomes an expat or immigrant for love, usually involving an individual moving to their partner’s home country. Sometimes the bonds of love do not care what country you are from, especially in this day and age where travel, education and work can be so accessible all over the globe.

I met my partner over three years ago in London where I had just left my home town of Northampton to attend university, studying for a bachelor in Psychology. And you’ll never believe this…

Yep, he was Norwegian.

Enticed by the fact that a Master’s degree in English would only take one year in England compared to two in Norway he jumped on a plane and dived straight into the English culture. After all what better place to study for a Masters in English? However this meant that he would return to Norway 2 years before my degree was completed.

Long story short, we fell in love and so when summer came of the academic year we entered a long distance relationship and guess what? Despite what everyone and the media says, it doesn’t always blow up in your face.  Sure there were some extremely hard times during the period but looking back now, it was worth it.

I made the conscious decision to move to Norway about a year ago now and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t tough. Being the partner in the relationship to move for the other is of course going to have a toll on anyone. Marius has lived and built his life in this town. His family and friends are both here whilst mine are an ocean away. You become so reliant on the other person in the beginning that you need to take that time for yourself to ensure that you stay true to your own goals and inspirations in life.

In the end though I know that it is going to be 100% worth the small struggles in the beginning to build a whole life in this beautiful country with the man I love.

I look forward to sharing my Norglish experience with you all!

‘Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead’ – Oscar Wilde