You know Shahida? We met during our year in Zürich, but our story is really a Christmas story. A Swedish Christmas story, to be exact.
See, at first Shahida and I didn't really know each other that well, but we hung out with the same group of mutual exchange student friends. One fateful fall night while we were out on the town everyone was discussing their Christmas plans. As most of my friends were European, they all planned on going home. When Shahida heard that I still didn't have any holiday plans she immediately insisted I come back to Sweden with her. Years later, looking back on it, we both always laugh at the randomness of the invitation. We really barely knew each other at that point, but she still asked and I still immediately agreed. For the next month or so leading up to Christmas, Shahida and I decided we better start hanging out more often if we were going to spend Christmas together. And, as they say, the rest was history.
By the time Christmas rolled around, it was safe to say we had become pretty close, and getting to spend Christmas with Shahida and her family only made us that much more awesome together. Not to mention it helped condition my love of all things Swedish. Like this delightful Marzipan cake.
And I also got a total kick out of this sauce (and I totally forget what kind of sauce it is exactly) because it's from Sweden and it's called Abba... just like something else I know!
It was my first Christmas away from home and absolutely amazing! Not only was it the catalyst in meeting one of my best friends, I felt so welcome by Shahida's family and loved getting to experience a Swedish Christmas.