Handbags and Whole Lot More in Helsinki

I hummed and hawed about when to write the recipe and review from our visit to Helsinki, Finland. But as I continue to blog about each of the places my family visited last summer, I knew I needed to publish this one sooner than later.  Keep reading and you’ll understand why.

My “long-lost, distant cousin” did a wonderful job guiding our city tour. I thought it somewhat strange having a Scot as the esteemed expert showing us around in Finland, so I asked him a bit about his background. Turned out his surname was MacDougall and he came from Oban, Scotland. My grandmother was also a MacDougall and her father immigrated to Canada from Scotland in the 1800s. I jokingly said we must be related and he confirmed that we most certainly were, albeit distantly. Our possible shared lineage definitely helped brighten what would  otherwise have been an overcast, damp and grey day.

Helsinki was a fine city in terms of sites but my daughter and I had Euros burning holes in our pockets and a secret plan for spending them.  Once the tour stopped for free time at the farmer’s market, we ditched the group and made a beeline to the Longchamp store in the city centre. Thanks to GPS and Google on our iPhones, we knew exactly where the store was and exactly what we wanted to buy before we even left the cruise ship that morning. My husband was enjoying the market, looking at all the lingonberries and stuff, so we knew he’d be okay if we simply returned to the bus on our own at the designated meeting time and place.

Successfully securing our Longchamp handbags. (Image: "SoS")
Successfully securing our Longchamp handbags.
(Image: “SoS“)

We got our new handbags and couldn’t have been happier. My husband used his Euros to nibble on a traditional Nordic dish at the market – Reindeer Stew. Yes, he had reindeer for lunch. Not Rudolph, Dancer or Prancer but a traditional Finnish dish that nearly every hot food vendor at the market was selling. He said it was really good!

My husband's lunch - Reindeer Stew. (Image: "SoS")
My husband’s lunch – Reindeer Stew.
(Image: “SoS“)

In keeping with the spirit of our day in Helsinki, here’s a Reindeer Stew recipe from Nordic Style Magazine that you can make yourself, that is, if you can find the meat!

500 g Reindeer roast (cut in thin ~ 1-2 mm slices)
100 g Bacon (or deer’s own fat)
2-3 dl Beer
1/2 tsp Ground pepper
Salt to taste

Read the full recipe and complete cooking instructions on nordicstylemag.com website.

In review
I’m unable to review the recipe because I’ve never made it nor have I ever tried Reindeer Stew, though we know my husband liked it at the market. So, instead I’ll sum up how happy we are with our new Longchamp handbags.  With the currency conversion, our purses each turned out to be about $50.00 cheaper than if we had purchased in Toronto.

My husband's lunch - Reindeer Stew. (Image: "SoS")
My new Longchamp handbag.
(Image: “SoS“)

On the “Sugar Scale” [my unofficial recipe rating system], our Longchamp handbags scored 10 out of 10. They are lightweight and super useful.  My daughter uses hers as a handbag and I’ve been using mine to carry my files for night school. They also fold up small and can easily fit inside another handbag or tote for additional space, when needed. I will definitely buy another one in a different size. I’d really like the backpack version. [Hint, hint in case my husband reads my blog and is looking for an idea for Christmas!]

The views expressed in this post are purely my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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