From scratch

If you know me, you know that I like to bake. And I would like to think that I have mastered baking from scratch over the past few years. I find baking to be therapeutic and a good activity to do with a toddler. So, today I decided to bake with my son and found it be quite comical. I had decided to bake the easiest way possible which is to buy a cake mix and add some eggs. Why not from scratch today? Because our temporary accommodations has limited kitchen supplies and sadly, we have yet to stock up on all the food staples such as spices, flour, and oils. We literally have to start from scratch in regards to purchasing food items because we were not allowed to ship any food items to Doha.

Weeks before we moved, we were informed that they wouldn’t pack our food items, which was shocking to us because this was not the case when we moved from the U.S.A. to Norway, and from Norway to Denmark. Rules are rules though and so we started planning what can we possibly pack along in our suitcases. We debated over all the chocolates from Norway (probably the world’s best in our opinion) and over certain hoarded items from the U.S.A., such as Montreal steak seasoning. I wanted to pack along vanilla extract, but was told that I couldn’t pack it. Any guesses to why? This bottle right here: IMG_6130 (1)

If you guessed because it contains alcohol, you are right! They have very strict laws against alcohol here…more on that later…

So, here I was all excited to bake a cake today the easiest way possible, and yet I couldn’t figure out how much water needed to be added because of this conveniently placed sticker:


Luckily the box says, “Anything is possible with Betty” and found online that just a cup of water is needed.

Other items that were not allowed in our shipment were furs, flammable items, gambling games, plants, pornography, and sand. Some may have a more obvious reason than others. We just left behind what we couldn’t pack. The furs I did ship back to Latvia where they originally came. Highly unlikely that I will be needing them here in Doha!


I do hope that my Mah Jong sets make it through customs! Not sure what the customs agents do with everything they confiscate!

In the meantime, I will probably not bake from a box again, since the activity that could have taken a lot longer if I had started from scratch lasted a measly 5 minutes…a much needed thing when having a toddler at home these days! But any cake and coffee will do I suppose!



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A wife, a mother, an expat...

One thought on “From scratch”

  1. Brigita — I’m following your journey with great interest! Sounds like some things haven’t changed since we were in Saudi 30 years ago (vanilla) but furs??? That was one of the things the expats purchased on their R&Rs… If you haven’t found out already, you can buy vanilla in powdered form, in little boxes or packets. I bet you could find vanilla beans in the spice market, too. You’ll find cardamom pods and saffron as well as a whole bunch of other spices are much, much cheaper, too. Stock up!
    I still dream about the chicken shawarmas and “fruit drinks” (before there was such a thing as smoothies, ha ha) we had in Riyadh. There might not be alcohol available for purchase, but juicing is an art in the middle east 🙂


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