Sauna, Sibelius, Sisu and food
Rachel, you gave again very useful tips; evoke something for… I will surely remember it from now on. Yes I have swum in a frozen river many, many times; I did it for seven years on a trot (water temperature is about 1 – 2 degrees Celsius). It made me laugh you saying Crikey. I will tell you that a swim in an icy could water definitely exhilarates, and yes it is crikey.
You also asked me about New Zealand writers, I am sorry it is such a long since those times (20 years), that I am unable to remember. But I admire a great deal Jane Campion as a movie director. I guess many of you have seen the film called Piano. Rachel I am sorry for a second time as I am not able to do my home work tonight. I have to out and I promised to tell everyone about food. As a matter fact I almost feel conked out so pretty much I have to accomplish this evening. But a promise is a promise, and friends you can not let down.
Yesterday I thanked many of you, my list was incomplete, hello Aga, Dusan, Mohammad, Aniko, Dima, Evelin, phil, Babak, Renato, Silwal Kishor, Tiasha…
About the Finnish way of life: Finland is often associated with sauna (a hot steam room) and our famous composer Jean Sibelius. We also like to think that we have extraordinary stamina (in Finnish we call it “sisu”); it is maybe true that we do have a lot of endurance. I am not certain if it requires stamina (maybe only a strong stomach?), but we are a world record holder in coffee drinking.
As the coffee bean doesn´t grow in Finland, it has to be imported. Coffee and fruits are big import items to Finland. Part from coffee we like rye crisps, rye bread, herring, cold-smoked salmon and smoked reindeer meat.
Berries are eaten a lot in Finland as well, we have several types of berries that grow wild in the forest, and we collect mushrooms in the autumn woodland. The forest gives people meat also; wild game and elk (moose) are hunted and a domesticated caribou, reindeer, rambles in Lapland.
In my photo yesterday you maybe noticed that everyone had a red jacket on. While people hunt, they have to wear colorful clothes for safety reasons. As you noticed I also was wearing a red jacket, for safety reason too, as our hide a way place in near the grounds where moose is hunted. We rarely (hardly ever) have any accidents, but it is good idea to dress appropriately when taking walks in the forest.
So what do Finns eat? In the summer time, Finns eat a lot of sausages; they are often grilled on a barbecue. Our Midsummer Eve is a major Finnish sausage festival, each summer we seem to break a previous record in the sausage sales. If you come to Finland during our Midsummer festival (24.6.) it will be difficult avoid eating sausage and visit sauna; there are about half million summer cottages in Finland and each one has a sauna, and any good Finn lights a barbecue. Beef, pork, mutton, lamb, chicken, turkey and lately more exotic meats as well are eaten in Finland.
Fish is eaten in Finland a lot also, I mentioned herring and smoked salmon before, but part from that, we love fish soups. Home made fish soup is very delicious and it is often served at the funerals and weddings as well as other type of get together parties. I like fish, one of my favorites is herring. In the summer time when new potatoes are ready to pick, one very simply lunch can be; slices of Baltic herring, new potatoes, raw onion, fresh herbs (mainly dill) and maybe a knob of butter, I call it a Heaven on a plate.
Finnish crayfish is a delicacy; it is enjoyed at the end of summer just before the time, when lamprey season starts. A few more words about food: Any Finnish man has eaten pea soup. It is made of dried green peas soaked in the water for about 24 hours before cooking for several hours with pork meat pieces and with few onions and black peppers, salt is also added. Why I mentioned that our boys know the soup? Well, it is a stable diet served in the Finnish army. The army tradition is that soup is served on Thursdays, and for dessert pancakes with jam are offered. If you want to make a very good pea soup, it is wise to use leftovers from Christmas ham as a meat part.
As I have been a vegetarian, I am not a big meat eater nowadays either, luckily my husband has very similar taste. We eat lot of vegetable dishes, fish we eat also, soups are served in our household, salads I eat daily at work and we always have fresh fruit at home.
If one wants to eat out, there are many possibilities here in Oulu; Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Italian, Greek and Russian… restaurants come to my mind immediately. All and all, I think that Finnish cuisine is very much a mix of European cooking.
At the moment I am very fond of Indian cooking; my daughter bought me a book about Indian cookery. Sometime ago we had some friends over and I made an Indian style dinner. We can always come back to this subject later on, if you want me to be more specific.
Who is the most well known composer in you country and what type of food you like best?
Photo today is again by Katri. What do you say about this tree?
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