Birds, Santa and goodwill to all
Rachel your rhyme: One for sorrow, two for joy... is a familiar one to me and it reminded me of:
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
There came a little blackbird,
And snapped off her nose.
You were also asking about the Finnish literature and Rachel I didn´t in my last post reply to you about legends from Finland. I thought that as I had mentioned the very best Finnish legend, Kalevala, you would have remembered that. But when I was looking back to my post, I realized that I had mentioned the issue in passing. I have now added a couple of links that you may want to have a look.
A piece of taste:
Ilmatar (the Virgin of the Air) descends to the waters. A pochard lays its eggs on her knee. The eggs break and the world is formed from their pieces. The mother of the water then gives birth to Väinämöinen. Sampsa Pellervoinen sows the forest trees. One of the trees, an oak, grows so large that it blots out both the sun and the moon. A tiny man rises from the sea and chops down the giant oak. The sun and moon can shine once again.
I also have added a link about the education in Finland. I think that the very first page descries quite well the school system we have in Finland. Kirsti, as you said the Finns do well with PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey.
Ana Paula yes I do know the Ponsse company, they are making heavy machinery as you mentioned, in particular they are well known for forest machines.
Naheed, we don´t make Christmas pudding as such, although I am very fond of the British Christmas pudding and we are able to buy them here as well. The traditional Christmas dinner in Finland is eaten on the Christmas Eve, December 24th.
Oven-baked ham, root vegetable casseroles, mixed beetroot salad, liver casserole and different pates, smoked salmon, fish roe and herring dishes form the basis of the traditional Finnish Christmas dinner.
The following salad is perfect for the Christmas table; mixed salted mushrooms or fresh cultivated champignons > finely chopped onion to taste > smetana, crème fraîche or whipped cream and pepper. If you have collected the mushrooms yourself and stored them with a aid of salt, soak the salted mushrooms overnight in plenty of cold water to get rid of the excess salt. Change the water every now and then. Be careful not to remove all of the salt, so keep tasting the mushrooms every now and then while soaking, until the taste is suitable. Drain the mushrooms carefully, squeezing them as dry as possible, and cut them into small pieces. If using fresh champignons, clean them before cutting them into small pieces and briefly cook them in boiling water (about 5 minutes). Drain and squeeze them dry as well.
Mix the mushrooms, the chopped onion and some smetana to get a potato salad-like consistency and season with pepper. Add also salt, when using fresh champignons. Store the salad covered in refrigerator before serving.
Once you have eaten it is good to sit down and wait for Santa to come. Anastasia Santa has a wife and his helpers carry a name elf or brownie (tonttu). Helpers are great friends of all the animals, I believe elves visit also Katri´s Brown Beaty and give Touho a ginger bread biscuit.
One more thing before I go tonight; we had our company´s 10th year celebration on Saturday night, and as my turn is almost at the end, I would like to share a photo of myself, taken during the evening. The picture was taken by my husband Pekka.
Talk to you soon
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