sunnuntai 7. helmikuuta 2016

SLIDING DAY FUN


Today is the sliding day, laskiainen, as we call it in Finland. Sliding down the hill, using any devise, is in a "must do"- list today. In the old days sliding day marked the symbolic-sliding into the period of Easter fasting. But it now means a fun filled day outdoors, cream buns and crepes.


TRADITIONAL POTATO CREPES

5 finely grated potatos
5 dl milk
2 dl plain flour
pinch of salt
butter
lingonberry jam

Wisk all the ingredients together to a smooth batter, until well incorporated. Let rest in a refrigerator for an hour.

Heat a little butter in a frying pan. When it's foaming, pour a thin layer of batter into the pan. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until the edges are solid and golden brown. (Let the pancake cook without shaking the pan, as there's no egg in the batter, and the uncooked crepe brakes easily.) Flip the crepe over and continue cooking for the same amount of time.

Serve with lingonberry jam (preferably homemade, but ready made will do, too. Available for example in IKEA).

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Age plays no role, as one 50-years old FINN slides down with style.
("Down the hill, Finnish way"- footage has got English subtitles.)

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

keskiviikko 6. tammikuuta 2016

"ICE & LIONS"

"TEMPERATURE IS 22℃ BELOW ZERO, YET HOCKEY RULES!"
Let me explain why the social media is now full of pictures of Finnish flags and lion cubs...
And why even the smallest ice- covered ponds are packed with ice skaters and hockey players... Despite of the -22℃ temperature!

"JUNIOR LION+FINN-FLAG=VICTORY"
The Finnish State Coat of Arms has got a lion, we call it "the Finn-lion". Therefore our national hockey team is also called "Finn-lions", and the junior team "Lion Cobs" or "Little lions".


Last night the Lion Cobs won the World Under-20 ice hockey championship in Helsinki, with gripping 4-3 victory over Russia!!! With just 6,9 seconds left in the game, Russia scored and the game went into overtime... But almost immediately the Junior-Lions scored the winning goal, and become the World Champions... And the whole nation went nuts!

So, the taste of Finland is now GOLD!
CONGRATULATIONS, LION COBS! CHEERS FINLAND!

"PRACTICE MAKES WORLD CHAMPIONS!"


lauantai 26. joulukuuta 2015

"BEST XMAS GIFT"


Take a look at this!
Second Christmas day, sunset painting the landscape yellow... And suddenly; just like icing sugar from the cloudless skies! Snow, finally! Didn't last for long, but long enough to cover the scenery with a pretty white frosting. True Xmas magic.


That calls for a celebration.
Some "vihreät kuulat" marmelade and a sip of your favorite wine. CHEERS FOR THE WHITE CHRISTMAS!

(Vihreät kuulat is a traditional pear flavored marmalade-sweet, made especially for the holiday season, ever since 1908. Every year the Fazer's confectionery factory manufactures 17 million green balls, and every year they're sold out.)

PS. In case you're interested what else Finns enjoy during the holidays, pls visit my other blog:
        "GRANNIE*S RECIPES".



keskiviikko 23. joulukuuta 2015

"THE SHORTEST DAY OF THE YEAR"


Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. Today the daylight was already a minute longer... (About time!) And with that speed we'll head till the Mid Summer festival... After that, our days start getting shorter again... 20. March the day and night are equally long, though.

In the meanwhile, in the city of Oulu, the sun riced yesterday at 10.29 and set at 14.04... That's just statistics, but the local local police office charmed the whole nation sending their Christmas Greetings   via their official Facebook page. The shortest and darkest day of the year felt a lot brighter after listening to the heart warming message; a FINN-cop dressed in his uniform, singing gorgeously. The church was empty, but the Utube is now crowded...

https://www.facebook.com/oulunpoliisi/?fref=nf

maanantai 7. joulukuuta 2015

WHEN THE WHOLE COUNTRY CELEBRATES

"APPROPRIATE iPHONE WALLPAPER"
Yesterday was one big party... All day, all night. It was the birthday of 98 years old Suomi-Finland.

"TWO CANDLES IN A WINDOW, @6 pm SHARP - THAT'S THE TRADITION"
The modest character of Finns is reflected in the way we celebrate. No fireworks, nor streamers, but two candles on a windowsill, dinner made of the best ingredients the country can offer and a live TV-broadcast from the nation's number one ball. That's how most of Finns celebrate our country's freedom and independence.

"NATIONAL TELEVISION COVERES THE CELEBRATIONS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY"
Usually the independence day weather is rough, this year was no exception. Still it's nice to honor the Fatherland with a picnic in the woods, which after hot sauna warms you nicely. You'll be "sauna fresh", just on time to dress to your best, lit the candles, pop the champagne and start following the Presidential reception.

"HOT BLUEBERRY GLÖG, SMOKED REINDEER TART AND MUSHROOM TART"
BLUEBERRY GLÖG
(MUSTIKKAGLÖGI)
1l frozen Finnish blueberries
1 l water
1 dl organic Finnish honey
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 split vanilla pod
Bring all the ingredients to boil, sieve and serve. Add honey if desired. Serve steaming hot.

REINDEER TART/MUSHROOM TART 
(POROPIIRAKKA/SIENIPIIRAKKA)
pastry (100 years old Finnish recepe):
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 dl wheat flour
1 1/2 dl double cream
150 g butter (room temperature) + 1 teaspoon for sautéing the reindeer and leek
filling:
1 leek
200 g cold smoked reindeer
2 eggs
2 dl double cream
white pepper
pinch of nutmeg


Mix the baking powder with the flour. Beat together cream and flour, add the butter and mix until the dough becomes smooth. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.

Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper, line a pie tin with the dough and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Wash and chop the leek, chop the reindeer. First fry the reindeer for a while, then add the leek and continue sautéing until soft. Scatter the reindeer and leek in the pastry tin. Lightly beat the eggs with cream, season with white pepper and nutmeg. (No salt needed, as the cold smoked reindeer is salty enough). Pour in the egg mix and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the filling is set. Serve warm or cold.

MUSHROOM TART
Instead of reindeer use 1 dl of dried mushrooms, such as chanterelles or black trumpet mushrooms. Let them first soak in water, then drain and sauté with red onion. Add some grated cheese, black pepper and sea salt to the filling. Other than that, bake exactly like the reindeer tart.

"MUSHROOMS AND REINDEER ARE FINLAND'S ORGANIC DELICACY"
The annual live broadcast gives ordinary folk a little glimpse of the splendor of the newly renovated Presidential Palace.


The veterans are honored guests, and have the only reserved seats in the whole palace.

"MR. PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY  ENJOY CHATTING WITH THE GUESTS OF HONOR"
The whole nation continues celebrating until the wee hours... But at 10 pm the TV- cameras are turned off and even the no. 1 ball continues in privacy.
                             
                                 ��  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELOVED SUOMI-FINLAND ��


tiistai 17. marraskuuta 2015

"WISH LIST DELIVERED"


It's only 37 days to Christmas! And the last moment to send your wish list to JOULUPUKKI, Father Christmas. I decided to be really brave, and traveled to Lapland to meet him, face to face.

He lives in northern Finland, Korvatunturi-fell, which stands 486 meters above sea level. Korvatunturi means Ear Fell in Finnish. It is believed that the ear-shaped structure of the fell allows Father Christmas to hear the wishes of every child in the world. Part of the fell is in the Russian side of border, therefore all visitors are requested to have written permission from the Finnish Border Guard. Also; there are no roads that directly lead to the fell, hiking trails provide the only access.

Korvatunturi is Santa's private home, but he works in Joulupukin Pajakylä, 300 kilometers from his home, in the Arctic Circle, near Rovaniemi. That's where his official post office  is located, and where all mail send to Korvatunturi, ends up.

Father Christmas and his little Elf-helpers pack a reindeer-sleigh full of gifts, and Santa starts his Christmas tour, every year the 23. December. Finnish national television, and some 70 foreign TV-stations show the event "live". To tell you the truth; the magical sunshine in the background reveals  that the footage is actually not live. During Christmas Korvatunturi has KAAMOS, polar night, which means it's dim all day long. The filming is done each year couple of months after Christmas, when the spring sun starts shining... Or, maybe Korvatunturi has got it's own magical sun, what do I know? I've never been in Korvatunturi. I met Santa in his work-office, in Rovaniemi.


The Arctic Circle is the latitude in the Northern Hemisphere where the sun can remain continuously above or below horizon 24 hours. So the sun never sets for at least one day in summer and never rices for at least one day in winter.


"So far Santa Claus has received about 17 million letters from 198 different countries. At the Christmas time Santa can get about 32 000 letters/day. Top 7 countries are 1.China, 2.Italy, 3.Poland, 4.United Kingdom, 5.Finland, 6.Japan, 7.Russia. Christmas 2014 Santa received around 500 000 letters."-quotes Santa's Grand Post Office bulletin board.


Letters sent to Santa are divided into piles according to the country of the origin.


Some letters end up framed to the wall, like this one:
"To Santa!
It would be fun if you'd read this. I wish that I would become a hero of the nature, I would rescue the nature, and it would be wonderful if the globe would not be destroyed and if there would not be any  disasters. I want to switch into using water power, and I hope the others would also save the nature and recycle. I grow a grapefruit tree and it's now about 20 centimeters tall. When it's big, I am going to send it to developing countries. Please sent them rain cloud, that would be the best wish come true. As a gift to myself I'm wishing for a lava-lamp, hopefully ecological.
With love, Sini
(an elephant would be nice...♡)"


My wish list was not that thoughful ... But it got thumbs up!


If you didn't write to Santa, yet, here's the contact information:
JOULUPUKKI / SANTA CLAUS
home:
99999 Korvatunturi
Finland

office:
Joulupukin Pääposti
Pajakylä 96930 Napapiiri
Finland

joulupukki.fi

tiistai 3. marraskuuta 2015

"DECORATING WITH LIGHT"


There is a new baby in the Northern skies; Finnair's newborn A350. The brand new eco-smart Airbus A350 is now flying routes within Finland and nearby European destinations. In the end of this month this babe starts flying to Asia, too. Finnair is the first European airline to receive the new generation  Extra Wide Body aircraft.


Ordinary Finns like to decorate with light. In summer with the endless daylight, and in winter, with candle light. Interior design house Vertti Kivi & Co used the same idea while creating the innovative cabin mood lighting system.

"Blue sky"
Finnair brings the skies into the plane; during boarding the cabin is decorated with cloudy blue sky.... And it's not just for the eyes, but for all senses. The pure air filtration system changes cabin air every two to three minutes!


In an airplane it's impossible to have a candlelight dinner, (no candles allowed), but a sunset is a very nice substitute! In this plane you don't need to have a window seat to enjoy it.

"Economy class bathing in the Northern Lights = Aurora Borealis."
How often do you wish the flight was a bit longer?!
This was just a sneak peek. Imagine when she starts to fly long-haul, and Michelin star chef Kari Aihinen presents his A350-signature menu on board. Flying is no longer just a transportation, it will be an experience to remember. "Designed in Finland".