Mar 27, 2010

pretty things & something to eat, and wear

for thursday we only had a short to-do list, one place on the list was vitikkalan kartano. it's one of those places where you'd be better off if you left all your money home... the building itself used to be a manor and underwent a complete renovation some years ago

one end of the manor is cafe

the other end is filled with pretty things. things that you never wanted until you saw them, like this sauce vessel. i didn't even dare to look at the price

and these urns, how very martha stewart!

this was probably my favourite item, like the idea of a mini greenhouse

they also sell french bistro style porcelaine, cutlery, linens, furniture

littlest niece and i fell in love with these!

more of the cafe part of the manor

we were there right after opening at 10 am. they had just pulled these out of their oven and the smell was amazing... we got 3 for dessert. third one was for my brother who was working from home that day. these were so good, probably had something to do with the amount of sugar and butter on them...

for dinner i baked some chicken pasta with curry. boiled the whole package of pasta, browned the chicken (cut to 4 cm strips), mixed curry paste (mild for the kids) and cream and poured the mixture into chicken. then put approx half of pasta to an oven dish, placed the chicken evenly on top, added the remaining pasta and poured the curry flavoured pasta evenly on the whole thing. there was some grated emmental in the fridge so i put some on half of the dish (sometimes melted cheese seems to be an issue with kids), then baked it in 200C oven for 20 mins

forgot to take a pic of the plated portion...

...that i served with broccoli with sesame oil, sesame seeds and soya sauce. not a huge hit with the kids... this is even better with minced fresh chili in it

my sister in law is a physiotherapist and has some private patiens as well. this chair is divine... it kneads, taps and rolls and what not your back

already before my surgery i tried to find a piece of clothing that would be easy, and warm to wear, something like a poncho. it was too late in the game to knit one, so i went shopping and didn't quite find what i was looking for. but, on thursday, when walking towards the manor we run into an old friend of mine who runs a fabric store. we caught up and out of a whim i asked her if her seamstresses sew clothing (i knew they do curtains and upholstery) and told her what i had in mind. she tought for a second and said "i guess that could be done". i went in later on thursday to pick up the fabric and on friday noon they had done this!

so very easy to put on, warm enough for this time of year, works equally well in autumn. and i guess i could say i sort of designed it... thanks for elina for sewing, though!

Mar 24, 2010

easter preparations

i took a drive to my brother's house yesterday, had to get moving about, a week laying around watching tv was enough...

littlest niece and i started the day by making a to-do list, she did the writing. she starts school in the autumn

then we took out eggs, feathers, pipe-cleaners, tools...

...and twigs of catkins

if you look really close, there is already some green in there!

those of you not aware of finnish easter traditions, these decorated twigs are needed on palm sunday when kids dress up as witches and go, well, trick or treating -type thingy around their neighbourhoods, they ring the door, say a specific verse, get candy and give out these twigs in return

we also planted some grass, another easter tradition. later when it's starting to green, we placed easter decorations on it

eventhough changing the bandage wasn't on the list, my little nurse did it anyway

not quite sure how long i can look at this shade of green... it's kinda bright

in the afternoon littlest niece took me to a walk, we took snacks with us

despite the cold temperatures (-10C this morning) at night, sunny days help the spring along

by the end of our walk we had to take a short-cut, i was beaten, the last km to my brother's house is uphill. the short-cut took us to a ski- / nordic walking track. they have instructions as to streching before the exercise

when we finally arrived at my brother's house, littlest niece was late for her bailatino class... and i made another soup!

Mar 23, 2010

spinach soup

the soup-lady is back... had some fresh spinach left over from the weekend and i figured that spinach soup could be done one handed. here's what went in:

250 gr fresh spinach, wilted
2 tbsp butter / margarin/ oil
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 onion, finely chopped
10cm leek (optional), chopped
2 dl cream (i used 2% cooking cream)
100 gr cream cheese
6 to 7 dl boiling water
white pepper, grated nutmed (and salt) to taste
4 boiled eggs (optional)
serves 4

this much spinach took a boiling-hot 2 minute bath...

...and only this much came out, left it in the colander to drain

leek is really optional. i used it only because i had a long one that almost didn't fit into the fridge. so i cut some off and instead of throwing it away, decided to make use of it by addind it to the soup

hint, if you're chopping an onion with just one hand, use a big cutting board. the animal hoover at the shack doesn't seem to eat raw onion (almost anything else food-related goes) so i had to pick up the fallen pieces myself

on medium heat, heat up the fat, add leek and onion, sautee for a couple of minutes, until the onion is translucent

add the flour and sautee for 3 more minutes

pour in 4 dl of boiling water while mixing well (let me tell you, this wasn't easy). once you get kinda smooth mixture, add the cream, cream cheese and spinach and your immersion blender...

and keep blending until the soup is smooth. but, do NOT pull up the blender while it's still on! unless, of course, you enjoy cleaning your kitchen walls off green goo

i had some for lunch with a boiled egg

ps. wellcome, johanna!

Mar 22, 2010

snow's a powerful thing

yesterday was a dark and grey day, despite the forecast which said it'd be sunny. well, it's a wonderful, bright, sunny morning today, and i gotta go and run some errands... and not enjoy it sitting outside and maybe getting some more freckles on my nose.

anyways, despite the gloomy weather yesterday i ventured out for a walk with certain someone and the dog. i did wear those studded thingies on my shoes to be able to walk on the icy road.

about one km down the road from the shack we saw this. unfortunately, the roof falling in because of all the snow on it, wasn't a surprise to us, nor to several others in the neighbourhood. the owner was told this would happen, obviously it's his property and he does (or rather doesn't!) anything he wants with it

this is how it looked only a month ago (pic from my feb 19th entry)

just before my surgery i went and bought a new lens (50mm 1:1.4) for my bigger camera (nikon D80). i'm anxious to get rid of this big cast and try the lens out and about, for now i've just been shooting the dog with auto focus. the dog seems to have outgrown his fear of cameras and nowadays let's me get pretty close with one...

Mar 21, 2010

if there is a will, there is a way

the beginning of last week was hard, i thought i'd never get rid of that sick & woosy feeling. friday was a lot better, so good in fact that i felt brave enough to try driving. fortunately i have automatic transmission, which in these parts of the world is an oddity rather than the rule. i felt a lot better after being out and about.

however, this monstreous cast makes dressing and choice of clothing a bit challenging. a nurse put this bright warning sign -red bandage over the cast at the hospital. i've since found out that nowadays there are other cool colors of bandages available. might have to change the "wrapping" one of these days

saturday morning i felt courageous enough to try making pancakes... nothing to it, except i'll admit it takes a bit longer and puts a strain on my patience. these were sinfully good with butter and maple syrup

certain someone mentioned earlier in the week that we should make pizza... got it, lahey's no-knead pizza dough. certain someone's input was to mix the ingredients, though i'm sure there is a way to secure the bowl so that mixing could be done with one hand

see, a mandolin can be used with one hand

meat section of the toppings, chicken, pepperoni and prosciutto

the dough makes two pies. we made two different kinds, now officially known as "brooklyn" and "tello's"

brooklyn: mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, green olives, pepperoni, prosciutto

tello's: mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, green olives, chicken, pepperoni

this time i used half bread flour, half whole wheat flour, the crust was perfect! this pizza is dangerously easy to make, now that i've got the hang of it

had some of this with pizza...

...but this tasted a lot better!

now, if i could only find a will to get outside and move my ever widening butt... for the last week my excuse was the fact that the roads over at the shack are icy and slippery and that i won't risk falling down and perhaps breaking another limb.

oh, almost forgot to tell, the weekend at the hospital was the worst. they have 3 operating theatres over there and at one point on saturday there were 34 persons waiting to be operated... one guy in my room (yes, there was one man among five women!) who had something broken in his elbow waited for surgery from friday evening until at least sunday afternoon when i left the place. poor man, he was in pain...