May 20, 2009

pulla, buns, slap in the ear

a slap in the ear is korvapuusti and korvapuusti is a sweet pastry bun. michelle on big black dog blog has already posted the how to's on the dough. if you're really interested, read my comments on her blog on how my dough and hers differ. this piece of dough has apple sauce and cinnamon on it.

i rolled it, cut to pieces and placed on a baking tin to proof before baking

after baking, my mom makes this with cinnamon + sugar filling and that is called a boston cake

this batch has the cinnamon + sugar in, cutting into pieces

i'm using paper tins here, just make them a little different

before oven these need an eggwash

fresh out of oven

this is the slap in the ear, or the butterfly michelle has on her blog

ham quiche

went to visit a friend the other day and she offered a very tasty shrimp blue cheese pie. next day i got a craving for pie and decided to make a ham pie. confession, i used a sunnuntai frozen pie dough. blind baking it here

the filling: smoked ham, red bell peppers, leeks and grated parmesan

i added 2,5 dl kermaviili (consistency of which is like mixture of sour cream and sour milk), 2 eggs, pepper, and another dash of parmesan on top before putting all into the oven, 180C for approx 40 mins


my first thought was to serve the pie with simple green salad, but i forgot to buy some... so i used mini plum tomatoes, just as good

nettles, more than just a weed

in my attempts to clean up the garden, i noticed that the poor peonies were being attacked by nettles. i did remember to use gloves, but then i moved along the peony bed and put my bare knee on them, painfull. it seems that the new growth has a more bitter sting than late summer growth, could be my imagination as well. (and now that i've educated myself more on nettles, i know that baby nettles aren't as bad as the full grown)

i had quite a pile of nettles when i remembered that mami (our belated grandmother) used to gather nettles in early summer and make nettle pancakes, and also dry nettles to use later in the year. traditionally nettles are used to treat asthma, rheumatishm and kidney stones. it is a diuretic, it contains iron, calsium, vitamin c and protein. nettles can be used in cooking in anything you'd use spinach in. i decided to make pancakes.

i started by picking out the real weeds and rinsing the nettles, then boiling them for 5mins, cooling in the very coldest tapwater (i would have used icewater but tapwater at the schack is approx +5C at this time of year), squeezing out excess water

after squeezing the water out, you end up with bright green blob of goodness, which you chop up fine

the batter takes 6 dl room temperature milk (any milk will do), 2 eggs, 2 to 3 dl plain flour, white pepper and salt to taste (i omit salt since i cut using it wherever possible), 2 tbs melted butter (or your favourite fat in liquid form, i would not used olive oil, though). the amount of nettles in this batch was 1,5 dl. mix 2 dl milk with the eggs, start adding the flour little by little while whisking constantly, slowly adding rest of the milk, all this to avoid big lumps. when all the other incredients are mixed, add the butter and chopped nettles. the batter should be thicker than for crepes but thinner than for american type pancakes.

i like using this ancient cast iron pan, it's well seasoned and i rarely get those first batch disasters. you just need to be patient to let it warm up slowly to medium hot. you can use any size pan, cast iron or teflon or anything else. teflon has the benefit that you don't have to use any fat. this batch made close to 50 silver dollar pancake -size pancakes. i find it easiest to use this kind of pan, and faster. if using this pan, 2 to 3 tbs of batter is sufficent, fry until top sets and bottom is lightly browned.

as with spinach pancakes, i serve the pancakes with lingonberry jam

May 19, 2009


despite my wrist, the garden needed some attention. it was a lovely morning, and the dog, which, by the way, should be guarding, was not! imagine being able to take so easy at you job!?

now, that is better!

there are new buds all over. at the shack, you just need to dig a little to find them for all the weeds. here's muscari

the rhubarb looked like it needed rescuing

i'm hoping we'll get a pie out of these in a week or two. i didn't have the heart to pull out the lone tulip


the lovage has gone crazy and so needs to be replanted, soon

i was digging out an old flower bed and found this tiny-tiny (5 cm) lizard on the soil, i did rescue her, too

this is how the flower bed looked before

planted 2 kinds of alliums and sunflowers in it and lined the bed with old broken pots. well, had to break some more to get all of it lined

those green ones are tree onions, allium cepa viviparum and were the only non-weed plants that managed to grow in this bed

May 18, 2009

mother's day lunch, wrist update

yes, i know, mother's day was a week ago, my excuse is a whimsical internet connection. we went to moose manor for the lunch. they actually have 3 moose in a corral.

here is one of the younger ones, the oldest has suffered a broken leg and is not with the young ones. it's leg has been in a cast and the vet things the moose will be fine. the proprietors are anxious to find out what happens in autumn. the 3 moose they have are as "domesticated" as moose can be but they do live in the middle of a forest that is a natural habitat of many a moose (my dad should know, it's one of his hunting club's designated areas). i'm not sure how i feel about these moose being in a corral, or captivity i should say. it surely is good for the manor's business attracting tourists, but still

this one has ended up on the wall

for starters we had creamy soup with smoked moose

one option for main course was arctic char with morel sauce. loved the mushrooms, the fish didn't quite impress me. but then again, i have been spoiled with fresh fish because my dad's fishing. let me tell you, there aren't many things better than zander, you only need butter to saute it and salt to taste

the other main course option was a steak with cognac cream sauce. didn't taste the meat but potatoes were very tasty

my nieces and nephew loved the fact that there were so many desserts... strawberry cream cake, tiramisu-type cake, cream puffs, fruit salad, which would have been nice except for the liquor in it and an ellen svinhufvud cake

the wrist isn't any better eventhough surgeon the great said that he'd fix it with one shot he called "the cocktail". first of all, there are 4 not 1 things wrong in the wrist (there is a 5mm tear in a ligament, some detrition at the end of ulna, that being the cause of one nerve sliding to a wrong place, and there were chronic tenosynovitis on 3 separate areas). this was explaned to me, i do have the medical report but there are many weird words so i find the report hard to understand. for clarity's sake, finnish words for bones and things under skin are in no relation to their original latin names, say, like in english. however, the doctors are using the latin names in their reports. anyways, surgeon the great said the wrist'd would be good as new. well, it's not. can you tell that i'm rather p***** off.

surgery was an option before the MRI, but all should have been better after the shot. now i don't know what will happen next, i do know that this wrist will cause me and at least another set of doctors more pain...