Jul 11, 2009

fair in korpilahti

i took mom and dad to korpilahti to a fair today. the fair is organized every year by local businesses, it's called päijänteen palvipäivät. i won't even try to translate that, other than tell that päijänne is a lake, palvi refers to smoke-cured food and päivä is day. basically local entrepreneurs, mainly small ones, show what they make. there are performers, lots of candy to buy, your normal fair stuff. oh, and the obligatory beer tent. what i fail to understand is how anyone can be almost pass-out drunk by 10 am, when did they start? this morning or last night?

this guy is pekka ahonen, he is a blacksmith and it says hiiden paja on his stand. i took his info but lost it!

110912 update:

someone was good enough to send me the hiidenpaja contact info, it's <b>here

here is what mr ahonen has forged: pendants

napkin rings for you next middle ages theme dinner

kallas / hardy arums, quite amazing if you think what the material is

i've always been curious as to what it would be like to live on a house boat. these people use these as summer "cottages". didn't barge into any of them, but most looked like they had saunas on board...

this was the first time i saw that tar had been used to treat a basket

lunch today, fried neulamuikku / coregonus albula. probably the unhealthiest fish food ever with the amount of butter and oil they use. mom was wise enough to eat just a few, stupid me i got seconds and i'm still suffering (acid reflux)!! this is alsolutely and by far the worst thing i could eat (fries take a second place)

there was also a boat maker showing a row boat. this could be yours with only 2200 euros!

at the harbour there is also a gallery called käsityö kaisla. for some reason i didn't take any pics there. they mostly have the same any crafts gallery would have but items from emalipuu were something i haven seen done before. they combine enamel with wood, very nice!

not sure if these were for sale, but they were pretty. black eyed susans, i think, very unusual over here anyways

fruits of forest

yesterday certain someone took the dog back to shack, i'm sure he'll be cruising around on his harley by now... provided it's not raining. i'm still at the cottage, oldest niece / my goddaughter had her birthday few days back, it's only tomorrow that we get to eat the cake

this was our lunch yesterday, or part of it, "empty the freezer" was on again. we brought this frozen chunk of meat from shack to cottage. the chunk was a nice piece of deer that certain someone took home one dark winter evening (=he hunts). i marinated the meat overnight in red wine (crianza, i think), and tied to a neat package, salt & peppered and placed it on onions and carrots in an oven bag. cooked in the oven for approx 70 mins in 200C, inside temp was 75C. game meats really benefit from cooking in oven bags since they keep the juices in, even if you leave meat in oven for a tad too long

i removed the meat from bag and covered it with foil for 15 mins. this is how my plate looked like, that's pickled chanterelles in the front. i had a fair amount of tiny chanterelles last autumn and wanted to try and see how they'd pickle. i was pleasantly surprised, i happened to get a perfect ratio of sweetness fighting the tartness of vinegar, not overpowering the wonderfull taste of chanterelles. i would love to pickle some this autumn as well... i've been trying to remember the recipe, or if i actually used one (maybe it was something i just cooked up?), no luck so far! carrots, onions and boiled new potatoes to go along

since i ate way too much at lunch (which has happened a lot on this leave), i only had blueberries and wild strawberries in the evening. dear mom picked them in the afternoon. i had mine with just milk, mom and dad like to have theirs with talkkuna. my maternal granmother used to make (mom tells me) her own talkkuna way back when using oats and peas. mom says that in the olden days talkkuna was mixed with just water into a thin drink that would quickly quench thirst and keep hunger away. the taste of talkkuna, however, is an aquired taste, i've noticed. i like mine with blueberries and some sugar mixed into a purple colored mush, yam!

Jul 10, 2009

eggplant, felt slippers

i already forgot what we had for lunch yester, dear mom informs that it was veggies and sausage soup, no pic of that. if you're really interested, check any soup i've made so far and you pretty much get the idea. chop any veggies you have, first fry them up a bit in the kettle in oil, add boiling stock or water, cook for 10 mins, add chopped potatoes, cook for 15 mins, add your chopped sausage (any kind of cooked meat, or none at all!), salt to taste (or any other seasoning your palate says tastes good, dash of chili always kicks it up a notch!) cook to heat the sausage

this what we had for dinner, eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. i used to make a bake with these ingredients ways back, but like with so many others things nowadays, i forgot the exact way to make it... and there is a specific name to that dish. i do remember that i got it from martha (who else) and it's possibly somewhere in the wide spaces of the web. however, there wasn't time to start looking for it, i had hungry people to worry about. and this was easy.

2 eggplants sliced almost all the way, salted generously and left to drain for approx 20 mins. rinsed the eggplants, stuffed every other space with tomato+basil and every other with mozzarella, placed in a tin, drizzled with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, covered with foil and it's ready to go, 200C oven for 60 mins, last 10 with the foil removed

while this was in the oven, i remembered that i should have used garlic. of course, there isn't any garlic at the cottage, it smells bad says dad (duh!) i took the tin out, peeled the foil and added some chopped green onions on top. for the last 10 mins i added some grated gouda. i kinda missed the garlic, or any kind of kick in it. dad said it tasted mellow, not something i would normally trying to achieve but everyone liked it, so i guess mellow is ok. as a rule, dad doesn't eat basil, but we "forgot" to tell him that there was some in the dish. but then again and because there are a lot of things he won't eat for no obvious reason, we usually don't tell him what's in a dish. if he picks it up and leaves something on the plate... i can live with it, i tried

i got these great felt slippers as a xmas present few years back. i wear them at the cottage, rain or shine. because of the rubber sole they take wet groud, they are warm enough in the winter in case you need to make a quick dash somewhere, like, say the outhouse... if you have sweat issues with your toes, these absorb it and toes remain dry. this company isn't paying me anything, i really do like them

i noticed on the website that they have some cool new models, maybe i should get a pair for the shack as well. not that i would need them to dash out over there, he does have indoor plumbing. but hmm, let me be cruel here, if he didn't, i don't think i'd stay overnight. also, i'm no princess (who said that i am?!!) but outhouse every day? no way. cottage is totally different, you know you'll get to go home where you can flush...and don't get me started on all the flying bugs

Jul 9, 2009

storms and a cake

it's summer leave so we took a drive and came to the cottage. after sauna we had some pancakes done in a very country way. this "pan" was made to order for my dad but there is a company called muurikka which makes pans like this. now that i checked the site myself the company seems to have lots of cool stuff! the pancakes are easy to make and can be done on stove in a frying pan as well. the batter is similar to crepes batter, just make it a bit thicker. when fried on fire the pancakes need more butter that usual, that's why they are so delicious!

just a curiosity, the grill you see here is recycled. it used to be on a door of a jail cell in my hometown

i thought this white stone looked rather pretty on the mossy rock

this is aquilegia vulgaris. my mom "rescued" it from a yard of a derelict building. i rather like the pink version of this flower, but that wasn't a surprise, was it?

we had quite a storm today, well, actually two since there was an hour of sunshine in between

not that i have anything against stroms but c'mon, it is supposed to summer and sunshine, not rains and storms!

moms potatoes are growing nicely, few weeks more before first ones are ready to eaten

parsley, carrots, beetroots, salad and dill. wonder who wins the contest here, my mom or the forest

all time favourite from alexis' blog and epicurious, cranberry vanilla coffeecake. so good and freezes well, althought operation emptying the freezer isn't supposed to be about easy freezing!

doesn't this make you wanna have coffee and a piece to go with?

roses are gone!

this is my miniature herb garden at the shack. in the background you can see what the roses used to look like, rather blocking the view to the rest of garden. tall plant on the left is lovage, i've harvested it 3 times already this summer. i dried the leaves, crumbled and store them in a jar. remind myself to take a picture! the lovage made it's first appearance on may 19th blog. i did take out third of it and replanted for certain someones mom. the chive has been there for ever, i took out half of it last summer, it seemed to like it and is now thriving. the small ones are parsley, not so sure if they'll ever get bigger...

view to the shack from driveway. the roses are half gone in this one. i took a rest for a day and then certain someone surprised me and showed some interest in the garden, namely wanting to get rid of the rest of the roses

don't you think the view much better now!?

it took us 2 afternoons to clear all of them. first to cut the stems and chop them smaller in order not take so much space in compost. after this was done, i started pulling the stubs to get the roots up as well. it felt like they came all the way from china! now my back hurts. the bed still needs serious sorting out, it used have a beautiful rock wall that is now all grown over. i'm curious as to when this happens

i couldn't resist, just a few more

this might be the last one, just kidding! right now i'm at the cottage, but it would be nice if the peonies were still blooming next week

this flower bed also appeared on may 19th blog, thought it would be nice to show an update. the sunflowers aren't too big, wonder if they'll grow enought to bloom before autumn

Jul 6, 2009

bear with me

if i'm lucky the peonies will bloom only for another week or so, they are just the most beautifull flower ever. and the pink in these peonies is the most beautifull color ever. just my opinion, but don't you love them?

not sure if computer makes justice for the actual color

it is amazing

paired with the perfect green (and i don't really like green that much!)

well, life isn't just about flowers and pretty things, you need to eat occasionally. this was lunch on saturday, pasta with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, leek, kalamata olives, feta and basil, salt and freshly ground black pepper on top

operation "empty the freezer" continues with deer burgers, i think this was the last of ground deer. made it to burgers with tiny bit of sage, capers, 1 shallot, buttermilk and breadcrumbs, 1 egg, salt and pepper and fried them in rapeseed oil.

sunday lunch salad, just the basics, tomato, mozzarella and basil

there are still lots of mushrooms in the freezer waiting to be baked into pies, cooked into pasta sauces and what not. been meaning to bake a pie, or anything really, but we've been tearing up the rosebed. my back is sore, my fingers have blisters and now both of my wrists are hurting, but the yard is starting to look better!