Aug 20, 2009

test harvest & more berries

some more pictures from the cottage. we decided to try and see if the parsnips had grown something else besides the stalk and leaves. that's little niece pulling one out

she got this tiny one, we left the rest to grown some more

there will be a lot of wild blueberries for mom to pick. little did i know, the link suggests that i call these berries bilberries, or european blueberries, but they are same genus vaccinium and taste exactly like the northern american wild blueberry, so blueberry is their name

curiously there were a few blueberries that were actually black

you should have seen her fingers and face a bit later...

the red dots are lingonberries

this here is another edible mushroom, pale-yellow clavaria flava, there was a whole lot of them, still quite small so we left them to grow as well

heather in pretty bloom

i'll be spending next week under the greek sun, tell you all about when i come back!

Aug 19, 2009


i noticed today on martha stewart website a title memorykeeping and i immediately thought of the shadow boxes i made for the older niece couple of years ago.

i've made 2, one for london and one for NYC. couldn't find pictures of the london one, but here is the NYC. (FYI: i'm going there in october, yee!!! can you tell i'm ecstatic?)

i had to make this box out of 4mm birch plywood because ikea in finland had run out of shadow boxes, but as i was on a carpentry course at the time, it was no big deal. i spray-painted the box white and got glass cut to size to fit as sliding cover. i wallpapered the inside of the box with a map of NYC, made slots into it to insert ticket stubs, pictures, etc. i even build a stand for statue of liberty.

we were in NYC in oct 07 and i got tickets for us to go and see the martha show taping, another yee!!! i am quite pround of these boxes, if i may say so myself...

Aug 17, 2009


pictures from the cottage, eventhough i'm back to work already. the berries are very bountifull this year. lingonberries are already turning bright red this early in august. didn't taste them yet, they'll be way too tart for my taste

these and loads more only 50 meters from the cottage

wild raspberries, the roadsides leading to cottage are filled with wild raspberry bushes. mom says they just pop up, especially where timber has been cut

we had a debate with the little niece as to what berry is the best, she voted for raspberry, i had to agree. a really ripe and juicy raspberry beats a strawberry any time, or blueberry for that matter

mom has been picking raspberries for a few weeks now, she's frozen them, made jams and juice, and there seems to be no end to them. i spent half an hour in the bushes, ate way too many berries and even when my stomach clearly indicated that i had enough, i just had to eat some more

little red ridinghood, aka little niece

who says you can't go out to play when it rains? it's all about the right garments

amanita muscaria looks quite cute but is poisonous. some say eating amanita will broaden your mind, but i say DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! you might pop your liver...

clearly, this doesn't have anything to do with red but i wanted to share my trick on how to keep avocado green in lunch box: criss-cross avocado with knife, lay it on a bed of salad (iceberg, arugula, parsley, cucumber, sunflower seeds) and squeeze juice of half a lemon on top. lemon juice keeps avocado from turning brown and you'll get tasty (and light!) dressing for the salad

Aug 16, 2009

lemon pork

at the cottage for a quick visit, the little niece came with me. mom had made another effort in project empty the freezer, pork sirloin (don't have martha's cooking school book with me to check if that piece of port is called sirloin or something else). my brother and nephew came for lunch as well. before i bring on the pork, let me intruduce my father's invention, the potato washer

you fill it with desired amount of potatoes (these came from mom's patch), stick the whole thing into the lake and shake it in the water

the motion of water will do the hard work for you

you get nice clean potatoes with minimum effort, nice job dad!

the pork will end up on top of these

first the pork got a layer of grainy dijon mustard & black pepper, then some very thin slices of lemon on top, some salt and sugar on top of the lemons. the oven bag needs to be tightly closed to keep all the moisture in. why lemon on pork? well, there just happened to be a lonely lemon in the fridge, mom had grated the peel for a sour lemon cake and there wasn't anything particular that the lemon would have been used for...

being baked in the oven of a woodburning stove

after 90 mins, all done, lemons were discarded, the meat thinly sliced

made another batch of slaw, this is the dressing to go with the slaw: sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, sugar, white vinegar, dijon mustard and some chili powder

gabbage, carrots and spring onions

the kids love cucumbers with sugar. there was green salad with vinaigrette as well, but i thought that you might have seen a few green salads in your life and didn't take a picture of it