On 5th of February Finland celebrates Runeberg day, the birthday of national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg who lived in the 19th century. Although he wrote in Swedish, part of his most popular work became the National Anthem of Finland. It is said that his wife, who was a writer herself, invented the Runeberg cake which her husband loved to eat for breakfast. The pastry is flavoured with almonds, cardamom and is topped with raspberry jam in the middle of a sugar ring. Traditionally it is eaten on Runeberg’s birthday.
Tiia usually makes Runeberg’s cakes herself but this week was so busy that she didn’t quite have the time for it so far. Fortunately Kanniston Leipomo, a bakery nearby, sells freshly made ones, so I got two pieces for the afternoon. On the weekend she’ll hopefully get around to make some of her own and put the recipe on the blog, so everybody who is not able to buy these great pastries in their country can make their own.
Soon we’re off to my parents’, to spend a nice Christmas Eve & Day with my family. Can’t wait for the food, sauna and presents! I’ve made a deal with myself to not eat too much, but we’ll see how that goes… Stef made a beautiful lemon poppy seed cake that I can’t wait to taste! Of course there’s going to be traditional Finnish Christmas food as well.
This year we decided to not have a big Christmas tree. Instead I made some garlands out of corn starch dough. They turned out to be really pretty!
We also got two little trees in replacement of a big one and they’re really cute.
I was sure we were going to have a snowless Christmas, but on Monday it started snowing, and now we have 10 cm of the white stuff!
We also did some last minute gift shopping in Tallinn on Monday. The city was so beautiful with all the Christmas lights, snow and the mulled wine at the Christmas market was delicious.
I’m looking outside and it started snowing again. We will see if there’s going to be double the amount of snow by tomorrow – I hope not!
We want to wish the readers of this blog a Merry Christmas! May all your bellies be full and your moods content.
We’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately. No industrial sugar or wheat flour which means less candy and other crap. Unfortunately it’s Christmas season and my grandma decided to send a huge package of German Christmas candy! At the moment it is sitting in the cupboard tempting me but I think I’d rather start the day with a chia pudding and some fresh mango. Also a sourdough rye bread is enjoying the radiator wrapped in a warm cloth for the next two hours before it will be baked. I have been making all of our breads (all sourdough) recently from rye or spelt flour and they are way better than most bought ones.
Other times when we feel like something sweet, I usually make some raw treats like raw protein bars or raw cake. And I have to say it does make me feel way better. I have more energy and whenever I actually ate some “normal” store bought candy I immediately craved for more and it left my body feeling kinda bleugh the next day which I don’t experience with self made foods. This still won’t mean I’ll be eating only raw from now on or completely healthy. I think it is perfectly fine to enjoy some of the Christmas candy once in a while or to make a normal cake with white flour but I’d like to make our own food as much as possible.
I have two more recipes coming up: one for raw protein bars and one for a layered cake with whipped coconut cream and chocolate mousse. I am also thinking about trying to make a raw nutella today.
The grey rainy November is at its end, the dim winter sun is hiding behind thick rain clouds and I am having a cold. This is one of those days when it’s okay to feel a bit melancholic, drink some hot blackcurrant juice and look at pictures of summertime while being lazy on the couch with a package of tissues.
As it seems, I have barely posted any summer pictures. I guess I was too busy enjoying the warmth – or maybe looking through hundreds of pictures and editing them just didn’t seem that appealing. Looks like I had a recurring theme in the summer photography: cats and flowers.
I am obviously a huge summer person and one of my biggest enjoyments are flowers. The bright colours, pleasant scents and the quiet buzzing noise of bees are simply relaxing. In the future I’d love to get my very own garden, but in the meantime I’m happy with my mini balcony and having my mother with her garden nearby.
To me summer has always been about looking around at the nature and observing it; the dandelions are blooming, the lilacs are blooming, the lupines are blooming… Time to pick nettles, time to pick clovers… And so forth.
At least I’m not the only one in this house who is a summer-fanatic: the cats love warming themselves up in the hot sun and looking at people and bugs on the balcony.
Have I mentioned photography yet? It is just so satisfying to take pictures that actually have colour and light!
Restaurant Day is one of my favourite food festivals in Helsinki and is held a few times per year. Although it’s world wide, it is especially big in Finland. Everybody can open their own pop up restaurant which can be in the city, in the backyard or even at home. For one day you don’t need a license to serve food. Just a table, a barbeque or even a blanket on the grass and then you can sell self-made goods. You reserve a location online so your customers can find you or you can find nice places to wander around and have a taste yourself.
It’s a perfect opportunity to try something new and foreign. I think the mixture of cultures in Helsinki make this food festival so great. Lots of different flavours, food from all the corners of the world, no matter if you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan.
I had actually planned to put a little café up myself this time but for some reason I didn’t really have time to prepare anything. Maybe next time.
Instead, Tiia and I had a look around Esplanadi first. We were there in the early afternoon and it was packed with people!
A nice little Turkish place sold Köfte which I just couldn’t pass without trying them myself. They came directly from the grill and were delicious!
I have to say the food places were a bit more commercial than last time. A lot of actual restaurants had opened up a booth and also a few market stands that sold their food for the normal price. Instead of fighting our way through the crowd, we decided to go to the Old Church Park.
Tiia spotted a vegan place and bought a seitan kebab at Soul Mama’s Kitchen. It’s also a restaurant in Helsinki but for some reason we haven’t made it there yet. The kebab was really great. The seitan itself spicy and tender. Maybe we’ll find the time soon to pay the restaurant a visit.
There are always too many places to choose from and too little space in the stomach!
Unfortunately there are never enough trash bins around but at least people tried to arrange their waste around them so it can be picked up easier later.
After our savoury food tour it was time for some dessert! We stopped at a little stand where some girls sold oriental cakes.
For the way home Tiia bought a little cake pop. Maybe next time I’ll write a post from our own pop up restaurant.