Last visit to Finland before jetting off

Sorry about the blog silence I have been busy here in Finland. It has been wonderful too see everyone but tears are running down my face and goodbyes are difficult. The flight here was super easy. I could not believe it. Life has changed again, for better. My dear daughter was sitting nicely next to me, luckily the plane was not fully booked so there was a spare seat for her. She is still well under two so normally there would be no seats but we were lucky. I was looking at the other babies in the plane, a 6-month old and 9-month old and oh what a circus it was. I am so happy those days are over! My daughter absolutely loves flying and reading the safety instructions as you can see. Maybe she becomes a female pilot. She is brave and fearless.

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On Friday night I saw my lovely group of friends. I am really blessed I think. I have a wonderful girl group of primary school friends, a wonderful girl group of high school friends and a wonderful girl group of university friends. When I see them it is like time has not passed. two of us started with some champagne in the restaurant Kiila in the centre of Helsinki. I truly recommend this place. champagne glasses were 6 euros and the place is just great! Perfect for after works or for weekends.

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It was emotional though. After the champagne we all met, cooked some food and drank some delicious wine. Well maybe time has passed a bit, instead of cheap bottles of wine we really bought nice stuff. It was nostalgic, we used to do this so often back in uni. We all are strong women, extremely feminist personalities, ambitious and I guess men would describe us difficult but we think we just have woman power. No man bosses us around that is for sure. I lasted all dinner and drinks wihout tears until the leaving time hit, oh dear what a flood of tears came out. It was so hard to say goodbye. I love these people so much and I have missed them every day whilst living in London. I think what has made it worse is that four of us have not been in the same country for a long time..one of us lived in Denmark, I lived in London and one of us travelled a lot. Two others and I did an exchange year at uni so now when finally three of them are living in Finland we could all be together again but no I leave to the other side of the world, ironic. I guess in the middle of this motherhood when I hardly have my own time I miss my dear friends even more and those times we spent together as free souls seem extremely unique. Well maybe after couple of years we are back in Finland and I can finally have some time with these special people.

Today my highschool friends will come to visit me and there may be more tears. Luckily we all have kids so it will be such a hassle that I hopefully cannot get too emotional. I baked some blueberry tart which we can enjoy with some vanilla sauce.

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My dear daughter went to sauna with me. She loved the sizzling noise that water made when it hit the rocks. I love sauna, another funny thing I will miss. Couple of more days here and then we are back in London town for the final stress.

I hope you all are having a relaxing Monday. I will go back to do some more knitting, my daughter’s Norwegian knit is getting ready soon!

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Trumpet chantarelle reindeer pie -Suppilovahvero-poro piiras

I promised to share the trumpet chantarelle reindeer pie recipe with you. Sorry for taking so long to post it. I have had so many other great topics to blog about so I totally forgot it!

The recipe is very simple I was particularly pleased with the dough, it was moist but not too fatty. So often the pastry is either too dry or too fatty and greasy. I know the ingredients for this pie are so Finnish that you will struggle to find them elsewhere unless living in Canada or Nordic countries! This pie is very nice though and you can replace the reindeer with bacon and use some other mushrooms if you want to make the pie. It is not the same but overall I think the recipe is very balanced and good, not too greasy, not too eggy etc. I will definitely use the measurements and the dough for other pies. Sorry about the bad photo quality, I made the pie in the evening in Finland and it really was super dark and not enough natural light to get nice photos!

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Pastry:

3 1/2dl (1 3/4 cup) white flour

1/2 tl salt

75 g dairy free margarin (or butter)

1 egg

Filling:

3dl (300ml) already steamed and cooked trumpet chantarelles

100g reindeer (fried on the pan)

1 onion (cooked until golden brown)

2 eggs

200ml soy cream (can use regular cream)

1 dl (1/2 cup)

fresh thyme

white pepper, salt and black pepper

1. Knead the soft margarin and white flour until crumbly.

2. Add the egg in, knead more and spread the dough into the pie tin.

3. Mix together all the filling ingredients, cooked trumpet chantarelles, cooked reindeer, golden brown onions, cheese, eggs and soy cream.

4. Add the spices into the filling mix.

5. Pour the filling mix on the top of the pastry.

6. Cook the pie in 200 Celsius degrees for 30-40 minutes until it is cooked through and the filling has a brown colour.

ENJOY THE FLAVOUR OF NORDIC FORESTS!

 

Tony’s Deli in Helsinki – Tony’s Deli Helsingissä

 I personally always struggle with lunch places in Helsinki. Helsinki is amazing for high end cuisine that you enjoy in the evenings but lunches are trickier. Reasonably priced lunches are hard to find if you don’t want to end of in the regular salad bar.

My sister has been praising a place called Tony’s Deli on Bulevardi street in Helsinki. It is actually under the ground so you rather easily just pass the place without noticing it. This week I went to Helsinki with my dad and we went to try this place. I was extremely positively surprised.

The decor was lovely! The place has both restaurant and wine bar.

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It has relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

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The best thing is that during the day time sparkling wine is only 2.90 euros per glass in their wine bar! I guess this tells something about the Finns, they never drink at lunch time so one can easily have offers like this. Great for tourists like me!

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The lunch was 10 euros. Great price. This included soup starter which was tomato on that day, all the salads from the buffet, main course and coffee with a biscuit. You were able to either choose the main from the buffet (that was a bit too work lunch option for my taste..) or order mains separately from the wine bar menu, in either case the soup, salads and coffee were included in the price. As I am a huge Caesar salad fan I ordered that. It was super tasty and well presented!

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I warmly recommend this place if you end up wondering in Helsinki at lunch time.

Have a great Wednesday!

Elegia by Eino Leino -Eino Leinon Elegia

It is unvbelievably nice to be surrounded by my own culture. I know it may sound lame but there is so much ”Finnishness” as I call it that cannot be explained to people who are not born and raised in Finland. Some of these things are music, poems and literature. Despite this I will try today, explain a bit of it and share something with you.

Last night I watched ”Vain Elämää” (trans. ”Life Only”)  series on TV with my sister. It is an amazing concept. The series has seven Finnish musicians appearing in it. They spend the whole day and evening  together and each episode concentrates on the music of one of the artists. They talk about their feelings, the musicians explain how they ended up writing the songs, what they experienced in their lives at that time. It is touching, the songs open up so differently when you hear the stories. Some songs that you throught would happy songs were written in the middle of anxiety, fear and desperation. It is also so impressive to see different versions of the classic songs that are familiar to every Finn. Sometimes the songs are like different songs as they are intepreted so differently from the orginal. I have had tears in my eyes when watching the episodes. Particularly shaking was the episode where the poem from my most formative years of high school was intepreted. The song is based on the poem of Eino Leino, famous Finnish poet. Here is the new version of the song intepreted by Paula Vesala from PMMP. Here is the original song intepreted by Vesa-Matti Loiri.

 I loved Finnish language lessons, literature and writing. I guess I went through the period in my life when I was reading books every minute of my life and I was dwelling in the emotions, writing was to express them. I still remember sitting in the class room back in 2002. My mother language teacher was a musician herself, she was in the music group called ”Kitkerät Neitsyet” (trans. ”Bitter Virgins”). It was cold and dark winter day. She was wearing her cool looking leather trousers, she had black hair, strong black eye make-up and purple cardigan as usual. She stood there in front of the class room and started to pronounce this poem called Elegia. It describes youth and how it appears to you when you are older and you look back in time. I was young then but I was still able to imagine how this text would touch and feel when you are older and reading it. Like Finnish poems typically it is full of sadness, simplicity and melancholy but it is so lyric that later on it was written as a song too. I wanted to share this text with you. Finnish poetry is pretty rough.

Youth fading like a rolling stream,

strings of gray push from the golden beam.

In vain, O in vain try I and seize the hour;

no joy in friends, my wine’s going sour.

 

Gone are my proud days of will.

My spirit burned; now it lies still.

From all vales I rose; O why see I not another mile?

My heart’s wish: less pain but a humble while.

 

O true I know, peace there is deep in the mold.

The path of a seeker did no mellow rest hold;

stormy clouds cloaking the sun going down,

a fainting red burns like the deepest wound.

 

Gone in the sea is the blossom of my dreams.

I’m a penniless man; dear the price of the song, it seems.

My all I gave, but a while did I brave,

a grave heart did the gold of my dreams pay.

 

Tired I am, O my heart to the depths!

More it is than a man and he takes?

Or I’m of them with the will and no more?

All winnings void, yield an undying throe.

 

So for none did I bear all trouble and ail,

broken chains, burnt dearest ships of sail?

Now I did fall when the demand was my all?

Freezing to ice, scarred to answer the call?

 

Hopeless the struggle to the divine gate,

heavenly song to its child coming too late.

Queen the winter tears me down with these quills.

In the quiet of the gorge this dying beast stills

(Finnish original by Eino Leino)

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Rakastan ”Vain Elämää” sarjaa. Konsepti on oivallinen. On uskomatonta kuinka musiikki voi aueta uudella tavalla, kun kuulee tarinan laulun synnystä. Itselleni yksi koskettavimpia kappaleita sarjassa on ollut Vesa-Matti Loirin alkuperäinen tulkinta Eino leinon runosta Elegia. Se oli yksi nuoruusvuosieni koskettavimmista kirjallisista teksteistä. Kun kuulin Paula Vesala version kyseisestä kappaleesta kylmät väreet kulkivat ihoani pitkin. Muistan yhä kuunnelleeni alkuperäistä versiota toistolla ollessani 18-vuotias ja tunnelmoidessani nuoruutta ja sen katoavaisuutta. Rakastin  äidinkieltä ja kirjallisuutta koulussa. Opettajani kuului ”Kitkerät Neitsyet” yhtyeeseen ja oli melkoinen taiteilija sielu. Muistan yhä, kun eräällä tunnilla pimeänä talvipäivänä hän lausui luokan edessä Eino Leinon Elegia, jota seurasi hiljaisuus. Eihän nuoruutta voisi koskettavammin juuri kuvata.

Haihtuvi nuoruus niinkuin vierivä virta.

Langat jo harmaat lyö elon kultainen pirta.

Turhaan, oi turhaa tartun ma hetkehen kiini,

riemua ei suo rattoisa seura, ei viini.

 

Häipyvät taakse tahtoni ylpeät päivät.

Henkeni hurmat ammoin jo jälkehen jäivät.

Notkosta nousin. Taasko on painua tieni?

Toivoni ainoo: tuskaton tuokio pieni.

 

Tiedän ma: rauha mulle on mullassa suotu.

Etsijän tielle ei lepo lempeä luotu,

pohjoinen puhuu, myrskyhyn aurinko vaipuu,

jää punajuova: kauneuden voimaton kaipuu.

 

Upposi mereen unteni kukkivat kunnaat.

Mies olen köyhä: kallit on laulujen lunnaat.

Kaikkeni annoin, hetken ma heilua jaksoin,

haavehen kullat mieleni murheella maksoin.

 

Uupunut olen, ah, sydänjuurihin saakka!

Liikaako lienee pantukin paatinen taakka?

Tai olen niitä, joilla on tahto, ei voima?

Voittoni tyhä, työn tulos tuntoni soima.

 

Siis oli suotta kestetyt, vaikeat vaivat,

katkotut kahleet, poltetut, rakkahat laivat?

Nytkö ma kaaduin, kun oli kaikkeni tarpeen?

Jähmetyn jääksi, kun meni haavani arpeen.

 

Toivoton taisto taivaan valtoja vastaan!

Kaikuvi kannel; lohduta laulu ei lastaan.

Hallatar haastaa, soi sävel sortuvin siivin.

Rotkoni rauhaan kuin peto kuoleva hiivin.

(Eino Leino)

Autumn Finland -Syksyinen Suomi

It is great to be back home. The travel went well. I booked a lunch time flight on Sturday which I know is the easiest in terms of Heathrow traffic and my baby girl’s mood. My daughter knows how to make most of the flying these days. I guess she has gotten quite a lot of practice. She just sleeps through the flights. As soon as the engines go on she is gone. It was so lovely she slept all 3h to Finland and I was able to listen to my favourite music, sip my coffee and enjoy chocolate all that time -luxurious! She was just toes up in the air!

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I always forget how stunning Finland is at the Autumn time.  We call it ”ruska”. It is when everything turns to colourful and nature is filled with Autumn magic. Sun is shining and it has been so beautiful. Not even cold at all. We have still as much daylight here as in England so it is just perfect.

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What colours!

I have been out and about exercing more than probably at the whole summer! In the morning, day time and afternoon. I am excited to think of being a  lot more fit after these three weeks.

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I love Finnish wooden houses -they are gorgeous!

My daughter loves cycling. She is pointing her helmet all the time and wants to go out and ride the bike.  She has been sitting in her baby seat in the back of the bicycle and we have been out admiring trees that have turned to colourful like rainbows.   I have enjoed breathing this fresh, cool and crispy Nordic air. As a small detail  I love  water here too. It is unreal that the tap water is spring water so clean and tasty! It is also unbelievably peacful everywhere, it blows my mind. So quiet, no cars on the roads, I feel like the king of the road when driving here all by myself!

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My baby girl felt like a big girl when taking the dogs out.

Stores and playgrounds are empty, no people really, and I have all this space just for me. It truly makes me feel calm and relaxed not to have people like ants around me. It is also nice to have this break straight after my resignation as I felt so emotional on my last day at work. I had to run to the elevator not to have tears running down my face. I will miss my colleagues like I told them and I know I will miss London too. This break here gives me a bit distance to those emotions which is good.

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This is the beautiful wooden church where I got married. It is so amazing inside that it has been used in the film scenes too.

It is wonderful to see my family and all the friends. Most of them have babies now so we have lovely time catching up, kids can play and we can talk!

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I hope you all are having a good start of the week! My next post is probably about shopping..like always I went a bit crazy here when all the Finnish design is at my doorstep!

 

 

My morning music -Aamumusiikkiani

Here is my morning music. It is a very nostalgic Finnish song from a romantic comedy ”Ainoat Oikeat – ”The Only Right Ones” . A small home sickness attacks.

Song can be listened here -Eva& Manu Kun aika on.

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Tässä  vähän aamumusiikkiani. Kappale tuloillaan olevasta suomalaisesta elokuvasta ”Ainoat Oikeat”, jossa kaverini muuten näyttelee. Huomasin kyseisen kappaleen, kun se ilmestyi Facebookin News Feediin eilen illalla. Koti-ikävä  iski pienenä piikkinä sitä kuunnellessa. Autch.

Biisin voi kuunnella täällä. Esittäjä Eva&Manu -Kun aika on. Kaunista.

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