December 6, 2011
Finland celebrates Independence Day today, December 6th. Besides being a holiday, the day is marked by many events everywhere and it is closed with the annual President´s Ball which is broadcasted on tv every year.
For us, this tuesday was a day to relax. I was very glad we had this long weekend (LV didn’t need to go to pre school yesterday), to recharge our batteries and prepare for the Christmas Holidays.
We woke up very late and got surprised when we opened the curtains. Land outside was all covered with a white layer ^_^ ! The first snow of the year in Helsinki :)!! Too bad it melted away already, but it was beautiful in the morning.
I thought about making a bento featuring only Finnish food today, but in the end, I only made this little meal for my girls. Just to celebrate!
- Karjalanpiirakoita – mini Karelian pastries
These little “pies” are traditional pastries from the region of Karelia, eaten all over Finland nowadays. Consists usually by a rye crust filled with rice porridge or potato mash. Barley used to be its filling in old times but not anymore. My mother-in-law taught be to make karjalanpiirakka years ago… her pastries are the best I ever ate! However.. those “mini” ones were store bought, pre-baked (yes I know, not the same as homemade…)
- Small container with munavoi
Butter mixed with boiled eggs (muna translates to egg, voi is butter), a usual spread for the karjalanpiirakka.
- Leipäjuusto “hearts” with mixed berries jam
Leipäjuusto translates to “bread cheese”. It is a fresh cheese which origins comes from Ostrobothnia(area from Finland which once belonged to Sweden), Northern Finland and Kainuu.
This kind of cheese is prepared into flat round disks then baked and grilled (or charred) for the dark marks. Usually eaten with cloudberry jam and coffee. They “squeak” nicely when you chew them ^_^!
- Mini yoghurt dessert with crushed gingerbread (piparkakku), thick yoghurt with vanilla, topped with Finnish bilberries (mustikka). The berries were collected from the forest in late Summer and they are an important source of vitamins during the Finnish winter.
- Muumipeikko or Moomintroll made with a fluffy slice of pulla (Finnish sweet cardamon bread). Eyes are dashes of melted chocolate
- Cherry tomato, cucumber slices, green apple flower and for a treat, Fazer sininen chocolates. The most loved milk chocolate of Finnish people ;)
Hope you didn’t get bored while reading my post today… I really enjoyed writing about a bit of the Finnish food culture ^_^
Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää kaikille!!
(Happy Independence Day Finnish friends!)
December 1, 2011
A bento to celebrate the Christmas season!
It was so good to return making bentos again… but it is weird to get back to the habit :/. I am totally needing some practice… not only on making the meals, but also… taking pictures of them! Gosh… I was so used to my previous settings in the old apartment I found challenging to take photos in my new kitchen. I will get better, I hope :P!
And yes, I confess I stole the idea of using the star picks for the Christmas trees from Sheri, the lovely owner of Happy Little Bento Blog. Her use of picks is brilliant, she will always be my bento-heroine inspiration of all times :).
AH! And before I forget!!! New bento boxes in this post! I got them before our moving from a sweet bento friend of mine. Thank you ^^, my girls loved the HK ♥!
Contents: rice with furikake, grilled chicken breast pieces, steamed broccoli, cucumber slices, pearl tomatoes, purple carrots, orange wedges, red grapes and Christmas shaped pasta. The tree is a mini onigiri wrapped with wilted spinach decorated with carrots “balls”.
Must say they enjoy eating spinach nowadays! Wohoo!!!