Monday, January 18, 2010
Finland - Ski Week and the Midnight Sun
My dad lived in Finland and he told me that Fins are just as fanatical about ice hockey as the Canadians. In fact, Fins are, for the most part, very athletic and outdoorsy. They love ice-skating and every winter kids get off from school and grown-ups get off from work for Ski Week. Everyone heads for the mountaina to ski and my dad and his family were no exception when they lived there. In the summer, since it’s a short season, the Fins take full advantage of the warm long days and the midnight sun. They fish and sail boats and have summer home cottages. You’ve got to admire these folks who take full advantage of whatever season happens to be upon them.
I must remember this when I’m feeling depressed in the dark days of winter.
When I was in Finland my impression was this: it was simply simple. Not in a bad way, mind you, but in that familiar uncomplicated way. It’s large and mostly remote – though Helsinki is a vital capital – and it has a sense of peace about it. People seemed to go about their business and live their life in a quiet manner. For me, to be honest, I didn’t quite find it interesting enough. I much prefer unpredictability. Too much uncluttered certainty leaves me feeling lethargic. But with that said, my dad, stepmother and their two children loved it and they look back on the three years they were there with very fond memories.
Our Finnish dinner was a typical Nordic meal. We ate cabbage rolls that I purchased at a European grocery store, Rosolli potato salad and a blueberry pastry. The salad I made had potatoes, carrots, pickled beets and gherkins. It was very good and I even got Julia’s friend to try it. She was proud of herself for eating pickled beets. The meal was very similar to something I would cook for Germany, Sweden or Russia.
The food was good, but simple, uncomplicated.
Mix together 4 chopped boiled potatoes, 4 chopped carrots, 4 chopped boiled beetroot or pickled beet root, 1 chopped gherkin (I put in more), 1 chopped small onion, salt and white pepper.