Finland

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Unusual Fact: Finland has the most heavy metal bands, with 53 per 100 000 people.

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Image: View Photo
Image: View Photo
Image: Nordic Travel
Image: Nordic Travel
Image: Cultura
Image: Cultura

When I was little I loved the colour blue. Everything had to be blue. “What type of muffin do you want Elly?”

“Blue”

“What colour do you want your walls painted?”

“Blue”

When I asked for blue milkshakes my grandpa said that he would order a vanilla and have them add some blue food dye or blueberries. Just like the Finnish! If you have a child that is colour obsessed you can give them some of this coloured milk. You don’t even just have to use blueberries, mango for yellow, strawberries for pink, raspberries for red, banana for beige…

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The Finns even have this on their cereal for breakfast for added nutrients. This recipe does have sugar in it which I would personally leave out if I was having it on my breakfast but just to drink is awesome, perfect on a hot day when you just want to relax.

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A few hours later we dined from Finland again this time, with meatballs and salmon. I accidentally forgot to make the gravy that went with the meatballs and lingonberries aren’t grown here and we ran out of cranberry sauce so we used some guava jam instead, which tastes like strawberry jam. To cut a long story short, we went from gravy and lingonberry relish to strawberry jam….

Even without it’s traditional side dishes the meatballs were great. They were nice and moist but could have done with a few more spices in them.

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The salmon was simply fried off with some oil, salt and pepper and then served with a dill sauce. Holy macadooly this sauce. It’s creamy, and tangy, and sour and fresh at the same time. And it’s only got cream, dill, cucumber (adds an awesome crunchy texture), butter and lemon juice. Pour it over the salmon (or anything really) and Bob’s your uncle.

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If you didn’t like the idea of making up a caramel to caramelise your potatoes in like we did from the Faroe Islands you can just use maple syrup. This is easier and tastes just as great.

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The salmon was simply fried with some oil and salt. All of this was served with some grated carrot and chopped pickles.

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For dessert we had a super simple super delicious blueberry pie. The pastry doesn’t require any folding and is lightly flavoured with cardamom. The filling is just blueberries, sugar and some cornflour for thickness. Be careful because when you cut into the pie all the juices run out and will stain everything in sight, luckily our chopping board has a moat around it for juices. Ours was lovely served with some vanilla ice cream but it is also awesome served cold with coffee.

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Meatballs and potatoes

Mum: 7

Me: 7

Salmon and Sauce:

Mum: 8.5

Me: 8

Pie:

Mum: 7

Me: 8

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Maple Glazed Potato/Rutabaga recipe by Global Travel Adventure

Ingredients:

2 lbs rutabaga (about 3 average rutabagas), peeled and cubed
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1/8 cup maple syrup
salt
pepper

Method:

Melt butter in pan over medium.
When it crackles, add the rutabagas. Increase the heat to high (or medium high if it seems to be too much) and brown the rutabaga. Do not stir them too often or they will just steam.
Season with salt and pepper
When they are pleasantly browned, add maple syrup, toss and cover. Simmer gently until the rutabagas are tender.
Serve immediately

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Salmon in a Dill Sauce (Lohi Tilli-kastikkeessa) recipe by the World Cookbook for Students

4 Salmon fillets
1 Tbs oil
1 tsp cracked pepper
2/3 cucumber diced
1 Tbs chopped dill
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup cream
2 Tbs butter
salt, pepper to taste
chopped fresh dill

Brush salmon with oil; sprinkle with pepper, pressing into the flesh.
Grill for 5 minutes on each side, until just cooked.
To make the sauce; heat cucumber, dill, lemon juice and cream to a simmer.
Pour  sauce over salmon; garnish with dill.

Meatballs (Lihapullat) recipe by the World Cookbook for Students

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tbs water
1/2 cup cream
1 pound minced beef
1 onion, finely minced
1 tbs oil
1 egg beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4tsp pepper
oil for frying
2 tbs oil
2 tbs water

Gravy
pan juices
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 cream

Soak bread crumbs in water and cream. Let stand until crumbs are well moistened.
Sauté onion in oil in a frying pan until softened.
Add onion, egg and seasonings to meat and mix well..
Wet hands and shape the mixture into 2-inch balls.
Heat more oil in the pan. Fry meatballs on all sides 4-6 at a time, until golden and cook throughout. Remove meatballs and drain. Keep warm.
Add water and deglaze pan. Transfer pan juices to a small bowl.
Melt butter in the pan and brown the flour lightly, stirring continuously.
Add deglazing juices , stirring constantly.
Add the cream and check seasoning.
Pour gravy over meatballs.
Serve with potatoes, grated carrots, dill pickles and a lingonberry relish.

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Blueberry tart (Mustikkapiirakka) recipe by the World Cookbook For Students

Pastry:
2/3 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
Filling
4 cups blueberries (bilberries or huckleberries are preferred but I used normal blueberries)
1 cup sugar (I only did a few tsp)
1 tbs cornflour
juice 1/2 lemon
Mix butter, egg, milk, flour and cardamom to make a dough.
Let stand for 1 hour, refrigerated.
Roll out thinly on a wax paper lined tray
Mix blueberries with sugar lemon juice and corn flour
Spread over dough leaving a 1 inch margni
Roll up margins to form a rim.
Bake in a 180˚C oven for 30  minutes, until crust is golden.
Serve warm or cold with coffee or ice cream.

4 thoughts on “Finland

  1. Hi Elly,
    loved the sound of this “offering”. I love both meatballs and salmon so this is certainly going to be tried. Sounds super! Take care,
    KJ

  2. That all looks good Elly. I thought Finnish food would be all Rollmops and pickles.
    I’m going to forward these recipes to our Finnish friends the Jaatinens as I’m sure their daughter Stella would much prefer meatballs and blueberry pie to pickled herrings.
    Me too.

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