Category Archives: Recipes

Finnish Christmas recipes – glögi

Glögi - Finnish mulled wine

Glögi – Finnish mulled wine

Glögi is the Finnish version of mulled wine, popular through the winter months and essential at Christmas. Although one can readily buy various preparations from which glögi can be made, it is easy enough to make at home. The essential ingredients are cloves, cinnamon sticks, citrus peel, a little sugar to sweeten to taste, and, of course, a reasonable bottle of red wine. Mulled wine should not be made with nasty wine – if it is not good to drink as it stands, then it will not make good mulled wine. Continue reading

Finnish Christmas recipes – the baked dishes

In the previous article, I described those seasonal dishes that make up our Finnish Christmas meal. In this article, I provide recipes for the three baked dishes that accompany the main course, the ham. These dishes are each made from pureed winter vegetables – swede, carrot, and potato – all of which we have available from store or, in the case of swede, currently standing in the bed through the mild weather thus far. Continue reading

The Finnish Christmas table

I have come up with a few excuses for the lack of blog posts over the last few months, but now I have a good one – I am hobbling around on crutches after an arthroscopy on both knees; I am definitely not working the garden for a while. However, for those readers not of the Nordic persuasion, and maybe even for some that are, I thought it might be interesting to write a few articles and provide some recipes for Finnish Christmas food, starting in this post with an overview of the Finnish Christmas table and the dishes that will be covered in subsequent posts. We have the best of both worlds here – CT is Finnish, and the Finns celebrate on Christmas Eve, leaving us free to follow the Finnish feast with an English sort on Christmas day. The in-laws stay with us for some weeks around Christmas, and mother-in-law Riitta and I do our best to prepare the traditional dishes, along with some family favourites. Continue reading

Gnocchi

A pile of freshly prepared potato gnocchi

A pile of freshly prepared potato gnocchi

Gnocchi are the small dumplings commonly prepared in Italy. Whilst they can be made from various ingredients, those prepared from potatoes, gnocchi di patate, are the most common. With a sack full of suitable potatoes in the shed, we have been enjoying plenty of freshly prepared gnocchi of late. Gnocchi can be rather heavy and chewy, but with a little care, the home made version is ever so light and absolutely delicious. They are simple to make, and the results should be exceptional, once a few critical notions are appreciated that will ensure a good flavour and light texture. Continue reading

Lavender shortbread

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Shortbread biscuits baked to golden brown

Shortbread is perhaps the easiest of biscuits to prepare but is surely one of the most delicious. A basic recipe has just three ingredients – flour, butter, and sugar – which are transformed in the baking to a beautiful rich golden biscuit. After CT took some to work, her colleagues have been after my recipe, so this weekend I made another batch and took a few notes for the blog. So, now my secret is out – this recipe makes the most superb crumbly biscuits. Continue reading

Roasted beetroot and shallots

We are both very keen on beetroot. It is an easy crop, reliable, taking up little space, and offering a harvest over a long period; all great qualities for the kitchen garden. The ubiquitous harshly pickled stuff is nasty and really does no justice to the sweet earthy roots. We most often treat it rather simply, boiling until tender, removing the skins, chopping or slicing and dressing lightly whilst still warm. This is ideal served as a side dish or as an ingredient in salads. However, they are equally good raw and great when roasted. Continue reading

Sweetcorn salad

Freshly picked cobs of corn

Freshly picked cobs of corn

Sweetcorn is one of our favourite late summer crops. It takes up a fair bit of space so we only make two plantings – one under cover and one outdoors. The harvest is brief but there are few things better than freshly picked corn. We usually just simmer it for five minutes, slather in butter and seasoning, and enjoy it on the cob. For a change, though, we put together this simple salad. Continue reading

Tomatillo mole

Tomatillo mole

Tomatillo mole

We are growing tomatillos and their close relatives, Cape gooseberries, this year for the first time. The latter we are just eating fresh – none have yet made it as far as the house – whilst we have been enjoying the tomatillos in a simple Mexican inspired mole. This is quick and easy to prepare and has a wonderful fresh flavour with some tartness from the tomatillos. Continue reading

Guacamole

Fresh homemade guacamole

Fresh homemade guacamole

The ripening of chillies and tomatillos, along with fresh sweetcorn, has brought on a recent spate of Mexican inspired dishes: guacamole – literally avocado sauce; a mole made from roasted chillies, tomatillos, and red onions; a salad or salsa where sweetcorn is the star ingredient; and sweetcorn fritters. Recipes will follow for each of these, but in this post I cover homemade guacamole. I do not, I must confess, have that much knowledge of Mexican cuisine, but I am fairly confident that this guacamole is a fair representation – certainly more so than the dull and insipid substitutes found in some shops. Continue reading

Continental style coleslaw

Summer cabbage

Summer cabbage

Earlier in the year we planted summer cabbages Copenhagen Market and Golden Acre. Both are excellent for coleslaw, which is my favourite use for white cabbage, and the first sowings are now ready to harvest. The most common sort of coleslaw seen here comprises shredded cabbage, onion, and carrot, dressed in a rich mayonnaise. Whilst we enjoy it in this form, I most often prepare a simple continental style of coleslaw, or ‘krautsalat’, typical across Germany and other regions. The dressing in this case is a simple vinaigrette, and the result much lighter and fresher. Continue reading