#29 sweet memories

029/365 sweet memories, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice. Make a photo of something sweet today.”

This was the Daily Shoot assignment for today. I ended up with this seasonal cafeteria shoot of traditional Finnish ‘pulla’ – cardemum spiced buns. We Finns are amonst the keenest coffee drinkers in the world. And an almost inseparable companion for a cup of coffee here is a ‘pulla’ of some sort. There are different varieties for special celebrations, like these ones for Shrove Tuesday in February. On that day, the tradition is to go sledging, and then have a hot drink with these filled buns afterwards. First you cut the top of the bun off, then fill it either with almond paste or jam and lots of whipped cream, and put the cut-off piece as a ‘hat’ on top. Heavenly!

The art of ‘pulla’ baking is passed on from mother to daughter. My sweetest memories from my childhood are about grandmother visiting us. She would bake buns while we kids were at school, and entering through the front door in the afternoon, we were greeted by the deliciously tempting smell in the staircase. For our working mother, Saturday was ‘pulla’ baking day – almost weekly. She was the real ‘pulla’ master! She knew how to bake the most scrumptious buns I have ever tasted in my life. Luckily, I managed to learn the skill from her, phase by phase, and write it all down. Over the years, I too have mastered the process, and now it’s my turn to teach this tradition to my daughter.

All through my life, the smell of freshly baked buns has equalled ‘home sweet home’, and it still does. It’s amazing how strongly smell sensations can evoke memories that may go back many years – even decades.

2 Responses to “#29 sweet memories”

  1. January 31, 2010 at 22:06

    These look wonderful. They must be delicious and all the more so as they taste of the family memories. I know there are a few things I make which conjure up family stories, memories and taste all the better for it.

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