Posts Tagged ‘baking

01
Sep
11

244/2011 apple pies

244/2011 apple pies, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Since our daughter moved out, I bake less and less frequently. As healthy as it is to avoid the unnecessary, extra calories, I do find I sometimes miss the smell of home-baking.

Today, I had a reason to bake apple pies, using my reliable American recipe. Tomorrow will be my nameday in the Finnish calendar, and it is the custom in my school, to treat your colleagues to some goodies on that day.

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06
Aug
11

218/2011 summer cake

218/2011 summer cake, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

The day of our annual family reunion, this time organized by me and my brothers. Over 50 people came, and also special birthdays were celebrated. This is the most traditional Finnish summer cake – cream and strawberries. But this time, a special added twist – edible flowers! Don’t they look cute!

30
Mar
11

089/2011 gooey

089/2011 gooey, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

This week has been too busy, and made doubly hard by the depressing weather. What would be a better boost for a down-in-the-dumps mood than baking a sinfully calory-rich chocolate cake? Tasting it was even better!

Just got to avoid feeling guilty after indulging myself…

05
Jan
11

005/2011 late christmas baking

005/2011 late christmas baking, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

As we spent Christmas in England , I’ve baked just a few Finnish Christmas goodies after coming home. Today it was my favourites – puff pastry made into a star shape, with prune jam in the middle. Sprinkling the icing sugar on top always makes me think that it’s snowing.

This is what they look like before putting them in the oven. So thin and pale.

I remember how my mum used to even make the pastry herself. These days it’s so much easier to buy rolled-out pastry squares frozen. They taste just as good, but you still get the pleasure of baking a little, and most of all the lovely smell circling round the house.

17
Dec
10

#351 fundraising

351/365 fundraising, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Every year, before Christmas, we arrange a Christmassy cafe in the foyer of the school, to fundraise for our international school projects. Hot drinks and Christmas goodies are on offer. Apart from fundraising, it’s also a nice way to bring some good cheer into the school for a day.

The girls had done a really good job, decorating their home-made gingerbread cookies, in shapes of Christmas trees, piggies, stars, elves and hearts. These are really traditional Finnish Christmas fare – as they must be in many other countries, too.

24
Jul
10

#205 first blueberry pie of the summer

July is blueberry time over here. I went out with a bowl, all hopeful, to the woods behind our house to pick enough for the first pie of the summer, only to discover that either the long drought had prevented the berries from growing, or somebody else had got their before me.

Luckily, there were other more successful pickers at the market place selling their berries. This old recipe is a summer favourite in our family.

13
Jul
10

#194 “spoonbread”

194/365 “spoonbread”, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Hot baking session today in the heat. Made these intricate shortbread-like biscuits. This is a traditional recipe for special occasions. The pastry is shaped in a small teaspoon, hence the Finnish name. The cooled halves are joined together with apple jam in the middle, and the biscuits are then rolled in fine sugar. They really are moorish, but not very often baked at home anymore, because it does take time and effort.

The last time I baked them was for my daughter’s christening, nineteen years ago! This time it is for her graduation this coming Saturday. I have ordered all the rest of the food from a caterer, simply to save myself from all the work and bother. It used to be an unwritten rule for Finnish women (maybe women in other cultures, too?) to consider it a question of pride to prepare everything from scratch yourself, and then on the actual day, literally almost collapse of fatigue. My mother used to do it every time there was a special celebration in the family, and I still remember the stress and bad temper involved in the hectic preparations. On the other hand, I know that my daughter really appreciates my little effort of at least baking something myself. If my mum was still alive, though, she would be appalled at my laziness. But I am relieved to have shifted the age-old burden – although, I must admit, with a little tinge of guilt.