PB and I went on a short trip to Lappland for Valentine’s day.
Our intent was to see the Aurora Borealis, but it was overcast for the whole three days, so no luck. (Even though we paid a lot of money for a safari. Well, next time we might just rent a car for the same amount and just drive somewhere on our own.) We went to Rovaniemi by overnight train. It was extremely comfortable and very quiet, to my surprise! (I’m used to Italian overnight trains, though) We even had our own bathroom with shower! Now that we know how easy it is to get to Lappland we will probably just check the weather forecast a week or so ahead and go search for northern lights without much planning.
So here are some pictures of what we did. We decided to do the touristy stuff full on, to get it over with.
That was what we did in 2 days. The 3rd I spent in bed as I had underestimated the cold and got sick. Silly, I know. However, we still had a fabulous Valentine’s holiday, as we got to spend time together, just the two of us.
Apart from being away for this trip, we’ve had a “steady stream of visitors” as one of our Finnish friends put it. This might sound like a complaint, but I love to host people (one of my secret dreams is to one day run a guesthouse, like Corthna Lodge in Skull, Ireland, where I used to work). Also because I get to perform culinary experimets on them. Mwahahahaha!
Most of the stuff I tried came out great, but I’m still in the process of refining, so I will reveal the experiments’ outcomes some time later. However, upon popular (well, just 1) request, below there’s a recipe for bread.
I started making bread just recently, even though I took a course in 2008, when I was in a “I need to cook everything from scratch” phase. I re-discovered the recipes from that course when unpacking my cookbooks. On a side note, here’s where they reside now:
This is opposite the stove etc. In the background you can see the living room.
Anyway, bread (this will take you to a silly song on youtube, be warned!). While many things in Finland are really great, bread is not one of them (I’m not talking about the delicious black and rye breads, through). It isn’t easy to find a bread with a crunchy crust. So I gave it a try again and have been rather pleased with the outcome, so here is my simple bread recipe:
500g flour (I use Sunnuntai rouheinen sämpyläjauho at the moment)
15g fresh yeast (or 7g dried yeast)
300ml water (room temperature)
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Only for fresh yeast: dissolve the yeast in the water. Otherwise stir dry yeast in flour. Add water to flour from the center and knead until smooth “like a baby’s butt” (teacher’s words…). Let rest at room temperature covered with a wet towel for 1 hour (dough should approximately double in size). Knead very shortly to get rid of big bubbles and form bread, cutting some diagonal slits in the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated 220°C oven. The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom with your knuckles.
I am usually too eager to eat it, so no pictures, sorry!