If you look for ideas how to not be bored in Finland during this time of the year and want to follow my example… you will be needing:
A/ 1 kitchen
B/ 1 car
A/ A Kitchen
As you know, I love cooking.
I guess seeing my mum making food for the whole family everyday and worrying that we get enough, good quality and well balanced food made me like cooking.
I love eating as well, but I do not enjoy my food the same way if I have been preparing it or not. So for me it is important to spend time in the kitchen before the meal.
Anywhere I go and live, my kitchen has to be big. I need a lot of space to be able to spread my tools and food everywhere… When I moved to Finland, I had in my car 3 boxes: 1 for some office/livingroom/bedroom things, and 2 entire ones for kitchen equipment!
I always love discovering new recipes and more, making them with the people that gave them to me!
So what happened in my kitchen during the last months:
First I learned how to put apart the egg yolk from the egg white, with a plastic bottle!
Then, thanks to Valerie from Grenoble, where I tried this pie the first time and got the recipe from: Pear-almonds-chocolate chips pie recipe (sorry, in French!)
Someday, out of nowhere, I decided to try to make spring rolls…which worked quite well! and was completely improvised!
Then I had some poppy seeds… And I wanted to make a cake out of it. I looked for something not too sweet, not too fat. And I found this one: Makotch
Happy surprise, in the frozen section of a supermarket, I found duck fillets and duck legs. So I really enjoyed preparing them: Recipe here
I let them cook really slowly for hours and the meat is really soft, tender and juicy…
But then, when you have the bones with still a little bit of meat on and the fat, hmmm the duck fat… you do not want to throw it away!
So I made a little soup with everything I found in my kitchen…and it ended up being a huge soup. I made 12 portions out of it! my freezer then got full, and I had my lunches ready for a while!
On day I wanted to make a lemon pie, that I used to make when I lived in Grenoble.
It was pretty nice result!
Recipe: Tarte au citron meringuée
My mum came to visit me beginning of May, and I used this opportunity to import some cheese for a fondue. I invited some friends over, and it did not take long… the pot way empty pretty fast!
We used vacherin, beaufort and comté to make this one.
The vacherin is making the fondue smoother, so it is a little nicer to eat than the typical fondue savoyarde (comté, beaufort, emmental).
We also did not have kirsch, so we use blueberries vodka!
Then, tanks to Lucie from Uppsala, Sweden, where we made special burgers: they are vegetarian! So I tried it at home as well later.
The bread recipe I used: Bannock
The burger is made out of Tofu, with a lot of other things… internet is full of ideas for it, and I did not follow any recipe!
Lucie also taught me how to make the puff pastry…sorry no picture, but it taste great! This is more or less following this recipe (but in a lot more simple way!): Pâte feuilletée
B/ A car
Yes, my car occupied a little of my time during this time…
When I cam back after Christmas holiday, my Citroën Xantia worked perfectly when I went to start it by -19 degrees and drove around 20 kms or so.
When the following morning I started to go to work, the dash board lights of the hydraulic system turned on with the red STOP… Well, I stopped on the street, 20 meters away from my building. I went out, checked how it looked, no leak, the suspensions did not drop, ok, well, let’s not play and just drive back to my parking lot slowly.
Then I called a colleague to pick me up and left to work. On the street (on the snow) I could see some funny yellow trail and drops stains… ok, well, that is clear that I have a leak.
In the evenings the following days I went to the car to try to figure out where the leak was from. Maybe I could fix it temporarily to drive to my car mechanic here.
With the low temperatures, the wind and the dark time (because after work, even at 16:30, it is night) it was impossible to look for a leak more than 10 minutes at a time.
There was definitely a leak, because the snow got yellow/green under the car…
When 2 weeks later, I eventually found the leak…
or do you need this?
It was pretty hard to find because pretty dark in this spot, and for that I had to turn the wheels to see something.
Then, as you can see it was the high pressure system, so I did not want to drive the 60 km to my mechanic’s garage. So with some friends we got a trailer, we put it on and drove there.
A week later, the car was fixed, with a cobber pipe, replacing this one from the power steering:
Later during spring, my car made a strange noise between 1000 t/min and 12000 t/min… I was afraid it could be the hydraulic pump… so we made a few tests with the help of Markus, in his factory because he had all the equipment to lift the car properly.
Well, I probably end up doing something wrong when the car looked like this:
But everything when back to normal afterwards. Except that the noise is still there.
After all almost a year driving on Finnish roads, the car looked pretty dirty.
As I did not have a hose or water on my parking lot, I went to the car wash, for the first time in my life! It was a little scary and because all was in Finnish I asked for help to Irina, who is Finnish and know how this works!
Last step was to repair the bottom of the bumper, that I broke when I drove the car on the trailer few months earlier. With the help of Markus and his magic glue, I could eventually get rid of the yellow tape that was holding the part for months!
Here is how I spent a lot of my time during the last months… exciting, isn’t it?