Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fish and traditional Finnish food

Today I was supposed to go with my sister and her husband to check the fishing net, but it had been snowing heavily and was still snowing in the morning. I decided not to go and the amount of snow would have been too much for Piitu anyway.

The hole had to be opened first

Here is the catch, three whitefish and one perch.

The satisfied fisherman. As you can see the weather is very blurry. It was about noon and the time when the sun was up.

Later I went to my sister's house to bake. Hannu had already earlier baked two rye breads. Rye is the favourite ingredient in Finnish bread and these are traditional Savonian sourdough breads. The mother dough is originally from the same bread Hannu's mother did for many, many years.

Before baking I got a piece of Kalakukko, also a traditional Savonian food, fish in a rye cover. Delicious!

We baked Karelian pies. My grandmother was from Karelia and I remember numerous times she made them when I was a child. These are a bit different, Savonia and Karelia have their own habits. Nowadays these pies are eaten everywhere in Finland; probably because the Karelians were evacuated from the regions Russia invaded and they were spread all over Finland. My grandparents came to Finland Proper where Turku is also located.

Hannu has made the dough earlier and Tuula the rice porridge which is now cold. Here Hannu is dividing the dough in suitable pieces. The rolling pin is on the background. It is different from the ones we use otherwise. Hannu has made this himself.

The dough is rolled thin as a paper and the rice porridge is spread on it.

The cover is "wrinkled"

Here they are before putting them in the oven.

Here they are after some time in a very hot oven.

And here is the first one I ate. The yellow stuff on the pie is eggbutter (hard boiled eggs in butter or margarine)

Now I have fish in my refrigerator waiting for me to fry them on the pan and some pies to go with them. Delicious!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fishing on Ice

My puzzle is almost finished. I have a small mistake and have been searching for it. I have had silence in the house to concentrate, my husband left fishing with Piitu. We don't do that regularly but my sister's husband is an avid fisher and they have the fishing net often floating in the sea. This time my husband went with them to install the net and it is not so easy because of the ice. It is about -5 degrees Celsius now, but we have had colder for the whole week.

Here the fishermen are about to start walking to the old hole in the ice:

Piitu was so full of energy and excited to run around totally free.

Here is the hole. The twigs have covered it so that other people would not walk in it by accident.

Hannu is sawing the hole open. The drill holes are made first and then the borders sawn. There is new ice since the last visit.

The net is installed with Härveli (trademark, the name would be in English contraption, device, gadget... I would prefer the last one). It goes under the ice and will be dragged with a string. The device is easy to identify because of the sound it makes when the thorns bite the ice.

Here are 2 pictures from the manufacturer's booklet. The device can be dragged back from the starting hole or it can be taken out from a new hole sawn where the device ended. After that the net is pulled under the ice using the string Härveli left in the water.

Now the net is in place and we are waiting for a good draught.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I found this really cool puzzle/stress toy in Cool Tools

It is made of tiny magnets which can be arranged to all kinds of patterns

You can see more videos in

I want one!

Skiing Holiday With a Puzzle

I really have been neglecting my blog! One of the reasons has been my work and the computer classes. I have a new Finnish blog Kompuutteri about computers and updating that for the students has taken me more time than I ever would have expected. Explaining programs and Internet as clearly as possible is not as easy as it may sound. Things I consider matter-of-course can be totally unknown to someone else.

Now I am having my skiing holiday. It has been a tradition in the Finnish school system as long as I have been involved, either as a student or a teacher. We don't really have skiing conditions here in the south by the sea but I prefer the old name instead of just a winter holiday which is used nowadays.

I had very many good intentions about my blogs and cleaning the computer files as well as cleaning the house but I needed some relaxation after the tiresome week in school. I subscribe to a couple of Japanese magazine and the latest issue of Logic Paradise had a huge 110 x 175 Pic-A-Pix included. I decided to give it a try:

After the first day I had some progress to keep my spirits up:

There were mental distractions as well as physical :) Piitu is actually an experienced solver. I have a picture of her solving a puzzle with me when she was a couple of months old.

After two days I was confident I would manage it:

And then I was hooked! I had to take breaks but soon my mind started to wander back to the puzzle and there I was, solving the puzzle forgetting all about the other things I should have done. The totally white spaces in the picture are reflections from the flash light. The paper is glossy and the it is not straight any more. At certain angles all the light reflects back.

As you can see I have made some attempts on the right by counting the overlaps but they did not get me very far. The solution advances along the picture. At some points when I have thought I was stuck, the next step was found after a break with a clear mind. There have always been clues which I just did not notice the first time.

Even though I have not followed my original to-do-list I feel so relaxed and happy. This is something I could do all the time.