Hello everyone and happy Easter!
As Janina told in the last post, we are not very religious family. Big chunk of Finnish people attend to Evangelical Lutheran church, we did too but nowadays we are not part of church nor attend to services. For us Easter is more just about family traditions and a holiday when we celebrate spring and nature awakening.
It’s a perfect time to take a break from our home organizing projects as well as from job hunting and sewing. Time to relax with great people and eat all the delicious food and give a middle finger for mental illnesses.
We are visiting my father right now, enjoying some good food, relaxing company, countryside and slow days with lots of chocolate. We have been eating lamb which is part of our Easter celebration, smoked salmon and cheeses belong basically to every holiday dinner during wintertime.
There are few dishes which are eaten during the Easter time: mämmi, pasha and kulitsa. Mämmi is rye porridge, dark and thick, eaten with milk, vanilla sauce or some sugar. It tastes bit sweet and people often joke it looks like sh*t. In most cases you either love it or hate it. Mämmi tradition comes more from western Finland but nowadays it’s well known all over the country.
Pasha and kulitsa are eaten in eastern Finland and the dishes are part of Orthodox traditions. Into our family they come through my grandma who was orthodox before her marriage. Both dishes, pasha and kulitsa, are eaten also in other parts of Eastern Europe and Russia.
Pasha is my favourite Easter-time dish. It’s made from whipped cream, eggs, butter, quark (kind of sour cream) and flavored with lemon, sugar, almonds and raisins. Although I like to use fresh grapes instead of raisins, it makes pasha taste fresher. Pasha is drained over night in a mold lined with cheesecloth and in the end dish is kind of cake which is eaten with sweet Easter bread kulitsa.
The kulitsa I’m used to make is bit different than it’s other eastern European versions. It’s made from sweet, yeast batter, similar to one used for cinnamon rolls etc. It’s also spiced with almond, raisins and saffron, baked to round loaf and decorated with either christian alphabet symbols or nature motifs. We did a braid in the middle of the bread and added few almond flowers.
Countryside and nature
The best thing about visiting my childhood home is how it’s located in the small countryside village. There’s nature all around and it’s so peaceful! Today, dad took us and the dogs with him to walk on the ice while he and my uncle checked the fishing net. That’s Local Food! :) Dogs were so exited and interested of fishes, older bitch even ate one. You might remember how hard it was in the beginning with my dad who didn’t accept my relationship with Janina. Things are now flowing really beautifully and the whole Easter time has been relaxing.
Snow is almost gone from the garden and we have been walking around, trimming the rose bushes and planning what else needs to be done in here. At home in the city we have been trying to quench our thirst of gardening by planting spring bulbs in the container on our windowsill.
Evenings are peaceful here. As I’m writing this, we have kulitsa dough rising on the top of an oven. My sister and Janina are discussing about clothes and dad and cat are sleeping. I can just see outside but it’s almost dark out there. This is the best kind of holiday, stress free and almost spiritual on it’s own.
Have a happy and peaceful Easter time.