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  1. Cherries and peaches. And raspberries. And pears. And strawberries.
  2. Due to unexpected events, all our previous plans were cancelled and as a result, the New Year´s Eve dinner had to be assembled very quickly; therefore, cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit etc. Ice cream and chocolate will follow soon…
  3. I always had the impression that my mother really liked to cook, but now that I think about it, she did not seem to mind at all when my sister and I grew up and pretty much took over in the kitchen... What was your family food culture when you were growing up? We ate quite regular Finnish home-cooked food, but my mother was interested in trying out new things, like ethnic food (not very usual in Finland at that time), she collected recipes and was very good at varying them and creating something new on the basis of the ideas she had got from them. She also baked a lot. I never had a feeling she did not like to cook, though she occasionally complained it was hard to decide what to cook. We ate a lot of fish and there was always a salad of some kind. We – my sister and I – were never forced to eat what we did not like (but encouraged to taste everything) or to empty our plates. Was meal time important? My mother cooked both lunch and dinner when we kids were small, but when she thought we no longer required two warm meals a day, lunch became the main meal, served around 1 P.M. Special occasions (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) were an exception when dinner was the most important meal time. We all ate together as often as possible, the meal times were sometimes arranged so that everyone could be at home then. If we could not make it, we tried to have at least the evening meal together. What were the penalties for putting elbows on the table? No penalties, we were simply told not to do so. I usually tried to read a book when I was eating, but someone always noticed what I was doing and I had to put the book away. As a child, I could not understand why. Who cooked in the family? My mother always cooked until my sister and I were old enough to help her. With time, cooking became increasingly our task, and my mother seemed to like that. My father was good at heating canned pea soup and smoking fish. Were restaurant meals common, or for special occassions? Special occasions. Did children have a "kiddy table" when guests were over? Sometimes, yes. This depended on the number of guests (and children) and if everyone could be seated around just one table. When did you get that first sip of wine? Officially, after I turned 15. Before that I had occasionally been allowed to have a very small sip from my parent’s glasses. Was there a pre-meal prayer? No Was there a rotating menu (e.g., meatloaf every Thursday)? Never How much of your family culture is being replicated in your present-day family life? Pretty much, actually, though we have no kids so there are certain differences. The main meal of the day is usually lunch, except on special occasions. We eat a lot of fish and veggies as well. Like my mother, I like to try out new things, to collect and vary recipes and to make experiments of my own. I am usually the one in charge of cooking, though my husband-to-be can do more in the kitchen than my dad ever did and he always offers to help out.
  4. I like to cook. I just wish I had more time for it…
  5. I used not to like fruit cake until I found a recipe with lots of various fruit in it. I baked one for every Christmas… but last year, my fiancé wanted to bake a date cake for Christmas. I was not sure I’d like it… but we ended up changing the recipe quite a lot, and though the cake did not rise perfectly, it was definitely the best fruit cake (if a date cake qualifies as such) that I’ve ever tasted. It was incredibly moist, dark, and very flavorful. I just don’t know if it would have even improved with time, because we could not store it, we ate it! Now I’ve decided to abandon “my” fruit cake and ask for this every year! If it is possible to recreate it, since we did not make any notes about how we changed the original recipe…
  6. I make fairly simple ice creams, but some of my favorites are mint chocolate (chocolate ice cream flavored with mint liqueur) and rum & raisin (soak the raisins in rum over night and add them to a basic mixture close to the end of the freezing time).
  7. Yes… but I think that this trend is not only about drinking bottled water, but drinking water in general. After all, it is healthy, bottled or tap. And there are people who buy bottled water very rarely, but fill the empty bottles with tap water…
  8. I dream about food very often, which is usually quite nice , except when I have this nightmare where I'm in the cafeteria in school or university, and everything that can go wrong, does go wrong - I drop everything I try to touch, can't find my purse, there's nothing to eat that I'd like (now that's bad! ), I can't find my friends who should be sitting there somewhere, and as I look for them, I realise that the dining hall is so huge I can't even see the other end... etc. I keep having this kind of dream repeatedly - never thought that having lunch at school could have caused such traumas!
  9. When my husband-to-be, a rum enthusiast, insists I taste the rum he's enjoying and give my uneducated and inexperienced opinion about it.
  10. Brija

    It's Summer!

    Cointreau with apple juice and lemon/lime soda.
  11. mushroom onion cheese tomato and blue cheese fish (salmon, perch, or burbot with potatoes and onion in a clear broth, no milk but a good amount of salt)
  12. I hate liver, even the smell of it! I don't like green beans, parsley or asparagus - I can eat them, but do not, if I can avoid them. What I can't understand is pineapple on pizza (too sweet, I think) or vegetable soup in which the veggies are cooked in milk. And though I love fish, I hate coalfish/saithe (I'm not sure of the name) if it has been frozen in blocks. Those grey squares look appalling and the taste is what I imagine wet paper might taste like. They made us eat those at school, so no wonder not many children liked fish. As for learning to like foods that one dislikes, I used to hate cheese - cold cheese like on sandwiches, but not hot, like on a pizza or in other dishes - but forced myself to eat it (because I also hated milk and thought I had to get some calcium from somewhere). Now cheese is one of my favorite foods/ingredients. But this may have worked only because I did like cheese in some form.
  13. ChefRuth, I just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe last Friday and the ice cream was wonderful! I made approximately a little more than half the recipe (just enough for my ice cream maker), and it was so good that it was hardly enough - and there were only two eaters… next time, I'll try the version with peaches!
  14. I'm afraid I do prefer my drinks quite sweet… but one that comes to mind is Alexander's sister: gin, green Crème de Menthe and heavy cream, shaken with ice. However, I've used green Crème the Menthe to flavor mint chocolate mousse or chocolate mint ice cream. The green color does not matter if the mousse/ice cream is dark enough, that is, if you use enough chocolate… I've also used it to flavor hot cocoa, but that it a very sweet drink - if you can call it a drink… but it was quite wonderful on cold winter nights.
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