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Everything posted by Brija

  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.
  15. Kristian, I certainly do pay more attention to the taste of the food I' eating than some people… I do not wolf down my meals…
  16. I don't know about most people, but I find that one glass of wine is usually the perfect amount for me. Of course, this depends on the occasion and on how much time there is for consuming that wine. If I'm celebrating something with my loved one, we open a bottle of wine quite early in the evening and start enjoying it over dinner. Then we sit and talk for hours and share that bottle during the night. But if it's a Sunday lunch or dinner with family, I prefer to have just one glass or even less than that. Sometimes more than one glass tends to make me feel drowsy, and if it's day and I have things to do, I do not like that feeling. In addition, even though wine and food are regarded as a combination, I've noticed that several glasses of wine is not good for my taste, it seems to dull my taste buds or something, and I do not taste the food as well as I do if I have just one or two glasses of wine. I do not understand why (I've always supposed that wine and food are supposed to enhance and/or complement each other's taste), and when I've mentioned this to other people, they do not seem to understand it, so I guess it's just my peculiar problem.
  17. I've also been to Tallinn only once, but I had enough time to see that there were many restaurants that looked nice and interesting. However, I went to an Italian restaurant, the name of which I have forgotten, but I would not recommend it anyway. I know some people who have been to Tallinn many times, and these are the places they like: Oliver, Tomkooli, Balthazar, Karl Friedrich, Steak House (I hope I got the spellings right…). One of the medieval style restaurants in the Old City is called Olde Hansa. I'm planning to go there next time I visit Tallinn!
  18. Steve, sorry but my English vocabulary is somewhat limited (and when it comes to food, the meat products seem to be the group I know least words from) so I don't even know what lardons are… but I guess it does not matter, since it must be some sort of meat and knowing that I can answer your question. You are right, I might be missing something if I don't taste dishes with meat. It's just that I don't feel like missing something, I'm perfectly happy with veggies, fish and shellfish. I guess this is because I know I can eat or taste meat if I want to. So, back to your example, if I had those lentils without meat and someone else were having them with meat, I could have a taste of both (if they let me sample theirs…). This is what I do occasionally, I mean having a small taste of meat just to compare flavours (I'm not that serious about not eating meat, eating it won't kill me or make me sick, I just don't like it much and why would I eat something I don't really like?). So far, I've liked the meatless foods more, and when I cook I simply (in addition to preparing vegetarian or fish/seafood dishes) leave out the meat or replace it with vegetables or fish. But perhaps some day I encounter something like the lentil dish you described and that might just change everything!
  19. My answer comes terribly late, but here it is anyway… Yes, the answer is no... I don't think I have yearned for any meat after I stopped eating it. No, wait, I did think I'd like to have a burger, a very junk food kind of burger, or pizza with spicy salami soon after I stopped eating meat. I don't know why… I even thought I might get one some day, but then I never did. I don't know why. When I have tasted meat now, it has not tasted very delicious even though I have not had it for a long time. I find fish or shrimp much more delicious, and since I have a choice, I rather eat what I like the most...
  20. Cabrales, I'm not sure if I understand your question… but yes, I did enjoy non-meat products at least as much after I had stopped eating meat as I did before. More, actually. One of the reasons I abandoned meat was just that: I did not like it anymore. I guess that when I was younger, I liked meat and fowl a little more than I liked fish, though I've always eaten a lot of fish (my parent love it and my mother's family are fishermen so…). However, when I was about 16-18 years old, my preferences started to change. I realised that I liked fish more and more and did not like meat as much as I used to. To me, it just is not as tasty as fish. I eat fish, shellfish, mushrooms, vegetables and all dairy products, and I think it is quite a diverse diet. After I stopped eating meat, I have discovered some foods I did not use to eat, like beans and lentils. There are so many foods or dishes that you can prepare without meat that I cannot get bored by any similarity of the products I have left now that I don't eat meat. As for eating out, I feel I have more choices than before… this is perhaps not really true, but it is because my attitude has changed: when I still liked meat, I almost always ordered a steak. It did not much occur to me that I could try something else - but, I was 10-15 years old then, and though I liked to taste everything, I wanted to eat something I knew I liked. But when I did not like meat so much anymore, I noticed that there were many different vegetable, fish, shellfish etc. dishes that I could try… What I'm trying to say is that after I switched to not eating meat (or fowl), I've had a lot more variety and choices than I used to have. Or, of course I had had them before, but I had not seen them. Still, I did not become familiar with these non-meat products just because I "had to" (since I would not eat meat) but because I they started to appeal to me more than they had before. I guess this is one example of how your preferences can change as you grow older. Mine have changed a great deal.
  21. I haven't eaten meat or fowl for about 8-10 years, but I do eat fish. I have never felt limited by the way I eat, but this is mostly due to the reasons why I stopped eating meat: I felt it was too heavy (eating it made me tired, not energized) and, especially, I do not really like it. However, I could not live without fish! I do not miss meat, but, since there are no spiritual reasons for my diet, I can have a very small taste is someone else is having meat and if it is interesting enough for me to want to try it (it usually isn't). So I have a bite perhaps once or twice a year, and it only confirms my opinion that I prefer fish and vegetables. Recently, though, I have considered starting to eat chicken again, for two reasons: family gatherings/dinners are getting pretty complicated when some people do not eat meat and some do not eat fish. Chicken would be ok for everyone (now I'm the only one who does not eat it). And second, I'd like to try some recipes that use chicken. A few days ago, I had a piece of chicken pie, and it was not an unpleasant experience, so I guess I could start to eat chicken after avoiding it for a long time - but I don't think I'll be able to go back to eating meat again.
  22. Brija

    Salt (merged topics)

    Here's one Finn who probably uses too much salt… yes, salt raises your blood pressure, and it can cause cardiovascular diseases, or at least be one reason for them. It may also contribute to osteoporosis. This is because there is sodium in salt. To reduce the harmful effects of salt, I use so called mineral salt, in which about half of sodium has been replaced by potassium and magnesium. It is often recommended that you should use herbs and spices instead of salt (part of this health campaign that Kristian mentioned), but, in my opinion, some foods simply taste much better with "enough" salt in them (like fish soup!). But I use as little as I possibly can, and, also, some low-salt products are actually quite good. As for when I add the salt, I try to use very little while I cook, because my fiancé has high blood pressure and does not want or even like as salty food as I do, while I can always add salt when the food is on my plate.
  23. Ok... Chocolate and peanut (butter) together are fine, but it's the salt that sounds so weird. I do not like the idea of combining something so salty and something so sweet, but perhaps I should give it a try!
  24. For me, a recipe of a chocolate cake with salted peanuts in it sounded stupid enough. Chocolate and peanuts I can understand, but why must the peanuts be salted? Salted chocolate cake does not appeal to me, but I don't know, maybe the salt somehow disappears during the baking…
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