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Pille

eG Foodblog: Pille

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Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!

I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country :blink:

A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once :wub: Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh :rolleyes:

I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

gallery_28661_5138_17211.jpg

This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline :biggrin: A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view :)

The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

gallery_28661_5138_5722.jpg

It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer :rolleyes:

Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney :raz: The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time :)

Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

gallery_28661_5138_29580.jpg

Head ööd! [Good night!]

I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!

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Wow, that's an impressive skyline. Gothic spires and "onion" domes made me think of Eastern Europe but I did not guess Estonia. I am particularly interested in learning more about your country since my great grandfather came from Kihelkonna, Estonia (250 km SW of Tallinn) to Canada before WWI. I have one photo of him but know very little except his grandfather Peeter Vonalderslaven apparently has a statue in the town square.

Looking forward to the food!

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Hey, Pille! I'm really looking forward to following your foodblog.

This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline  :biggrin:  A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view :)

I'll take your word on it! I do hope that you'll give us a few snaps of the interior of that supermarket. I'm also hoping we'll get to see a cloudberry or two, pre-jam!

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Every Foodblog opens my eyes to a whole different world!!

I'm very excited to see your side of the world and what your life is like. I'll be 33 in October, so we're very close in age.

Thanks for taking time to show us your side of life!

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too, cool, pille

we have a local restaurant whose owner/chef is latvian.

any good(read exotic for most) meats? red deer/ caribou? or for johnnybird any salmon?

what do you miss most about scots food that you can't get where you are now?

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I'm so jazzed about this blog from Estonia and the Baltic Sea -- romantic, beautiful and so much to learn. (Don't forget the fridge and pet shots!)

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Tere hommikust!

Thank you for all your kind welcoming words!

I thought I'll share some typical breakfasts with you over the week. I'm sure lots of Estonians have cornflakes or other cereal for breakfast, but it's not typical. We've got Kellogs K Red Berries in the house, which we sprinkle on yogurt every now and then. Having a hot cereal for breakfast (alias porridge) is much more traditional, and this morning Kristjan made a semolina porridge - mannapuder. We have it about once a week, I think. It's a real childhood porridge - my mum used to make it often. It's not as nutritious as oatmeal or mixed cereal porridges, so we try not to have it too often.

For two portions, he heated some butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, added 500 ml milk and brought it almost to the boil. Then he added 50 ml (alias 3 heaped Tbsp) of semolina (known as Cream of Wheat in the US, I believe), stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. After 10 minutes, he added an egg yolk whisked with 2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stirred, until combined.

Here's today's breakfast table:

gallery_28661_5138_52095.jpg

There's no table in the kitchen, so this is our dining table both for weekday and festive occasions. There's a bowl of apple slices on the left - that's our snack bowl these days - we get lots of apples from my mum. Our cafetiere is a basic Bodum one, mugs are Moomin mugs - I love them both :rolleyes: The small jar of red jam is wild strawberry one, the stripy bowl of yellowish jam is an apple and flowering quince jam (NOT quince jam).

We drink Finnish Paulig President coffee as our regular coffee. It's 100% Arabica, quite light roast and acidic mixture of Kenian and Ethiopian mocca beans (no, I don't know this by heart, just read it on Paulig's website) :raz:

Behind the cafetiere are some small jars and pots we keep on the table for easy access. There's Maldon sea salt, demerara sugar, sugar crystals, pot of honey, and a tiny jar of flowering quince extract for sweetening teas (you can see it on the photo below). The brown cookie tin contains various crispbreads.

Here's a closeup of my porridge - served with a generous dollop of wild strawberry fridge jam (you can read more about the jam here):

gallery_28661_5138_120835.jpg

We left house 8.15am this morning. Kristjan drops me off at work in the mornings, and it's usually a 20-minute drive to the city centre. As as we ended up in a traffic jam, it took us 35 minutes. The route is very scenic - we drive along the coast a lot of the time, and the teaser photo of Tallinn skyline is taken on the way. We both have quite flexible schedules, so we usually leave home a bit later, around 9ish, to avoid being stuck in traffic.

Now, work. I'm a sociologist by training, specialising in multiculturalism and national identitites. Both my BA and PhD are in Sociology, with MSc is in Nationalism Studies. I work as a research fellow at Tallinn University, and my office is in on the sixth floor of this newish building from 2005 (ignore the unsightly and unofficial parking area in the foreground):

gallery_28661_5138_3673.jpg

The university is a ten-minute walk from the city centre. There are quite a few reasonably priced nice cafes in the neighbourhood, so having a decent lunch is easy. I'll try to have lunch in different place every day, so as not to bore you :cool:


Edited by Pille (log)

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Wow, Pille, so nice to see you blogging! You've already made me homesick, with your mannapuder which sounds just like what I think of as Christmas Porridge, because when I was briefly an au pair in Sweden it was what we left out for Santa, and your Moomin cups. When I went to Finland almost the first thing I did was visit the Moomintroll museum.

We've just moved to France for a while, which you can read about at French Letters where there's no bread like your sour rye, so I'll certainly be following along with you making a loaf of my own.

I'm really looking forward to your blog!

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Time for some feedback, I think :laugh:

I am particularly interested in learning more about your country since my great grandfather came from Kihelkonna, Estonia (250 km SW of Tallinn) to Canada before WWI. I have one photo of him but know very little except his grandfather Peeter Vonalderslaven apparently has a statue in the town square.

That's exciting, Peter-the-eater! Kihelkonna is on Saaremaa/Ösel, the biggest island of Estonia (you can see it on the map above). Too bad I'm not able to trace down the statue for your great-great grandfather! :sad:

I'll take your word on it! I do hope that you'll give us a few snaps of the interior of that supermarket. I'm also hoping we'll get to see a cloudberry or two, pre-jam!

Yes, there will be a cloudberry photo - though not taken this week, as the season is over - and I'll be making at least one cloudberry dessert during the week, so stay tuned! :raz:

Every Foodblog opens my eyes to a whole different world!!

I'm very excited to see your side of the world and what your life is like.  I'll be 33 in October, so we're very close in age.

Thanks for taking time to show us your side of life!

I'll do my best, Shelby!

too, cool, pille

we have a local restaurant whose owner/chef is latvian.

any good(read exotic for most) meats?  red deer/ caribou?  or for johnnybird any salmon?

what do you miss most about scots food that you can't get where you are now?

I don't know much about Latvian cuisine, though I suspect it's quite similar to ours, as the cultural influences have been more or less the same (at least re: Russian and German influences). I imagine Scandinavian/Nordic elements are more prominent in Estonian cuisine..

Re: exotic meats - that's a tricky one. I don't think pork, beef and wild boar count as exotic at all :biggrin: I could go for some bear meat at Olde Hansa medieval restaurant, but not sure I'll have time during the week :wink: I will try, however, to use some little known fish in my cooking this week.

And I'll get back to the topic on Scots food soon. Tomorrow, probably..

I'm so jazzed about this blog from Estonia and the Baltic Sea -- romantic, beautiful and so much to learn. (Don't forget the fridge and pet shots!)

Thanks :rolleyes: There will be a fridge shot, but as we've got no pets, then none of those. Unless I can snap a photo of one of those numerous cats that pass through our garden during their hunting trips - I saw 2 different cats with freshly caught mice over the weekend!?!

Wow, Pille, so nice to see you blogging!  You've already made me homesick, with your mannapuder which sounds just like what I think of as Christmas Porridge, because when I was briefly an au pair in Sweden it was what we left out for Santa, and your Moomin cups.  When I went to Finland almost the first thing I did was visit the Moomintroll museum.

We've just moved to France for a while, which you can read about at French Letters where there's no bread like your sour rye, so I'll certainly be following along with you making a loaf of my own.

Abra - I'll be checking out your French foodblog with great interest. Kristjan and I had our first proper date in France (Paris, obviously), and we're thinking of spending a week or so in Souther France later this autumn, time permitting..


Edited by Pille (log)

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Pille - I'm also really looking forward to your blog. One of the things I'd like to do in life is to travel Europe and your blog will be a nice introduction to your country. :biggrin:

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Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

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Pille - I'm also really looking forward to your blog. One of the things I'd like to do in life is to travel Europe and your blog will be a nice introduction to your country. :biggrin:

Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

Thank you, Domestic Goddess & Markemorse!! I'm glad to hear that you liked my non-eG foodblog :rolleyes:

gallery_28661_5138_109822.jpg

I had lunch at one of the university cafes today. The atmosphere is very nice, but the food is nothing spectacular. The choice is limited to salads, cakes, pastries, and the larger cafe also has a soup and a stew every day. I was in the smaller one, and had a salad with smoked chicken, iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, creamy dressing for lunch, accompanied with a coffee. Coffee comes with a nice chocolate truffle (I'm a real chocoholic :raz: ).

gallery_28661_5138_64693.jpg

I need to dash off now. I started a cookery diploma course last week at one of the vocational schools here in Tallinn. It'll run until mid-December, so I'm busy every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm until 7pm with that course. Today is our first hands-on kitchen practice class, and we'll be making soups.

There's soup for dinner tonight as well. Stay tuned!

[Edited to add photos]


Edited by Pille (log)

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What a great start! I know that I'm going really enjoy this blog.

Unfortunately, I never made it across the strait from Helsinki, but I still have hopes to get up your way.

Thanks for the kind remarks about the Apricot tart. Also, you were kind about my guesses.

Does your sauna ritual differ much from that of the Finns? Are Estonian linguistic roots similar to those in Finland? Or are they more Germanic as in the other Scandinavian countries?

Finally, are Estonians as nutty about crayfish as the Swedes & Finns?

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I've been fascinated with Estonian culture since my husband started conducting composer Veljo Tormis' Forgotten Peoples musical cycles with his (American) choir. It has been a fantasy of mine for years that we will go to Estonia and interview Tormis and have a chance to check out the local cuisine. Thanks for giving me a taste!

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Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

What markemorse said. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this week!

MelissaH

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I'm really looking forward to following this along. I would suspect that my German husband would love that bread!

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Hello Pille,

I dated a woman (American) who lived in Tallin for a few years. She said the Estonian diet is very pork heavy. Will we be seeing some interesting pork dishes this week?


Edited by mojoman (log)

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Where else but eGullet would there be so many people interested in Estonia, and its food. A month ago it was only a place across from Helsinki to me. Then we booked a boat trip on the Russian Waterways, with a couple of days in Tallin at the end. The more I read about it the more charming and interesting Tallin sounds.

I already know I want to go to Olde Hansa (maybe from your other blog?) and I always like a city with lots of cafes. When you are a packaged tour tourist you usually get one day of included touring to the highlights. Then you have either an optional (extra cost) tour , or a free day. It is tough to find the neat places with so little time to plan and to get your bearings. BUT I will know WAY MORE after this week. What great luck!

Thanks, Judy

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I'm really looking forward to this blog. The photos so far have been very scenic; I hope you'll include more location shots throughout the week.

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Back home after our first hands-on cooking class, where I made one soup and tried nine different soups! I should have thought of that when making soup for us over the weekend. Kristjan should be at home within an hour or so, and we'll have a light dinner together.

Here's the soup I made at the class:

gallery_28661_5138_64946.jpg

Vegetarian sauerkraut soup (sauerkraut, carrots, onion, pearl barley)- very homey and typically Estonian (though a pork version would be more common). The teacher approved :smile: My classmates were in charge of making 2 different solyanka soups, a lentil and bacon soup, a farmer's soup (beef, onion, potato, carrot, tomato, sweetcorn, peas, celery), minestrone, cabbage & pork soup, borsch, fish frikadelle soup. It was fun - though I didn't enjoy the fact that we had to clean the whole kitchen spotless afterwards :laugh:

Just to clarify: I don't plan a career change - I'm pretty happy with my job as a sociologist - but I did think a diploma might come handy with some of the plans I have with my Estonian language recipe collection. I've had this site (also called Nami-nami) since 2000, and it currently hosts about 8000 recipes. I'm planning a major redesign there (the design is from 2000, too :unsure: ) and hence the thrice-weekly evenings at the cookery school.. The woman who was in charge at the kitchen today has been teaching cookery for 46 years, so it's pretty old-school stuff. No nouvelle cuisine whatsoever :raz:

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Thanks for the kind remarks about the Apricot tart. Also, you were kind about my guesses.

Does your sauna ritual differ much from that of the Finns? Are Estonian linguistic roots similar to those in Finland? Or are they more Germanic as in the other Scandinavian countries?

Finally, are Estonians as nutty about crayfish as the Swedes & Finns?

Dave - well, that apricot cake was delicious, so it was easy to be kind about it!

Estonian & Finnish sauna rituals are pretty much the same. Sitting naked in a hot steamroom, beating oneself with dried & soaked birch branches, then running out of the sauna and jumping into a cold lake/soft snow, depending on the time of the year. The usual, you know :biggrin:

As far as crayfish parties are concerned, we're definitely not as nutty. I think that's unique to our Nothern neighbours.

And language. Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language, just like Finnish (and Hungarian, though more distantly). It's spoken by about 1 million people. Finnish and Estonian are very similar, though not as similar as, say, Swedish and Danish (I speak the latter and can therefore also read Swedish and Norwegian). People in the Northern Estonia usually understand Finnish easily, but then we were able to watch Finnish television even during the Soviet years. You need to have some contact with the other language and understand how to understand (does that make sense? :wacko: ) Estonian is a phonetic language, there's no future dense, no grammatic gender (there's only one word to describe she/he - tema), we don't use prepositions*, but we've got 14 cases to compensate for that (you need to use one of the 14 various options for every noun, depending on what you're saying). Estonian Institute has a good article on eesti keel. A difficult, but very melodic language with lots of vowels.

* That's the main reason behind my wrong use of prepositions. :unsure:

I've been fascinated with Estonian culture since my husband started conducting composer Veljo Tormis' Forgotten Peoples musical cycles with his (American) choir. It has been a fantasy of mine for years that we will go to Estonia and interview Tormis and have a chance to check out the local cuisine. Thanks for giving me a taste!

If you only knew how many times the people I had just met in Scotland would tell me about their love for Arvo Pärt and/or Veljo Tormis!!! I used to sing in a choir when at school & uni, and Veljo Tormis was always such fun to sing!

What markemorse said. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this week!

MelissaH

Thank you!

I'm really looking forward to following this along. I would suspect that my German husband would love that bread!

I bet he would love that rye bread, Annecros!

Hello Pille,

I dated a woman (American) who lived in Tallin for a few years.  She said the Estonian diet is very pork heavy.  Will we be seeing some interesting pork dishes this week?

Mojoman - yep, it's pretty pork heavy, apart from the coastal areas, where fish would be more common. We don't eat much meat at all in our house, but I'll make sure there's a typical pork dish featured somewhere..

Where else but eGullet would there be so many people interested in Estonia, and its food.  A month ago it was only a place across from Helsinki to me.  Then we booked a  boat trip on the Russian Waterways, with a couple of days in Tallin at the end.  The more I read about it the more charming and interesting Tallin sounds. 

I already know I want to go to Olde Hansa (maybe from your other blog?) and I always like a city with lots of cafes.  When you are a packaged tour tourist you usually get one day of included touring to the highlights.  Then you have either an optional (extra cost) tour , or a free day.  It is tough to find the neat places with so little time to plan and to get your bearings.  BUT I will know WAY MORE after this week.  What great luck!

Judy - well, I hope to give you plenty of necessary prior information. And yes - Olde Hansa is a must. It may be touristy, and it's definitely not a gourmet place, but it's such a great venue (and yes, I've mentioned it on my other blog on several occasion). I've taken all my visiting friends there, and they've all enjoyed it. Mmm. Let me know if you need a dinner partner, I might be available :raz:

I'm really looking forward to this blog. The photos so far have been very scenic; I hope you'll include more location shots throughout the week.

Jensen - thank you! I'll make sure to include more location shots. Hope you don't mind some shots from the Old Town? It's the best preserved medieval town in Northern Europe, and there's loads of picturesesque views to be taken. Incidentally, I'm meeting a friend in one of my favourite courtyard cafes in the middle of old town tomorrow afternoon :wink:

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farthest from the mark is pretty normal for me......but I liked that cyan on the building.

Will we see some dumplings? I'm not even certain of the naming for them in Estonia. This is exciting, as it's a part of the world we hear so little about.

But, whatever you cove, I know it'll look good (as good as it tastes!).

Cheers,

peter

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The soup looks wonderful. i would absolutely love that cooking class. I am looking forward to your blog this week, and learning about Estonia's culture and food.

I'm Polish and love rye bread so I'm looking forward to the recipe. I hope I can do it justice.

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farthest from the mark is pretty normal for me......but I liked that cyan on the building.

Will we see some dumplings?  I'm not even certain of the naming for them in Estonia.  This is exciting, as it's a part of the world we hear so little about.

But, whatever you cove, I know it'll look good (as good as it tastes!).

Cheers,

peter

Mmmm. Dumplings. I'm afraid that's more Eastern/Southern European thing. We've got something called pontšikud, which are deep-fried curd cheese 'dumplings', but I doubt I'll be eating them this week. I promise lots of nice looking cakes and pastries, however! :cool:

The soup looks wonderful. i would absolutely love that cooking class. I am looking forward to your blog this week, and learning about Estonia's culture and food.

I'm Polish and love rye bread so I'm looking forward to the recipe. I hope I can do it justice.

I'll blog about the rye bread in a few days. And I'm quite enjoying the cooking class, too. It's heavy stuff, however - 220 hours of various theoretical, practical and internship classes. I won't have any free and relaxing evenings in the near future!!!

Ok. Kristjan is back home, and ate his dinner alone, as I realised I was simply too stuffed after all that soup tasting at the cookery school! He ate a large plate of vegetarian borsch (remember the title of Alinka's great food blog from Moscow? :smile: ) I had made the soup last weekend, thinking that I'll be too tired to cook tonight after work. Soups like that are life saviours during busy periods, as you can make them in advance and their flavour only improves over the next few days.

You'll find a recipe for the soup here earlier today, and I also give you a picture taken during the weekend, as the light is so much better on that photo than on anything I could take at 9.30pm. Hope you don't mind :cool:

gallery_28661_5138_96747.jpg

Monovano - is this similar to Polish beet soups at all?

I did some baking tonight, however. I thought it would be nice to have something 'cakey' for breakfast tomorrow morning, so I quickly made one of my staple apple cakes. It takes 5 minutes to assemble (plus the time it takes you to core and chop the apples. I never peel the apples from my mum's garden, so it's a quick task). I got so many apples from my mum last weekend that if we'd want, we could eat only apples for the week and still get all the necessary calories!!!

Again, I've posted a recipe for this easy and delicious (and typically Estonian) cake on here on my non-eG blog, so I won't reprint it here. I actually made this cake last week, too, to take along to my grandma's 86th birthday party. She loved it :rolleyes:

gallery_28661_5138_78952.jpg

It's easy: mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt (top left corner). Melt the butter, whisk in kefir and eggs, mix with dry ingredients. Fold in the apples, pour into a tin, sprinkle with pearl sugar, bake and cut into chunks. I just had two squares with a cup of herbal infusion, Kristjan had four.. We're not very good in exercising self-restraint :biggrin: Luckily, there's still some left for breakfast..


Edited by Pille (log)

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      Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed.
       

      Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ...
       

      More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ...
       

      Miso soup with clams ...
       

      Tiramisu.
       

      Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual!
      On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity …

       
      When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.

    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By Ian Dao
      Hi everyone, 
       
      Recently, I just found this paradise for Foodie and it is my pleasure to be here. My name is Ian and I am from Salzburg. I love to eat but have to hold myself back before I could roll faster than walk. Last month, I started my own food blog (mostly about restaurant, travel and stories). Reasons I want to be here are to improve my knowledge about food/wine and to learn more how to describe ingredients around me. 
       
      Thank you and have a great week =D 
       
      Guten Hunger (German)
      Mahlzeit (Austrian) 
      --> Enjoy your meal =D 
       
      www.iandao.com
    • By sartoric
      We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food.
       
      A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions.
       
       

       
      A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.

       
    • By Christy Martino
      Ciao!
       
      I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
       
      And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
       
      Grazie mille!
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