Monday, January 26
This weekend was spent cleaning up a little, sewing curtains, trying to concentrate on some of my assignments, baking super-easy bread - and eating lots and lots of it - and taking a bath (among rose petals, no less... today I smell really good). I like weekends like this, with nothing special to do - although of course I like weekends with something special to do too, at least if that something is fun.
The super-easy bread (which we Finns call tea bread, although I'm not so sure if it has anything to do with, say, Irish tea bread) is so easy to bake you can bake it on a Sunday morning when you find out you're out of bread. It's even easy enough you'll have energy to bake it after a long day during the week. For me, there's something really comforting about eating bread still warm enough for butter to melt on it; it can really turn the dreariest day a little bit better. The super-easy bread is also super good eaten on a winter afternoon with tea or hot chocolate, watching the snow envelope the world outdoors and create new, soft shapes. And lately, there's been a lot of that around here.
I think most Finns have made this in school. I asked miss J how she makes this, so this is her recipe. Thank you miss J!
Super-easy bread recipe (U.S. / metric measurements)*
2 cups / 4 dl of plain flour
2 cups / 4 dl of rolled oats
2 cups / 4 dl of water
1/2 cup / 1 dl of melted butter / canola oil
1 1/4 tsp / 1 tsp of baking powder
1 1/4 tsp / 1 tsp of salt
Mix everything together, and spread it evenly (or as evenly as you can - don't worry if it looks lumpy) on a large baking pan. Bake in 390 F/ 200 C from 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy! (I suggest enjoying with cream cheese and jam. Mmm.)
*The amount of baking powder & salt in the U. S. version is an approximate amount, based on the fact that 4 dl is only 85% of 2 cups. ...I don't know if this makes it at all clearer, though...
Friday, January 16
Remember this knitting? Above is the result. I chose the self-striping yarn in a hurry, there wasn't many choices in the supermarket and I just had to knit to de-stress a little. But I quite like the socks! Even though during the knitting process I wondered a couple of times why I chose that yarn...
And then a photo of the heel, just because I think the French heel (? -correct me knitters if I'm wrong) looks extra nice.
Thursday, January 15
I'm cheating today, as I've spent the whole six hours and twenty minutes from sunrise to sunset (and some more hours before and after that) at the university. I tried my best, but let me tell you, the university library doesn't have the best lighting for photographing... (I happened to have something pink with me - my mobile - but couldn't get a decent photo of it. All in all, not much pink around my place, but a dash of pink is nice every now and then.)
You can look at these photos of probably the girliest bicycle ever, taken in Helsinki last August, instead. How cute is that basket with the polkadot ribbon?
Wednesday, January 14
Yellow is a colour I'm much more familiar with than with purple. In my previous home I had a wall painted sunflower yellow (and I miss that wall - my dining table was against that wall, and it was nice to eat breakfast next to all that sunny colour on dreary winter mornings...), and a yellow armchair (which I don't have room for in this apartment), and even a yellowish rug. I don't know how that much yellow came to my home, as I've never considered yellow to be my favourite colour, but I realized that even now, there seems to be quite a lot of that colour in my kitchen!
Plus - and I may have to add a photo of that later - in my current apartment, I have a buttercup yellow bathroom wall. I can't believe I didn't think of that when taking the photos!
Tuesday, January 13
Purple has never really been a colour I feel comfortable with, but I think that's changing. At least the colour's begun to creep into my life, little by little. Right now I'm knitting purple socks for someone who once said it's his favourite colour.
Monday, January 12
Sunday, January 11
Some more photos from our trip. I'd have taken a lot more photos if it hadn't been so dark most of the time!
1. & 2. There was a gingerbread (pepparkaka) exhibition in the gallery, it was closed when we walked by.
4. A Finnish book/cartoon character!
5. In the Estonian Maritime Museum
6. From the restaurant with the best ever mushroom pasta. I've been reminiscing about it on several occasions... Really.
Saturday, January 10
The Boy doesn't give Christmas presents, but I guess I have done something right, because right before Christmas he took me to Tallinn for two nights. I was sleep deprived to begin with, and we had to wake up at 6 a.m. (which is insanely early for us) on two of the three mornings there, due to timetables - but it was still a relaxing weekend. It's always good to go away from everyday life, even for a little while.
We hadn't had much time to plan the trip, so we spent the weekend mostly walking around (during the day) and eating (in the evenings). It happened to be the darkest weekend of the year (around December 21st), and it really was dark, and chilly. But I ate yummy pancakes and probably the world's best mushroom pasta - really, I got ridiculously excited about it, and the Boy was green with envy, even though there was nothing wrong with his lasagna.
The morning we arrived there was even a little snow on the ground, though it melted soon. The old town was pictoresque and full of tourists, as always, and almost too many Christmas decorations!
Wednesday, January 7
Sunday, January 4
The first day of the year 2009 was cold cold and sunny. The day was a good one: first, a breakfast in Luft with the Boy, miss H, and her sweetheart; then the Boy and I went for a walk for three hours, bundled up so we wouldn't freeze; and in the evening, a movie (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), a drink, junk food, red wine and chocolate - again with miss H and her boy. I felt light and happy - a good feeling to have on the first of January, a good omen for the beginning year.