February dinner: The Finnish Cookbook

We’re starting our cookbook year with The Finnish Cookbook. This cookbook comes from the 60s and was written primarily for Finnish-Americans who wanted to recover the foods of their ancestors, so it’s not exactly the most current Finnish cuisine, but it has a lot of good things in it. E and I both had a flip through and together we picked out a menu.

I spent most of the afternoon cooking and used four burners and the oven, something I don’t do often. It was very satisfying to know that I could manage so many different things at once. E had a lot of work to do, but she still laid an appropriately wintry table for our Finnish dinner.

Blue and white

Blue and white

We started with tomato potato soup (tomaattiperunakeitto) and Karelian carrot pies (Karjalan porkkanapiirakat). The soup was smooth and creamy and very nice on a snowy February day. I’ve made traditional Karelian pies before; they’re like tarts with a rye crust and a savory rice filling. The carrot version is similar but the filling, obviously, has carrot.

Tomato potato soup

Tomato potato soup

Soup and Karelian carrot pies

Soup and Karelian carrot pies

Our main course was fish with spinach (kalaa ja pinaattia) in poached fish sauce (kalakastike). The fish was cod poached with bay leaves and parsley. The sauce came out a little thin, but it was good, a creamy sauce made with dill, parsley, chives, and boiled egg.

Cod and spinach in poached fish sauce

Cod and spinach in poached fish sauce

For dessert, we had Savo cranberry pudding (savolainen tirri), a rich, thick pudding.

Cranberry pudding

Cranberry pudding

This was a very satisfying dinner both to cook and to eat.

2 Responses to “February dinner: The Finnish Cookbook”

  1. Lii Says:

    My gosh, I can’t get over the fact you made Karelian pies, and not for the first time, either! 8D

    • heatherhouse Says:

      Making the dough is really easy, but making the typical rice filling is rather time consuming, so I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. Maybe that will be a cooking project for 2014– more Karelian pies!

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