August dinner: Louhisaari Castle Household Recipes, Joni Kuurne

For this month we drew on an interesting book from our bookshelf: a collection of home recipes from Louhisaari Castle in Finland, gathered from recipes written down in the late 1700s to mid 1800s. The recipes read like old family recipes: hardly any measurements or detailed instructions, the sort of thing people wrote to remind themselves of a recipe they already knew, not to share it with someone who had never had the dish before. So my work this month took a fair amount of improvisation.

Our elegant table setting

Our elegant table setting

Our appetizer was a simple omelet spice with salt, pepper, and parsley. This one was pretty straightforward.

An omelet.  It's hard to go wrong here.

An omelet. It’s hard to go wrong here.

Our main course took a lot more work. I started with a recipe for smoked goose and, since we have neither geese nor the equipment for proper smoking, ended up roasting a couple of Cornish game hens over the grill out back. They came out delicious, though, so no complaints. I added a simple cucumber and tomato salad, just because we were a little short of vegetables.

Our main dish, including cucumbers from our own back yard

Our main dish, including cucumbers from our own back yard

The dessert was a lemon cake, but like no lemon cake I’ve ever seen. There is no flour in this cake, rather there is a filling made of cooked rice flavored with lemon and sugar on top of a crust of almond paste. I don’t think I had the proportions quite right, and it should probably be made with a shorter, stickier variety of rice than I tried, but the result was still quite good. I may try this again one of these days just to see what a few tweaks can do to the recipe.

Lemon cake

Lemon cake

E. gave us a lovely table in Finnish blue and white with some of our china plates that felt right for the occasion.

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2 Responses to “August dinner: Louhisaari Castle Household Recipes, Joni Kuurne”

  1. Vinny Grette Says:

    I was attracted to the table shot. Runner against wood is very pretty 🙂

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