The aroma of Christmas pastry, or Finnish “joulutortut”/ “tähtitortut” 🎄

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🥧 When Christmas gets closer, the aromas of delicious pastry follow you all the way in many countries, I think. In Finland, Christmas tarts* are baked with plum/ prune jam quite often.

🥣The most important thing is to cook / buy a good puff pastry (they usually sell sheets of the dough specially for the tarts here). Before baking you can also smear an egg over them using a brush

🌟Make 4 cuts in the sheets of the dough and turn edges to form a star.

🥄Put some prune jam in the centre and bake them in the oven (you can use any jam, but plum/ prune jam is a certain little special detail. There are two other kinds of jam in my carousel: apple with cardamom and figs)

😋Sprinkle with powdered sugar after they are ready.

❓Do you enjoy baking? Which pastry do make/ buy during the winter holidays?

*Finnish Christmas tart “joulutorttu” is also translated as Christmas pie and “tähtitorttu” as a Christmas star.

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Holidays are coming, holidays are coming already this weekend… and🎅Joulupukki🎅 is coming.

🎄True, November 24-25 are the days when the official immersion into the Christmas atmosphere is coming (if I can say so) in different cities of Finland according to their own schedule *.

🤹‍♂️ Christmas markets and various fun activities and in December even sauna (free of charge) in Helsinki.

🍷 Tantalizing aromas of glögi, ginger cookies, juicy sausages and even traditional porridge in some places.

🎅 The main thing is that Joulupukki (a kind of Santa Claus in Finland, but he has a completely different story) is coming to children. I remember how many children were following his sleigh! And this year our little one will meet him for the first time.

🎥 I haven’t written everything, I don’t even know how to fit everything here, I hope I can make some videos and upload them to the stories and keep them in the highlights of my profile.

🍚 So what kind of porridge am I writing about (it’s in the pic, too)? Rice porridge with cinnamon and sugar is traditionally eaten on December 24 in the morning but some people eat it all year round, and sometimes at Pre-Christmas events.

*Christmas events in Finland 👉 https://www.finland-holiday.com/christmas-helsinki.php

A cat or a dog? Walking &parking spots for dogs, what else surprised me in Finland and how to get broke on your cutie pet.

🐶 The dog is a beloved pet in Finland. I saw cats only inside though, but there is a bigger variety of food and different things for dogs than for cats in shops.

📌Several facts that surprised me:

❌ You may walk your dog strictly on a leash, and let it go only in a special fenced area for dogs.

The only cases of violation of the rule I’ve seen were deserted spots of the forest (my husband and I were picking berries, but we were not disturbed, cause the dogs were incredibly obedient to their owner).

🅿️ At some stores there are “parking” spots for dogs as well as for bikes.

🏡No homeless animals: there is a good service of shelters and system of “finding a new good owner”.

🗒All dogs are registered.

💶💉 Veterinary services are much more expensive than “human” medical care, which is expensive in Finland, too.

💰 In some cities they pay a tax on a dog (or they have to at least), there is a certain order of having a dog and cleaning up after your dog, free transport or 50% of the cost of a ticket for public transport, all kinds of benefits and other rules and services are regulated differently depending on the local municipality.

🥤At some shops I have seen bowls so your pet can quench their thirst.

😲A toothbrush for your pet,but Finns are famous for caring about their teeth in general.

🙈Is there anyone against pets? I can only say there are certain people who feel very unhappy if a dog’s owner doesn’t clean up after their pet so they think it would be good to take these “things” to the laboratory to identify the dog and its owner (since dogs are registered). I wasn’t sure how to react when I heard it: to laugh or make a serious face like “it is really necessary”.

❓Is there anything here that surprised you, too? Or is there something else that you noticed about pets in Finland? What about your country? And which pet do you prefer: dogs, cats, turtles …?

Father’s Day is coming 🎈 Daddies in Finland.

In Finland, they prepare for this celebration as we [Russians] do for February 23 (when all men are congratulated), just because Father’s Day is less popular in Russia. On Father’s Day children give their crafts as presents to their dads, families gather together for dinner, and the flag is raised outside the window.

🍷 Last time we gave my husband’s father blueberry wine (my husband made it from blueberries, which we collected in the forest) and salmon. This time we are thinking of giving a bottle of brandy.

👨‍👧Despite the fact that this was originally an American holiday, Finns enjoy it and brought it to the traditions of their country. It’s no surprise, because fathers take an honorable place after mothers: it’s absolutely ok to have paternity leave, to have an opportunity to help their wife with kids after the childbirth, to attend the “daddy-kid” club with their kids, to attend parents’ school together with their pregnant wife etc.

🎶However, in Russia, fathers are very helpful and caring, too. We even have a song devoted to fathers: “Daddy can do everything apart from being a mom”. At least, this is how I think of my childhood having an example of my loving Russian dad.

❓Is it common to celebrate Father’s Day in your country or anything similar?

Rich dinner, or what is Kekri Day. All Saints’ Day, or is there Halloween in Finland.

Today, many Finns will go to the graves of relatives to remember them and light candles, because it is All Souls’ Day, or All Saints’ Day in Finland. There are quite a lot of people at the cemetery in Finland and everything looks very beautiful, I should say.

🍖This kind of All Saints’ Day was supposed to replace the pagan holiday of Kekri Day — the end of agricultural year, welcoming winter — but some people celebrate it even nowadays on the first Saturday of November (it used to be a different date though): a rich dinner (meat dishes used to be in the past and it was a kind of offering to the spirits of ancestors), torches, people all dressed up and many pagan customs.

🎃When American traditions came, one more image of this day became popular, known as “Halloween,” which is not different in the way of celebrating it from many other countries. Actually, the roots of Halloween come from the Celts, but I guess only the pumpkin remained, thanks to which a good marketing strategy is carried out.

❓Do you know traditions of the harvest period in your country (before the globalization and the American style)? I’m sure almost every country had it.

It got chilly, or how warm it is in a Finnish house.

🇬🇧vs.🇫🇮 It’s warm, I should say. It’s not like in many other European countries, for example: Finnish friends of ours were ready to pay extra in the UK in winter for heating, but they got a response: “Come on, seriously? Such costs!” Well, even in summer I remember I was freezing in a British house, and it was chilly inside a Spanish house in winter, too. Of course, this is not about hotels.

🏠 Finns love and appreciate, when it’s warm just like we (Russians) do. However, some Russians still find it a bit chilly when it’s + 20 + 22 in a Finnish house. As for me, I like this Finnish temperature indoor cause it’s not stuffy then.

🔥 Finnish houses have central heating (in a flat), fireplace (in an own house), a heat pump which is quite popular, etc.

❓What about heating in your country? What is your favorite temperature indoor in winter?

More about Finnish houses in my posts 👉 #finhousejutu (my Instagram hashtag)

Our evening in the autumn: a mug of hot glögi and ginger cookies. Finnish ‘not’ mulled wine is in my post today.

Different kinds of Christmas nonalcoholic drink have been sold in Finland since the beginning of October.

🍹It can remind of mulled wine and it’s popular in Finland and Scandinavia, there is also an alcoholic kind of it.

❣️However, glögi is based on fruits and berries with spices; and raisins and almonds are added to the mug.

🍇 You can cook it yourself using black currant juice, grape juice, apple juice, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, sugar and water. You can also add ginger, there is an option of making it using buckthorn juice, blueberry or other juice, you can also add wine, etc. (in my pic: glögi contains berry juice and non-alcoholic wine with spices).

👨‍🍳 Culinary art of the hot drink adds something special. Don’t forget about the raisins and almonds which make it special! 👍

Have a nice hot mug of glögi in a cold evening ☕️

❓What is your favorite drink during the cold season? Do you like glögi? Have you tried cooking it yourself?