In late October, a friend of mine invited me to Karjaa in Southern Finland. It takes about an hour by train to reach there from the Leppävaara railway station. After I arrived, my friend – the one who brought me Surprise Herbs and Baby Greens last summer – picked me up and together we visited a small Finnish farm that is one of the places worth visiting west of Helsinki.
Rejböle Gård is run by Mikaela Berghäll and is not “just” a farm. It offers several interesting activities such as picking berries or mushrooms, private cooking classes, and even accommodation for two families. So if you have a chance to visit Southern Finland, do not miss it!
In Finland midsummer is celebrated every year on the first Saturday after June 19th – June 23rd this year – and marks the beginning of summer vacations for Finns. During this holiday time, which can last a full month or even more, also many restaurants are closed. So if you plan to visit Helsinki during this time of the year, remember that you will have less choice for eating out. One of them is the KuuKuu restaurant in Töölö.
I’ve been to KuuKuu several times before, and I’ve never been disappointed so far. KuuKuu offers traditional Finnish dishes such as salmon soup and also several dishes with seasonal vegetables and local products. My favorite dishes are grilled veal liver and the fish of the day, but this time I wanted to try something new!
A couple of month ago I talked about the artistic milk carton designed by Klaus Haapaniemi. Well, apparently the milk package design changed right after I posted it. Oh my! I threw away all cartons after taking the pictures, so there was no way to see Putte the Cat anymore. Well, there was actually a way… and now Putte is in my hands 😀
Finally May 19 has arrived! I was waiting for it since a few weeks ago, when I discovered restaurant day. Basically, on restaurant day everyone can open their own restaurant or café anywhere. It could be a park, a backyard, an apartment or office, or even a window! Whoever participates can decide the menu and how to set up the restaurant. It’s not only an event about eating, but also about food culture. Restaurant day started in Helsinki one year ago, and took place four times since then. The last one was on Saturday, May 19, 2012. This time I only participated as a “customer”, but who knows, maybe one day I will have my own pop-up restaurant! 😉
Bizu de chocolat: home-made chocolate pralines on a bike
I think this milk carton is the most artistic one that I have ever seen. When I discovered it in a grocery store, I had to buy it right away, even though I don’t really like skim milk. It is so different from regular milk cartons! One of my Finnish friends told me that it was designed by Klaus Haapaniemi, who is well-known for his illustrations, advertising art and clothing fabric prints. Haapaniemi also designed mugs and dishware for Iittala. You can even buy a print of this beautiful cat, called Putte The Cat, on Haapaniemi’s website. All the profits will go to the Khanapur School for unprivileged children in India.
I have recently moved to a new country, so I had to buy many things, and especially those for kitchen. I’ve lately visited the Iittala store, which is one of the most famous Scandinavian design companies, especially for housewares, including ceramic and glass objects. I found two ingenious woodenware pot guards, one elk-shaped and the other with the Aalto design. They are not only fancy but also convenient. They can be placed between a pot and a lid to help steam to come out when boiling. If you cook very often, you know how they can be useful. Here are my new friends, Mr. Aalto and Mr. Elk!
If you like Scandinavian and especially Finnish design, check out also Arabia and Marimekko. Enjoy!