Happy New Year 2013! A new year is always exciting, full of the unknown, new opportunities and new adventures.
Between Christmas and New Year’s we were lucky to get a beautiful day. The three older girls tried downhill skiing for the first time. I was impressed with how quickly they learned. The little ones focused on sledding and eating snacks that they well knew we had along.
A tradition has slowly formed with our New Year’s celebration. It started four years ago when our son was born shortly after Christmas. He was a little sad this past year that his birthday is so close to Christmas until we told him that he gets to celebrate his birthday on the only day that firecrackers are allowed in Finland. They are allowed from 6 pm New Year’s Eve to 6 am New Year’s day. It has become a tradition to invite friends and family over for dinner, a little walk outside and firecrackers and later in the evening birthday cake for our little birthday boy.
For dinner we had a shoulder of a lamb and vegetables baked in the oven, a tossed green salad, mashed potatoes with butternut squash and my Gramma’s wild rice. As a child we would have this wild rice side dish at Thanksgiving and on Christmas day. Whenever I visit Minnesota, I always bring back wild rice which is native to the area. Wild rice is high in iron and protein and contains the amino acid lycine. I have recently found it sold here in Finland in a few select shops.
The following recipe is not quite identical to my Gramma’s version. I know that she uses sour cream and since I did not have it on hand I used a mixture of creme fraîche, Turkish yoghurt and a little cream. The final result was still quite similar and delicious.
2 cups of wild rice cooked according to directions on the package
3 stalks celery
mushrooms ( I used a handful of dried chanterelle mushroom that I rehydrated in some water)
200 g/7 oz creme fraîche
0.8 dl/ 1/3 c cream
200 g Turkish yoghurt
2 tbsp butter
After the wild rice is cooked and set aside, chop the onion, celery and mushrooms until they are small. Sauté the vegetables in a little butter. When they are nearly done add the herbs. Mix the sautéed herbs with the rice. Add the creme fraîche to the rice and vegetable mixture. Check flavor.
This dish is easy to prepare in advance. At this point the wild rice can be refrigerated(if desired) and the final preparation can be done shortly before serving.
Before serving add the turkish yoghurt and cream and warm until steaming.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.