The smell of honey and clover and the sound of kisses

by tableofcolors

I found this poem that tells of the magic of scents and smells of a new little miracle. The original language is in Finnish but below is a rough translation.

“Tuoksussa tässä on outoa taikaa.
Miten voi tuoksua yhtä aikaa:
hunajalta, apilalta, suukkojen mäiskeeltä,
rakkauden räiskeeltä,
talvelta ja kesältä,
pikkulinnun pesältä?”

There is a curious magic in these scents.
How can it all at the same time smell like:
honey and clover and the sound of kisses,
a splattering of love,
of winter and summer,
and the nest of a little bird?

We thought that we were having a spring baby, but the little one had decided otherwise and was born in the midst of a summer day filled with the perfume and blossoms of a new summer. We are still getting to know him but he seems to be a little man of peace, relaxed and observing of the life around him. He was born in the city of Kotka which is on the southern coast of Finland. It is a city of Marinas and parkways and double scoop ice cream cones.
double scoop
Our little love Hugo.
Isabella and hugo 2
4430 g 54 cm–9 lbs 12 oz 21 1/4 inches
home sweet home
This coming weekend is the the celebration of Midsummer and St. John here in Finland. The cities become deserted as people spend time at the lake and at cabins. Our celebration of Midsummer this year will be at home. Rocking and feeding the baby in the gentle light of the night when the sun does not go down has its own beauty.

When summer arrives in Finland, the amount of ice cream enjoyed really grows amongst the population. It is as if the summer has to be experienced with all senses to the fullest. I think the reason for this is that the season is so short. It comes quickly with many expectations and soon the season has slipped into fall. Below is a recipe for a homemade vanilla ice cream. It is delicious, but it might be that we will celebrate our St. John’s this year with a good quality store-bought ice cream and fresh strawberries. Enjoy!
Homemade Vanilla Praline Ice Cream

4 egg yolks
4 dl/1.7 c milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 vanilla bean
dash salt

Make a slit in the vanilla bean. Place the milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks for a few seconds until smooth. Add 1 dl/0.4 c of the boiling milk to the egg yolks and mix until smooth. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the boiling milk. Make sure that the boiling milk mixture is at low. Allow to cook until the mixture has just thickened. Take custard off heat and remove vanilla bean. Mix in the dash of salt.

Allow to cool completely and place in the freezer for one hour. Alternatively you may use an ice cream maker following the instructions of the machine. During this time prepare the praline.

100 g/3.5 oz mixed nuts, roughly chopped
1/4 dl/1/8 c raw cane sugar syrup
3 tbsp butter
dash of salt

Spread the ingredients on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C/350 F for about 5 minutes or until the nuts are gold brown and the syrup-butter mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool and harden. Once it has cooled, break into pieces.

While the custard is chilling, whip 5 dl/generous 2 cups of heavy cream. Flavor with raw cane sugar syrup(glucose syrup may be used as well). Fold into the custard along with the praline. Mix the ice cream mixture every hour for 4-5 hours to prevent the formation of ice crystals. Enjoy with fresh strawberries!