The smell of honey and clover and the sound of kisses

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.
marinas
parkways
double scoop
Our little love Hugo.
Isabella and hugo 2
4430 g 54 cm–9 lbs 12 oz 21 1/4 inches
hugo
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!
IMG_0568
Homemade Vanilla Praline Ice Cream

Custard:
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.

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!

strawberries

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59 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your handsome little boy!! What gorgeous photo’s and I was so happy to see this recipe. You see praline ice cream is my favorite. I am making this right away. Very happy for you and your lovely family!

  2. Congratulations! What wonderful news – I’m so happy for you. And what a treasure, he is, beautiful, like the poem. Enjoy your midsummer. Buy the ice cream and dream of days to come when you will make it again and he is old enough to eat it.
    I can’t imagine the sun never setting. I’d like to experience that one day.
    Much love to you and your family.

    1. Thank you! Hope you will have the chance to experience the midnight sun someday! It feels as if the amount of sleep needed decreases drastically compared to the dark winter months. It truly is magical as is the little bundle we get to take care of now.

  3. Hello Laila, God’s Peace! Jill’s Mom here, Carol Simonson. Congratulations on the birth of little Hugo! I love your page. The recipes look wonderful and the pages read like a poem.

    1. Hi Carol! Thank you so much! So nice of you to stop by and comment. We have enjoyed our Hugo, so far he has been the easiest baby, letting us sleep in the night and taking generous naps during the day. Gp, Laila

  4. Can it be mid-summer? It’s too soon.

    We are just finishing the remains of our second Brita torte; still no Minnesota berries. But, an improved second try. Used Greek yogurt as you suggested and no sugar on the berries. Rave reviews and I agree.

    Ice cream will have to wait a bit. Your blog is beautiful my dear.

    “A city of marinas and parkways and double dip ice cream cones…” Beautiful! Could be Stillwater, or lake Harriet. But, sorry no midnight sun.
    And no baby Hugo.

    Love, Grampa

    1. Midsummer arrives so quick, but fortunately it does not mean that summer is half over. It really is just the beginning! The amount of light just starts to make its slow descent though.

      Yes, the description could fit Lake Harriet or Stillwater. Maybe that is one reason why I like it so much, it brings back a certain memory from childhood. These photos were taken four days before the birth of Hugo after an appt. It was the perfect day.

      Wish you could both join us here! Love, Laila

  5. Congratulations! He’s devine! 🙂
    We were **just** in Finland, visiting Moomin World and then my husband’s mummi… we love going over there.
    Wishing you the most fabulous summer, getting to know your little man, enjoying the sunshine and all the flavours of the season. Here’s to more lovely ice cream and loads of cuddles! Best wishes to you and yours xxxx

    1. Thank you so much! We have been planning to visit the Moomin World for a couple of years. I think our children would really enjoy it since they are such fans of the Moomin Characters. Hope your trip was fantastic! Hope your summer is a wonderful one as well!

  6. This was a post filled with “awww” and “squee” and so very pretty and touching. Congratulations on the arrival of your adorable baby!!!

      1. I have been pleasantly surprised how well he sleeps in it! It has been a worthwile purchase and he doesn’t seem to mind the commotion around him…as my four year-old said…he is used to it, he has been listening all the while from inside my belly. Very true I must say! 😀

    1. Thanks, he is a pleasant little sweetheart! The ice cream I had made at an earlier date and it was in my archives. I think we will be eating store bought ice cream at the moment. 🙂

  7. Congratulations on your wonderful baby! One of my children was born in June–and I also remember enjoying the long hours of daylight when I was up at odd hours with the baby.

    1. Thank you! Last night I was up for a little while in the soft light of the night. He was content as could be, but just looking around. After a while he fell asleep in my lap. It really was a perfect moment in the quiet house.

  8. Hugo on niin ihana!

    Kävin kurkkaamassa Brita-kakun ohjeen, koska jääkaapista löytyy kermaa ja mansikoita. Mulla on varmaan koneella se ohje, jota olen itse käyttänyt, mut kokeilen nyt täällä sun blogissa olevaa ohjetta.

    1. Niin munkin mielestä! Toivottavasti kakku onnistui! Ajattelin itsekin että voisin tehdä tortun kun mullakin löytyi nuo kyseiset aineet kaapista, mutta tänään oli niin väsynyt olo että nukuin sen sijaan päiväunet. 🙂

  9. Aw…congratulations!! He is just beautiful- and your poem made me smile. Wonderful post. Made me wish I could experience a night where the sun doesn’t set:0). Much love to you- enjoy your newborn time!!!

  10. A big congratulations on the safe arrival of beautiful little Hugo! A lovely poem and nod to summer, which really does slip by all too quickly! Enjoy your upcoming holiday and lots of ice cream filled evenings this summer!

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