tableofcolors

Simple pleasures

Tag: migration of geese

October

by tableofcolors

There is something quite soothing about October. There are still some leaves on the trees although they have become a bit sparse and the foliage has turned quite bright. In another two weeks those leaves will be gone. Up in the sky the geese are flying in a v-shape formation. It is as if nature is giving permission to turn in for the night a bit earlier. The sleep has felt so good and is deep in quality. It is dark in the mornings when I awake and start to make my rounds, gently shaking the shoulders of my sleepyheads. Some of them wake-up easier than others. I’ve thought of maybe buying a wake-up lamp (sarastuslamppu) that gently makes the room brighter replicating dawn. It might be the solution on dark mornings for the ones that just are not morning people.

migrating geeseIn October my kitchen has pumpkins and squash and a bright soup to warm up the chilly afternoons.

pumpkins and squashThe soup is quite simple. I peeled and removed the seeds from both the pumpkin and butternut squash and cut in into cubes. Then I just barely covered the cubes with water and added a container of stock that I had in my freezer. I allowed it to boil until tender. I then added some salt and freshly ground black pepper, a bit of smoked paprika and one container of cream cheese. I brought it back to a boil and thickened it with cornstarch mixed into water and allowed it to come back to a boil once again.

pumpkin soup collageWe have had some freezing weather during the nights. The kale is still in the garden as it can handle a bit of frost. Some say the flavor is better after a little frost. What is your experience with growing kale? After all of our attempts to grow little seedlings, we watched them get eaten by little black beetles and so we nearly gave up. We threw the rest of the seeds into the planting box and just let them grow even if the little bugs tried to get at them a second time. I guess we just needed to be patient as they have been growing big and strong into the autumn season. kaleThis past week has been surprisingly full of variety from the regular week. We had a chance to go hiking with my husband at the nearby national park, Repovesi. I will share those photos in my next post. It was a beautiful day. Sometimes the unplanned turns out the best. And this past weekend I had a chance to spend the day with my sister. We stopped by my favorite coffee roastery in Helsinki, the Kluuvikadun Kahvipaahtamo. They are selling their coffee online as well and you are able to select your own mix of beans. Perhaps soon their site will be in English as well. This past Sunday was the perfect kind of day for spelt scones with blueberry and their Autumn blend which is a medium roast coffee.

sunday spelt sconesIn the soft October light there are coffee cups for two, Antti’s is almost full and mine has just a little as I am so sensitive to caffeine. There is juice for the children. In the middle of the upper cupboards is a shelf for all of my favorite cook books and even the rough draft version of my own. Perhaps it will become an e-book or even printed on paper. I followed my Grampa’s recipe for the scones but made a couple of changes to fit the mood for the day. Two-thirds of the flour is spelt and the sugar I replaced with brown sugar as spelt has more nutty, wholesome flavor.

Spelt scones with blueberries

150 g/5 and 1/3 oz spelt flour
75 g/2 and 2/3 oz flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
110 g/4 oz butter, cold and cubed
2.4 dl/ 1 c milk
2.4 dl/ 1 c blueberries

Mix the spelt flour, flour, baking soda and powder along with the sugar and salt. Cut in the cold, cubed butter until it is about pea-sized in texture. Mix in the milk and stir until combined. Do not over mix. Last, add in the blueberries. Using a spoon, divide the dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 220 C/425 F for about 16 minutes or until golden brown.

autumn blend spelt scones

This post is part of Celia’s In My Kitchen Series that she host every month at Fig Jam Lime Cordial.

 

The migration of geese and an apple treat for the occassion

by tableofcolors

This week has been gray, rainy and even a bit drab. What made it unique was that right over our house and in the fields around us gathered hundreds of Barnacle geese. There were a few White-fronted and Bean geese in the mix. It was a real cachophony of sound and when they all took off to circle in the sky and to land a few minutes later, the flutter of the wings sounded as if an airplane took off. In past years they have flown over with only a few stopping to feed. This time our address was in their navigator and we even got some residue on the windows as a souvenir.

The flight of the geese

As you can probably imagine the event raised the interest of bird watchers and hunters (the Barnacle geese are protected). We actually had a bit more traffic on our country road. They would drive by slowly, peering out of the windows with binoculars do a U-turn and creep by again. But I really can’t blame them. I did the same thing!

The following recipe is perfect for those gray days of fall and best of all there are two ways to do it depending on what your schedule demands. The first version is a Crock Pot version.

Apple treat and two ways to make it

Peel and slice 1 kg/2 lb of apples. (I prefer to use Granny smith, they keep their shape better)

Place the apple slices into your slow cooker along with 50 g/1.8 oz of butter, the juice of half a lemon and a generous 1 dl or 1/2 c of brown sugar. Sprinkle a little cinnamon to taste. Turn your cooker on low and set the timer for 2 hours. Stir once while cooking. Before serving whip 1.5 dl/0.6 c of whipping cream until fluffly. Fold in 1 dl /1/2 c of turkish youghurt and 3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste. This recipe works great for those on a gluten-free diet.

The slow cooker version is great if you are having company over. It can be prepared a couple hours in advance freeing up your time to enjoy your guests.

Version 2: This version is slightly different in texture even if the ingredients are identical. Place all of the ingredients above (except for the cream and turkish yoghurt) into a wok. Wok the apples for a few minutes until the brown sugar and butter caramelizes and the apples have slightly softened. Do not overcook. Serve with the whipped cream-turkish yoghurt mixture. Enjoy!

The evening sun and migrating geese