Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hyvää Joulua!

I have this FABULOUS idea to host our traditional Finnish Christmas family dinner at my 2012. I have to plan so far ahead as I have two major things to get into order before I can even start planning the day.

One - new kitchen. I cannot possibly cook an entire Finnish feast in my current kitchen as my over door fell off and so now the oven cooks things however the hell it wants to (cakes come out burnt on the bottom and raw in the middle). Don’t even get me started on the lack of functionality. My kitchen is the original installation from the 80’s - it is screaming out for a modern reno and what better reason to get it happening.

Two - I have to learn and practice, practice, practice the traditional Finnish dishes. To produce the very dishes my Mum has made every year since we were kids without a LOT of practice would be silly on my part.

Finns love to sit around the table on Christmas Eve and feast. Our family tradition is not a religious one, it is simply all about family coming together to celebrate us.
Source: via Peggy on Pinterest

Every year leading up to Christmas my Mum puts up the tree and decorates her home with various Finnish-looking decorations (how adorable are these!). Out come the abundant fairy lights (you can never have too many lights according to my Mother) and the tree is accompanied by copious amounts of beautifully wrapped gifts. My Mum and grandmother would start preparing the Finnish dishes days in advance and the whole day on Christmas Eve would be spent adding the final touches and preparing the table. As a somewhat relaxed single I did not have much interest in learning how to prepare the dishes myself. Now I can’t wait to carry on the tradition!

Dishes include Porkkanalaatikko (carrot bake), Makaroonilaatikko (macaroni bake), Lanttulaatikko (swede root bake) and Rosolli (herring & beetroot salad) to mention a few. And for dessert we feast on Joulu Piparikakut (gingerbread biscuits), Joulutorttu (star-shaped pastry tarts filled with prune jam - these are my favourite!) and a prune and rice porridge baked in the oven with a sweet soup made from dried mixed fruit. A perfect rich combination for a cold, white winter. Still, we thoroughly enjoy it here in our searing heat of Perth summer, our family dinner would just not be the same without it. I can’t wait. I might start practicing now! Of course I will also include my favourites Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian Pasties) and Finnish Pulla (Korvapuusti).
Look out Mum, I am going all out. Joulupukki (Santa) will be impressed!


  1. I miss our Christmas together! I loved hanging up the fairylights, more the prettier, I loved the smiles on kids faces when they saw all the parcels under the tree. I loved the food cooking even it was so hot in the kitchen that you felt like you were melting. Those are the nice memories!

  2. I used to look forward to that day, such a nice feeling of 'home'. Well when I recreate it at my abode you will just have to join us (give me a few years to perfect it first!). xo


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