Friday, September 25, 2009

Painters and Parsnips: Online Resources: Finland

This is the fun stage of working on a geography book: gathering resources. Later comes the stage of organizing within strict limits.
But for a while, it's all about being a terrier:
sniffing, digging, chewing, and swallowing things larger than my head.

This evening I discovered (new to me) Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946).
Left: "Mädchen vom Bildteppich" (1915)

I have to include a recipe, and I don't think parsnips and horseradish will appeal to kids, but I think this sounds wonderful!
From Food from Finland.

Sweet Christmas Vegetables and Horseradish Cream

4-5 small red onions
3-4 (300 g) parsnips
3-4 (300 g) carrots
50 ml oil
2 tbsp honey or light syrup
1 ½ tsp gingerbread spice
1/2 tsp salt

Horseradish Cream:
1 jar (200 g) of crème fraîche
1 tbsp horseradish paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey or light syrup
A pinch of salt

Peel the vegetables. Split the onions. Split the carrots and cut the parsnips into four pieces. Place the roots around the turkey on a baking tray, the cut surface above. Mix the oil, honey or syrup, gingerbread spice and salt together. Brush the vegetables with the mixture. The vegetables will be ready at the same time and at the same temperature as the turkey. (Baking just the vegetables at 175°C or 350F takes about one hour). Prepare the horseradish cream by mixing the ingredients together. Serve the sweet Christmas vegetables with a breast of turkey and the horseradish cream.

I'm not actually sure this is a Finnish site--I think it may be Dutch--but I also came across a great blog (? it's a dot org): Vegalicious recipes "delicious vegan & vegetarian recipes for compassionate people." [I expect noncompassionate people might enjoy them too.] They also host an international conversion calculator for cooks, which is very welcome.
Since I have to gather these online sources anyway, I'll store them here.

1. CIA World Factbook: Finland: "population: 5,250,275 (July 2009 est.); mobile cellular telephones: 6.08 million (2007)"

2. PRB (population reference bureau) Data Finder: Finland "Infant Mortality Rate (infant deaths per 1,000 live births)
Finland = 2.7
World = 49

3. BBC: Country Profile: "Around two-thirds of Finland is covered in forest and about a tenth by water."
and BBC Timeline: Finland "2008 December - Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari receives 2008 Nobel Peace Prize."

4. Economist Country Briefing: Finland

5. U.S Dept. of State Background Notes

6. Library of Congress Country Study: Finland (1988, but good background)

7. thisisFINLAND "things you should and shouldn't know" Cool site--produced by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, but you'd never know it. You can follow thisisFINLAND on Twitter.


deanna said...

Very interesting stuff, in this post and the one following. That recipe does look good. You (and Kirk) are providing a real service already!

Fresca said...

I'm glad you find it interesting. I sure do. I had no idea how much I didn't know about Finland!
I'd kind of lumped it in with the other Scandinavian countries, but it's distinct in many ways.

I just got back from the Sunday farmer's market, where I bought parsnips and carrots, to make this. No creme fraiche, I'll just use a simple horseradish cream.
And no turkey, of course.