Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clean the World

I'm kind of snowed in here today, so I'm packing soap to send to Clean the World for Haiti.

Last year we donated molds to this organization for use in rebatching hotel soap to send around the world. But they can also use soap 'ends' ...which we have in abundance!

Right now they're shipping hygiene and medical products into Haiti to help with the relief effort....

You can get about 24# of soap in a large flat rate box....and ship that for $13.95. A pretty good deal.
Remember also, that your local food pantry or shelter can use soap. I understand that food stamps CANNOT be used for soap.

Monday, January 25, 2010

did I mention

that I went to flower school yesterday?

The teacher becomes the student.....I took the flowering quince class at Saipua and had such fun.

(daughter) Sarah and Nicolette presented the class in such a lovely way and we each went home with gorgeous arrangements!

I think mine looked a bit better before I got it home....maybe the drive wasn't the best thing for it. But it sure beats sticking a bunch of tulips in a vase and letting the fall where they will.

BTW...those are anemones, purple sweet peas, seeded eucalyptus, jasmine, some lilac, lavender and of courses flowering quince.

Sweet Red Peppers and Hummus....

I love this for lunch....can't understand why Pentti doesn't.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

here it is...

The Finnish Cheesecake: Rahkapiirakka (its really like a breakfast cheese bun)

The Sweet Yeast Dough.
The night before, get out your bread machine and dump in the following:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. soft butter
1 egg
3/4 c. hot water

I usually mix the flour, sugar salt and yeast before adding the hot water to protect the yeast a bit. Put it on the mix/rise cycle and when it's done, put the dough in a greased bowl, turn the grease side up, cover with saran and put in the fridge until the next morning. It will rise again a little overnight in the fridge.

The in the morning....make the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese
1 T. butter
2 T. cream
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup dried currants (you can use raisins if you must)

Mix this with a beater and spread on the dough which you have spread on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Make lots of fresh coffee and dig in!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

yes, I'm now married to a 65 yr. old....

whew! How did that happen??

Here are his birthday surprises:

Both girls here for his big day:

and our traditional family birthday cake: The Fancy Filled Cake from The Finnish Cookbook.
More about assembling this beauty another time.

a history lesson in food

When I was in college in the early 70's in Home Economics Education at Buffalo State...I somehow came across a recipe for: Cheesecake (Rahkapiirakka) I think I might have gotten it from a Finnish student.

Years later when I made it for Pentti's parents...they said it was very authentic. (and delicious, I might add) Pentti's sister, Seija, gave me a copy of The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. I use that book all the time for Finnish recipes and they are really just like Pentti's family makes. It's still available and I have bought copies for both of my daughters.

In Beatrice's cookbook there are two recipes similar to mine:
Karelian Cheese-Filled Buns (Rahkapiirakat) and
Cream Cheese Filled Buns (Juustokukkoset)

My recipe is baked in a large pan, not in individual buns and uses cream cheese.

Jess says I have to make if for breakfast tomorrow morning before she goes back to Atlanta.
Maybe there'll be photos....

PS to Sarah: look who arrived as soon as you left this morning!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Roasting rutabaga

Last weeks food section of the times.

Farro Salad with Roasted Rutabaga, Ricotta Salata and Hazelnuts.

My adjustments: No Farro: used barley. I like Feta so I used that instead of Ricotta Salata.

Quick to prepare for a delicious supper!! (and the leftovers were yummy, too)

a soapmaking machine

while my daughter is baking...I'm filling every soap mold I can find. That's about 200 lbs. there....

Friday, January 8, 2010


is the year I'm going to do less paperwork for Saipua....hopefully the entire bookkeeping operation will be transitioned to Brooklyn.

I'm looking forward to 'just makin' soap'

I don't mean this to sound like a resolution. I don't make them.
It's just a fact. And I love the idea....more time for reading, gardening, movies, and all of the other things I love including: Mah Jongg.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

We made it to Rochester by leaving yesterday at 6:30 AM...and got to the cousins @ 1PM for the party.

My family upstate are mostly farmers....we meet at Scott's house for the gathering and dinner.
(He's on the farm with the cows) In addition the family also does Christmas Trees and Pumpkins. Lots of talk about the family tree ensues. Sometimes old photos are reviewed and we try to figure out who they's always fun to see everyone and catch up.

And to celebrate the new year: some of the best PROTEST SIGNS from 2009!
My personal favorite: Youth in Asia.....

Happy 2010!