Monday, 27 December 2010

Finnish Christmas

The menu I serve for our Christmas Eve feast has hardly changed since I did my first Finnish Christmas as a newly married naval wife for the the Englishman and his friend who were both on duty on Christmas Eve on HMS Trafalgar in Plymouth in 1985. I bought most of the items then, including the ham, and used disposable containers for the meatballs and vegetable bakes (laatikot), and served it all in the submarine's tiny wardroom. I even managed to make mulled wine for the ship's company in a vast tea urn. I'm sure their char never quite tasted the same again after I'd brewed my concoction of red wine, orange juice and spices in it.

Anyway, enough of stepping down the memory lane, here was our menu for Finnish Christmas Eve 2010.

Savory rice pudding with a single almond
(The person who finds the almond will have good luck for next year)

Served with mulled wine 

Selection of soused herring
Gravad Lax with Dill Sauce

 Boiled eggs topped with black roe 
Beetroot salad (Rosolli)
New boiled potatoes
Soured cream sauce

Served with schnapps, beer and a few drinking songs

Carrot bake (Porkkanalaatikko)
Swede bake (Lanttulaatikko)

'Stars' (Joulutähdet)

Gingerbread men (Piparkakkuja)


This year we also had a visit from Father Christmas who delivered our presents early, in the Finnish way, after the meal, as we wanted to get on the road early on Christmas Day. The strange thing is that the Englishman missed him completely...


Rose said...

this all looks delcious- as I think I've said I really LOVE food from Nordic countries- although I can't find a way to get along with the herrings- still I keep trying.

I went to a cool place called Fika on Brick Lane with Swedish friends just before Christmas- I know Swedish is different but still- we had reindeer sausages with lingonbery sauce and mash and stuff- was all very good. My favourite things are skagen toast and cinnamon buns (any variation on- there seem to be quite a few different recipes).

Hope you had a super first Christmas in London town- I hope to come to your lovely looking book shop one day

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I would say that your Christmas buffet is rather influenced by Swedish customs. It's not really traditional for meatballs to be on the Finnish Christmas table (whereas the Swedes always, always have them), likewise boiled eggs. Did you ever live in Sweden? There was an interesting report on Swedish Television's Finnish-language news programme about maintaining Finnish Christmas food traditions amongst Finnish immigrants in Sweden. Just meatballs was the most common "Swedish" addition.

Bernie said...

I am a Swedish gal also. Both my parents came from Sweden before 1910 so we have a lot of the same food for Christmas. We have Swedish Potato Sausage, meatballs, lefse, lute fish (tho this has been replaced with lobster in our house. But my mom used to make that rice with the almond in it and some kind of beans sort of sweet sauced kidney shaped things and of course fruit soup and fruit cake and Swedish Coffee Bread which I make a lot of with the cardamom seed in it. So I really enjoyed your post about Finnish food for Christmas. And I love that I signed up to get your posts automatically.