That Time I Ended Up With 8 Kilos of Fruit Leather.


Well, it was actually 8 kilos of undried fruit leather, which is probably only a kilo once it’s been through the dehydrator. But since it takes a day per batch and I was making the stuff on a deadline, I ended up just freezing most of the mush to be processed at a later date. Anyway, I’m not running out of fruit leather anytime soon. But let’s rewind a bit! So this year was truly an epic year for berries. Whatever was happening with the weather, berries liked it. A LOT. This resulted in all our blackcurrant, redcurrant, and gooseberry bushes …

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Gratuitous bunny posting.

I think the general world population agrees bunny rabbits are cute. Haven’t had time these past few days to put together a proper post, so thought I’d share a gratuitous bunny video. Because I haven’t done that before, strangely enough, and bunnies are really fun to watch when they’re in a good mood 🙂 We’ve got a small herd of them, so there’s bound to be somebody feeling perky at any point in the day when I might get out my camera. So pull up a chair and check out this 30-second helping of cuteness as our teddy dwarf Lily (not a lionhead, mind you) frolicks in her pen on a breezy late summer day.

Pin There, Done That: Sensory Bottles, Part 1


This was one of those projects that I had been meaning to make since Blob was one, but didn’t get around to doing until January of this year. To be fair, though, there is far less choice for large, sturdy plastic bottles in Finland, since they are considered horribly wasteful. Innocent Juice made the ones I was most happy with, so I started saving my juice bottles after we were done with them. The plastic is not as thick as I would like, but still highly resilient to toddler abuse. The mouth is wide enough to fit a variety of items …

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Pin There, Done That: Flower Ice Blocks


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I’ve seen how-to posts for doing flower ice cubes before, but not too many for doing larger blocks. Probably because the only places these remain viable for any length of time is in the frozen north. Lots of talk of wedding centerpieces and luminaries, mostly. However, on a trip to the garden store a few years ago, I saw that they had done several blocks using what I assume were leftover tulips from their florist counter. The effect was lovely and Finland can easily spend a few months below zero (Celsius) so they will last for longer than any other fresh bouquet …

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Frank, my deer.

We seem to be on a roll with all things wild and Finnish, so here’s a little video of something else that I found in our garden in early September last year. It was very early in the morning and I had been forced out of bed to make a bottle for a fussy toddler, so I was a bit surprised to look out the window and see a large animal strolling through the berry bushes. Pleasantly surprised, though. This young male European red deer, who I promptly named Frank in my head, just seemed so mellow as he poked around amongst the ripe fruit that I had to stop and watch him for a bit. This is the only time that I’ve seen him, though I have noticed deer marks through the snow in the winter, so I suspect this wasn’t the first time he and his presumed relatives have been around. None of them have ever harmed my vegetables and trees, so they remain welcome visitors to clean up any fruit that I can’t get around to harvesting in time.

Hunting the Wild Finnish Mushroom


Now we come to the adventuring part of this year’s mushroom hunting posts. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m getting pretty good at locating and picking the “beginner mushrooms” local to our area. This means that I’ve been turning my eye to other prospects, wanting to identify different species around us and learn what other culinary options we have. Having a wider identification database is also good for keeping curious toddler hands away from toxic species, of course. The best way to learn these things is from actual experience, so I badgered a good friend of mine until she finally …

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Dry Sautéed Chanterelles for Freezing and Why I Have Time To Post Now.


These two topics, you see, are totally related. Around the end of summer and early fall, I’m usually scouring the surrounding woods for any signs of frilly golden yellow goodness — especially now that I get to bring them home for my voracious little fungivore. If the haul is not so bountiful, I also start buying up any good deals at the local produce market stalls. A good portion of this goes straight into whatever dishes I’m making for the week (remind me to post that chanterelle and balsamic beef fettucine recipe one day soon) but the rest gets preserved for use throughout …

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The One Where I Gloss Over Not Posting for Almost a Year. Also, Mushrooms!


Because c’mon, the only people who are really reading this already know that juggling toddlers and various other aspects of adult life are not entirely compatible with keeping a regular writing schedule. But you know what was actually on schedule this year? Mushroom season! Yeah, great segue, I know. I try, I try. Really, though — I’m rather proud because this was the first year I went out to forage mushrooms and actually came back with a basket full of really good-looking ones! These were picked at the beginning of September, so I’m not even too late in posting about them at all 😉 I’m …

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Toddler logic is not Earth logic.


We have apparently entered the compound word phase. Which would be great except that the words are still somewhat questionable at best. For instance, Blob cannot pronounce “ankka” so ducks are now “kakka”. Which can be somewhat confusing, especially when we are trying to tell if he needs a diaper change. But that’s all just setup. So we have cartoons on in the morning while I get dressed. The little guy usually eats then runs around shouting “moo!” and “ihahaa! ” while waving his stuffed cow and horse. Today he noticed the parrot while watching Jake and the Neverland pirates. Him: Moo! …

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Burritos and Boba!

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A tribute to one of my favorite meals when in California, a calorie-laden multi-cultural mishmash that could exist nowhere else: a Rubio’s shrimp burrito and a Lollicup Thai milk tea boba. I highly recommend trying both if you are ever in the Southern California area! (Yes, we were briefly in SoCal last month. Longer post to follow about wackyfuntimes taking a 1 year old across ten time zones. o.O)