Hi there! Now it is the middle of August and in the Arctic city of Rovaniemi there is already a sign of the end of summer in the air. Sunshine is softer and wind is cooler, and dark nights have been back.
And now it is the season of the crop! Many kinds of berry like blueberry, raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant are ripened, and since about 2 weeks ago during the weekends, we have been busy to pick berries in buckets, and making juice, smoothie, jam and cakes and freezing berries in small boxes.
There is a lovely tool in Finland to pick blueberries and cowberries in the forest that is like a box with a handle and a rough comb. You can get some berries at a time with it and a valve-like part works to prevent berries dropping out. There is variety of this tool from classic one made of iron, to wide design made of plastic, and small size for kids. After touching blueberries, your fingers become violet and people can guess that you have been in the forest picking berries.
There are some more kinds of berry in the forest. At first it was difficult to tell what kind, but if you look at them carefully, differences are obvious because their leaves are really different. Crowberry is an eatable black berry. Cowberry is still green now, but it will be beautiful red when autumn deepens.
Although many Finns plant raspberry trees in their gardens, they can be found on a side of a road as well because they are strong, and I know at least 2 places where they are growing nearby my home. I pick and eat raspberries if I find during walking. Raspberry is so sweet that there often a maggot in a berry, but I don’t hesitate to touch it any more and just throw it away.
Redcurrant is in the garden of our apartment, and blackcurrant and gooseberry are planted in the garden of our family cottage. Today we were picking blackcurrant. The vegetable garden of my father-in-law is also having the crop season, and our each dish has something from the garden. The white flower is potato flower.
And mushrooms are also coming up in the forest. We love mushrooms called herkkutatti (penny bun) and koivunpunikkitatti (orange birch bolete), and penny bun is very seasonal mushroom that can be found in a short period of the season. It is easy to cook without need of boiling and delicious like peanuts. We fry penny buns with butter and season with salt and a lemon, on the day of picking. I cook it with rice, too, seasoning with Sake and soy sauce. Maggots also know what good mushrooms are, and big mushrooms have been already eaten by them quite often. It is a competition against maggot that faster is the winner. We didn’t find any penny bun last weekend, and today we found many, but about half of them were already eaten.
Our short summer is ending. I am already missing it…
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