Much of Finnish history is about them being beaten up from all sides. The Swedes, the Russians, they all wanted a piece of Finland. The Finnish psyche is the product of this history. There is a darkness there below the surface, a national sadness. National holidays are not celebrated with fireworks and festivities, but with candle burning and reflection. This morning Mikko said that they have excepted the fact that they will never be a great power. But I think from that collective place comes an amazing sense of national pride, and a well of creative energy.
Mikko read to us about a group of Finnish woman that are "professional" criers. They go to peoples homes to cry with them during times of despair.
Mikko spoke of the quiet nature of the Finns and the sauna. The sauna is a place of solitude, even if you are with others. It's a time of reflection.
After a brief historical tour of Helsinki, we headed to the ferry. We plowed through ice chunks to get there...pretty amazing.
We then retired to a small dining area and had a Finnish Salmon and Potato Soup called Lohikeitto.
The recipe follows. And when I say I've never tasted a more delicious soup, I'm not lying!
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Onion, finely chopped
5 cups Fish Stock
1 pound of very fresh Salmon Fillet, cubed
1 cup Cream
1 cup Fresh Dill, finely chopped
Salt to taste
And a divine chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream cubes...
Here are some more beautiful images of Soumenlinna...
|Frozen boat in the Baltic.|