Jaaniõhtu (Midsummer Eve – 23 June) and Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day, St John’s Day – 24 June) are the most important holidays in the Estonian calendar.
The Jaanipäev celebrations were merged with the celebration of Võidupüha (Victory Day) after the War of Independence, when the Estonian forces defeated the German troops on 23 June 1919.
So, we have long holiday 🙂
Jaanipäev is summer solstice and we say ” sun do not go down”. Even at 10 pm you can read book, because is enough light 🙂 This is the day, when all children has permission to be awake overnight.
To be honest. Because of global warming summer is not summer anymore. My birthday is 17th of June, and few years ago in my birthday was snowing !
And about Jaanipäev- yes we have bonfires, but usually exactly this evening is raining or lot of mosquitoes and.. this is not very fun:)
But still until today we believe: the lighting of the bonfire and jumping over it. This is a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck.
In Estonian fairy tales and literature, there is a tale of two lovers, Koit (dawn) and Hämarik (dusk). These two lovers see each other only once a year and exchange the briefest of kisses on the shortest night of the year. Earth-bound lovers go into the forest looking for the “flower of the fern” which is said to bloom only on that night.
So, this is important day for young pars…:) and lot of grill and chill. And next morning you just need a sour and sweet soup. I do not call this Selyanka, because real Selyanka is little bit different. But very similar:) This is Selyanka-type soup. Continue reading “After Party Soup. Seljanka”
We have saying: where are two Estonians, there are three opinions and four political parties ( and as added our president Kersti Kaljulaid .. five tweets and six Facebook posts and seven online headlines which has a different messages.
I believe that in the internet there are at least billion food photos, And on the same time I believe that at least half of it is staged and better than in the real life.
In the real life we do not know, how and what people are eating.
When I talk about Estonians in my blog I certainly generalize.
One important topic is sauce. When I say: Estonians making sauce. It means a different things:
A friend told me, that there are only few families who care cook some sauce. Most people do not make sauce at all; some of them use a cold sauce, which means sour cream with some greens.
but I am about to tell you about the real warm Estonian sauce that makes Gordon Ramsay swoon.
To cook a typical Estonian sauce you should mix could water with some flour and pour the mixture into the boiling cream or milk. and yes, there are different understandings and schools:) Some people prefer milk, some cream with 10% fat and some people cream with 35% fat,
And one more interesting fact. In Estonia there are two words that can be used to call a ” sauce”. Similar the English word ” sauce” we have ” soust”. ” soust” is more rustic and thicker,. The second word is “kaste”, which is coming from the words watering, moistening.
This is easy and very quick Sauce, which probably do not need any recipe. But, because this is very traditional in Estonian food-table, let it be:)
We need to talk about fish.
You can read from several Estonian official newspapers and brochures that we are very proud of our fish. And yes. There is a reason to be proud.
When you are planning to visit our Estonian lovely islands you just have to try the local fresh whitefish or smoked eel and flounder. Furthermore, in the Eastern part of Estonia with numerous beautiful lakes you can buy fresh bream, pike, perch….from local fishman .
But in my blog you can only see few fish recipes.
There are two reasons. Firstly, there just are not much fish. 75% of local fish is exported to foreign countries. On the one hand, it is good, But where is the joy in visiting an estonian store, and being forced to choose from fishes like trout and salmon.. from Norway 🙂 not local …
Easters are over and you have too much boiled eggs ?
Lets make egg butter. And for better serving Sandwich Cake. Traditional Estonian Sandwich Cake is made from rye Bread (look for recipe), but you can use, of course, wheat bread. Because of Easters (and I believe, that as I, you have lot of hard-boiled eggs remaining :)), I used for decoration egg butter.
Depending on your taste, it is possible to make ham-based cake. Or vegetable spread based cake… anyway, choice is yours.
I divided the spreads and decorated Sandwich Cake with two filling.
6 slice of bread means in this recipe 3 layers, for more beautiful result remove bread crusts. If you going to eat cake soon, steep bread with milk or stock. If you have time to set, then steeping is not necessary. Butter gives enough moisture and juiciness.
So, I promised to Dianna that I will test similar recipe with rhubarb. (And replaced other ingredients the local)
Rhubarb is strange vegetable. The plant do not need (too) much care, so in all gardens are small place for rhubarb, which means that in May, June all Estonia has a flood of rhubarb. And we are looking for recipes.. ..what else to do. So, thank you Dianna for inspiration!
In my childhood was the best dessert and treat rhubarb with sugar. Just so simple: we dipped rhubarb stalks in to the sugar. Sour! Sour.. sour!!! 🙂
From rhubarb leaves we are cooking soup. And with others.. baking lot of cakes. And rhubarb leftovers freezing for winter..
When you are looking for Estonian cake recipes, there are always written “apple or rhubarb”. This is means that the same cake you can bake in spring with rhubarb and in autumn with apples.
Mother: why did you buy for child potato chips?!
Grandmother: But potato is vegetable and vegetables are healthy.
I present to you one nice healthy 🙂 vegetable casserole. Suitable as main dish or side dish.
Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley is called ” Mulgikapsad”. Kapsad- means Cabbage and
Mulgi- Mulgimaa is area in South-Estonia, with own culture, traditions, food and dialect.
This area and culture is perfect example about the globalisation already in 19th of century. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was lack of cotton and price was very high.
So, was demand for alternatives. South Estonia, Mulgimaa has perfect conditions for cultivation of linen. Bondage was in Estonia abolished 1816, but still farmers were very poor and land was owned by landlords. But because of America and demand for linen, farmers gets enough money to buy from landlords land and farms. And this area become rich and successful. This made others little bit jealous and they started to call people and this area Mulgimaa 🙂
In Latvia means word- Mulk- ” silly” and in Estonia it means “hole”- in meaning that the all richness went in to the one hole…:)
I am Mulk ( person, who is living and born in Mulgimaa), as well. My mothers ancestry have been lived in Mulgimaa more than 400 years. Maybe more, but we have first written documents from 1630 of year 🙂
Mulgikapsad can be served as a meal unto itself, usually with boiled potato and certainly with some fermented milk for drink. You may cook this as vegan, without meat.
Maybe it is not very original food, but because this is very typical in Estonian cuisine, as well, I will add this. Each Estonian eat ca 100 kilo potatoes in year !
My father was kid after war. and he is talking about times, when to “cheat” classmates that they have enough butter at home, they spread mashed potato between sandwich…Potato porridge seems like butter 🙂
Meat Jelly, Sült is very good example, how time changes the meaning of some food. In old times Sült was winter time food. Because it takes 4-6 hours to cook it and this will heat the kitchen hot. Because in old times for winter was left only pork legs and heads, which are suitable for cooking Sült. It was “poor” food. Today all ladies know, how important is collagen…
Today, for me, this is perfect summer dish. Sült is cold and with cold cottage cheese sauce and boiled fresh potatoes.. yummy 🙂
My father still cooking Sült himself. It is very complicated to cook Sült only for 2 persons and still you need very large pot. So, I buy sült in summer time from culinary. And in winter time, I get it from my father. This is my father recipe.