Pentti Saarikoski, “Birthday”



Kun syksy on syksy ja hatussa on mustetta,
kaksikymmentäkolme vuotta on auki yhtaikaa,
kissa katsoo ja jokaisen vuoden pohjalla on
syksy kun on syksy, syysmetsä, ja metsässä kasvaa
sieni, ja kissa syö sienen ja kuolee äkkiä:
kaksikymmentäkolme vuotta menee yhtaikaa kiinni.


When autumn is autumn, and ink is on the brain,
twenty-three years is simultaneously open.
The cat watches, and underlying every year is
autumn when it is autumn, an autumnal forest, and in the forest grows
a mushroom. The cat eats the mushroom and suddenly dies.
Twenty-three years simultaneously come to a close.


Source: Pentti Saarikoski, Runot (Otava, 2004), p. 93. Translation and photo by Living in FIN. For my childhood friend Lyle Enderson on his birthday.

Egg Sauce

egg sauce

Egg Sauce for New Potatoes
Kati Pohja
Meillä kotona

Egg sauce is the best friend of summertime’s new potatoes. And it is super easy to make!

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 7 dl milk
  • 1–2 green onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ dl chives


Cooking time: 25 min

  1. Boil the eggs hard.
  2. Melt the margarine in a pot. Add the flour while stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the milk, constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Dice the boiled eggs. Dice the green onions, including the stems.
  4. Add the salt, white pepper, diced eggs, and diced onions. Heat the egg sauce for a while. Dice the chives and add to the sauce. Serve the egg sauce with new potatoes.

Photo by Joonas Vuorinen. Translated by Living in FIN. Dedicated to Karelia native Leokadia Frenkel on her fiftieth birthday

Blueberry Tarte Tatin

Timjami (thyme) is my favorite word in Finnish, which is just as well because thyme is one of my favorite herbs. I have cooked it fresh countless times in traditional (apple) tarte tatin and various other dishes. I am sure it will not be out of place in this summertime pie, in which mustikka (blueberry), found throughout Finland’s extensive woodlands, replaces the apples (omenoita) usefully found in the famous French upside-down pie. {LIF}


Blueberry Tarte Tatin: The Summer’s Most Wonderful Pie Does a Somersault
Text: Mika Rampa • Photo: Satu Nyström

The secret to the taste of the upside-down pie known as blueberry tarte tatin tarte is thyme, which deepens the blueberry’s woodsy flavor. Bake the little pies in blini pans (or other small ovenproof frying pans), so everyone gets his or her own individual serving.

Ingredients (4 servings)

Pastry Crust
75 grams butter (at room temperature)
1 deciliter sugar
1 egg
2 deciliters flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2–1 teaspoon cardamom

75 grams butter
1 deciliter brown sugar
8 sprigs thyme
3 tablespoons citrus liqueur*
3 deciliters blueberries

2 deciliters whipping cream (whipped)

Cooking time: 55 min {active–35 min; passive–20 min}

Bake blueberry tarte tatin as follows:

  1. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, and cardamom in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the first bowl and mix until you have a smooth dough. Place it in the refrigerator.
  2. Add the butter, brown sugar, and thyme sprigs to a frying pan. Let simmer until the sugar has melted. Add the citrus liqueur and blueberries. Remove the pan from the stove.
  3. Press the dough on the pan or pans with a rolling pin. Make sure the pastry crust fits the pan exactly and it is on top of the blueberries.
  4. Bake the tarte tatin in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the pan’s size.
  5. Put a plate over the baked pie and swiftly turn it upside down to serve.

* You can easily substitute lemon juice for the citrus liqueur.

Translated by Living in FIN

10 Reasons to Eat Strawberries

It is a tiny miracle that strawberries grow this far north. It is even more of a miracle that Finnish strawberries are supremely delicious, perfectly succulent and sweet.

Finns celebrate this miracle by eating as many strawberries as they can while they are in season.

They also honor strawberries by incorporating them into desserts concocted only on the most festive occasions, such as the strawberry whipped cream cake our downstairs neighbor Maija makes on her birthday, her name day, and her husband’s name day,  which all take place in July and August, during and just after the peak of the all-too-brief Finnish strawberry season.

Maija’s strawberry whipped cream cake is to die for, by the way.

But strawberries are not just delicious, they are good for you, too, as I was reminded yesterday by this placard at the pop-up strawberry stand at my local grocery store.

ten reasons to eat strawberries

10 Reasons to Eat Strawberries

  • It improves the immune system.
  • It maintains eyesight.
  • It prevents cancer.
  • It firms up the skin.
  • It lowers cholesterol.
  • It makes the joints work better.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves digestion.
  • It helps control weight.
  • It is positively yummy.


Photo and translation by Living in FIN