I’m an Urban Animal. I long for the muffled noise of traffic through the windows, the agitation of the city, the pulsating lights of the metropolis beats at my rhythm. I love Helsinki. As a city, I find it strangely human; it is surrounded by the sea, parks and trees everywhere; and has a softness that I am yet to find in other capitals. This contrasted affection has been ongoing for many years, and resonates stronger when I happen to leave the safe boundaries of the downtown area…
The reason I haven’t posted for a few days is that my work has brought me to Hahkiala Manor in Hauho. Less than 2 hours north east from Helsinki, and it already feels like I have landed in the most remote of places! You get here via small snowy roads and around you, the scenery is from a fairy tale and the Sun looks frozen and resplendent.
A few days away from home; and everything feels so remote…
The Hahkiala manor relies on local produces, on the surrounding farms and on the wild game within the property. The food is organic, home-made and delicious. They use their own mushrooms, grow their own herbs in the garden, and the water fresh from the springs. At breakfast, they serve the most delicious Carelian Pies and for dessert; this outrageously simple mixed berries “soup” with rich whipped cream.
Finnish Mixed Berry Soup
You can try the recipe from Maria Laitinen here and mix and match with different berry options; add some crushed meringue or nuts and enjoy the different flavor combinations!
Now for the little story. When I moved to Finland, my then “To be” husband kept on trying to convince to taste “Mustikkakeitto” or blueberry soup. As I had been fooled once into sampling the Finnish delicacy of Salmiakki – (i.e a salty liquorice that is still not an acquired taste for me); I wasn’t very trusting of this mysterious soup that had fruits as a primary ingredient. For years, I simply refused to try and would strongly object against any attempt to buy it; until I was once offered a deliciously sweet and thick berry smoothie which, after investigation ended up being the infamous soup I had been avoiding all those years!