Saturday, 28 June 2008


Yesterday I went to the Anton Corbijn exhibition at the Tennispalatsi in Helsinki. I am of that generation musically speaking that became aware of rock photography in about 1987 with the release of The Joshua Tree by U2. Musical tastes develop from all sorts of starting points and mine now take in artists as diverse as Joy Division and Miles Davies amongst others. So it was great to see so many iconic images in one place and perhaps the best part of the exhibition is when Corbijn pretends to be many of his rock n roll heroes himself in a well executed series of self portraits. Not then for me the iconic images but the pastiches of them.


My Finnish classes have started again and after been really lazy with it for the last month I was pleased by how much I remembered and frustrated by how little I can actually communicate! However I know I am near some sort of the threshold (utterly useless to just plain bad? It's all progress!) so am wanting to put some effort in over the coming weeks.


The weather seems to be holding so we're cooking out again and tonigh we're doing Pork Ribs which have been marinading all day in a mixture of

White wine
Olive oil
Coriander Seed
Cumim Seed
Lemon Juice
A Dried Chilli

There are no hard and fast rules for how much or how little you use of each of the above ingredients. It's just fun to play.


I fancy a swim in the sea or a lake...the time is coming.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Busy summer

Apologies for been so quiet - I've been busy at work and a little under the weather. I missed the chance to see Dogville this week as I simply wasn't up for it. Which is a shame as I missed some good company and what everyone tells me is an excellent film. Hopefully I'll be back to my movie going and sociable best next week. I've also been doing very little cooking but am much happier now and am looking forward to the weekend and catching up with some friends.

However last week the boss and I managed to get into the garden for a BBQ and so here is a great way to cook some pork.

BBQ'd Pork
Pork loin
2 Apples cored and roughly chopped
3 large cloves of garlic –smashed and roughly chopped
A large teaspoon of grainy Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper
2 onions roughly chopped
A good lug of Apple schnapps
Olive oil

2 whole onions for roasting on the BBQ
Sweet potatoes

Take a small roasting tin that will fit on your BBQ and will take the loin of pork.
Put in the Pork, apples, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, oil, schnapps and give a good shake and make sure everything is well coated.
Cover with foil. Make sure it is on really tightly. Now add a second layer of foil and make sure that is tight.

Put this on the BBQ and cook for up to an hour

While that is cooking put your onions on a skewer and BBQ them so that they are sweet. They should take about half an hour to cook.

The sweet potatoes also need to be wrapped in foil and put on the BBQ. They take about half an hour but this can vary with the size of the potatoes and the heat from the BBQ.

Depending on how organized you are the BBQ’d onions can be served cold as part of a salad or warm with the rest of the meal. The reason to leave the Pork in there a bit longer is as the onions and apples cook and caramelize they become really really sweet and that gives a nice little gravy to go with the pork.

The good news of course is that whatever pork left over makes excellent sandwiches the following day.

I'm trying to hatch a plan for some BBQ'd chicken with cous cous and salad if the weather here improves. The summer in Finland has definately been on the odd side so far in June and I'd like it to be a bit more stable (and on the sunny) side so that all my little foodie plans can come to fruition.

Until next time make sure you wear flowers in your hair at least once.

Monday, 16 June 2008

After the summer break....

It is always a good thing to take a holiday. Even better when you go away to get married. I've had a great three weeks away from the kitchen, I've climbed over 30 english mountains and had a wonderful (if wet) week in Finland exploring my new home.

I don't really know where to begin but can promise that there will be one or two photos of the wedding (& I mean one or two - if only to show how pretty she looked) posted here soon, and can also say to all the friends who made it to our day it was amazing to catch up with you, and to those who couldn't be there we missed you.


Back in Helsinki and the kitchen has re-opened, tonight's supper was BBQ'd salmon and corn and frankly I defy anyone not to enjoy this kind of combination. Just remember people a BBQ is a great, and forgiving, way to cook food - get those vegetabables on, get that haloumi cheese on, make a nice salad, give the salmon plenty of time to cook, give the corn even longer and you will be assured of a very pleasant weekday supper with hardly any bother at all. Even better the leftovers will taste better tomorrow.


Last night we had some red thai curry which was excellent. As ever I made too much (make a good lunch or supper later in the week) but the little tip that set it up nicely was I used an upside down bowl to give the rice a nice shape and I put in some fresh tomato as I served up to give it a nice fresh taste - not magic, just easy everyday cooking.


On honeymoon we went into the Finnish wilderness and camped. We had to carry everything into the wilderness with us and carry it out. It just proved how easy it is to cook good food with one pan if you want to. We had - Pork and Beans, Macaroni Carbonara and Cabbage and Rice. All simple (of course) yet none of that was at the cost of taste. If yu can cook good food in the wild, you can cook it every day in the Kitchen.


Off to Oslo on Wed/Thu this week, should be fun to be back in Norway. It was good to see that coming back to Finland felt like coming home after two weeks in England. Always reassuring.

Waste nothing and enjoy the summer.