Thursday, 26 February 2009

Kathy I'm lost I said though I knew she was sleeping

Thurs 26th February 2009 and it is snowing in Helsinki. A day off and a proper snowy day. Not as cold as the ones we have been having for the last few weeks which is a welcome change. There has been something about sitting in the living room watching the snow come down that has been feeding my obsession with giving my posts a title taken from a song. If you know the song, you can get an insight into the mood of the falling snow.

The year is turning, the days are lengthening and we have had some excitement recently in the back garden when we thought we had some potential Lynx tracks in the snow. On closer inspection it proved to be from another as yet unidentified creature. However as this is the season to see them, and they have been spotted only a few kms further into the city from here, we remain hopeful that we might still see a Lynx in the back garden. I wonder if they like cat food?
Cooking wise the Kitchen has been busy. We made a lovely roast vegetable and cous cous dinner last night. I built it around some fennel I had bought in the supermarket. I used the fennel and other vegetables I had to hand (beetroot, onion, courgette), chopped them all up, drizzled olive oil over them, seasoned them, added a few whole cloves of garlic and then I tried to balance it with some chili. Then I covered in foil and roasted the vegetables for just over an hour at about 180C. To the cous cous I just added some mushrooms and some sun dried tomatoes. It worked well and was simple.

On Monday night I poached some salmon in miso soup. I simply got an ovenproof dish, put the two pieces of salmon in it, covered it with the miso, added a few vegetables like mushrooms and peas, seasoned with a little soy sauce and sesame oil, covered it all in foil and baked it. I served it with some fried rice and it was a very satisfying and easy supper.

In other parts of life I have been busy reading and my current book is The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I haven't made up my mind about it or him yet. He seems to talk a lot about being different while ticking all the boxes that confirm our cynical perception of modern politicians. I keep asking myself is he for real? It is however good to take a detour from fiction.

The last book I finished was Revolutionary Road. Which I enjoyed despite the bleak terrain it covered. I am going to see the film this evening. Hopefully it will be able to live up to the book and a good film to follow last weeks excellent movie.

Update: The film is a bit of a curate's egg. First the good, the acting is terrific, especially Di Caprio. However the screenplay has sacrificed too much of the book's detail about the characters and who they are and how they got to where they did to really make sense. For casual viewers of this film you will not care about these people. The other sin the screenplay makes is to make the first part of the two part ending obvious which wasn't the case with the book. So all in all I would have to say if you have read the book you will be kinder to this film than if you have not. Either way it will be a depressing night out.

Next week we will receive a visit from the UK: The boss' mother is coming for a week and we're currently planning some nice meals and activities for her. There is some lamb in the freezer that has been waiting to be used up so we will definitely treat her to that, we are also thinking of making some spring rolls for her and a mild Japanese curry. On the activity front there will probably be visits to the Winter Gardens and the Botanical Gardens but hopefully we will also get a tour of the Finnish parliament as well. Should be fun.

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