Filed under: Baking, Drinks | Tags: apple, apple pie, autumn, carrot, ginger, juice
I must admit it: the summer is over. Last week me and my neighbours finally put back the corridor windows that we have been repairing the whole summer (or, to be honest, my neighbours much more than me). The day was warm, but it didn’t feel like the last summer day, but like the first one in autumn. Suddenly, the night fell at half past eight, and it caught me up right when I was picking the apples and plums that lie all over my yard. The neighbours were fixing the last window, and the lights were on in the corridors. I stood in the darkness of the yard, and listened to the crazy autumn wind blowing all over the place, and to the faint traffic noises of my new home city. I am scared of the winter and the darkness it brings, and the long winter nights. How will I deal with it now that I live by myself?
I was trying to cheer up by thinking: Colourful leaves! Lingonberries! Mushrooms! But it didn’t really help. I felt like the Tove Jansson’s Moomin – book character Nuuskamuikkunen, Snufkin. When the autumn comes, he lifts his backback, plays a little tune on his flute and leaves who knows where, to perhaps return with the sun. Don’t we all just love him, we who cannot leave our commitments.
I shivered, even if it wasn’t cold, picked up the bucket of apples and went inside. There I saw my reflection in the mirror: a yellow leaf had stuck into my hair. There was no way but to admit the facts: I went to the calendar and turned the page from August to September, 10 days late.
Apple, Carrot and Ginger Juice
My mom brought me this juicer that I guess originates from the 70’s. It is a funky thing, though notoriously hard to clean. In the apple season I love it, since freshly made apple juice is just so good. This is my favourite flavour combination:
For 1 big glass you need:
3 small apples
2x2cm piece of ginger
Throw it all in the juicer, and then mix the resulting juice with a spoon. No need to peel anything. If you like ginger, you can very well add some. This works really well for that gloomy autumn feeling…
Apple and White Currant Pie
This pie is like the apple pies made in the States, and doesn’t resemble a Finnish apple pie at all, since the Finnish pies are never covered like the American ones. This recipe is a vegan version of this recipe, though since the apples that grow in my yard are sadly not of the tangy variety, so I replaced some apples with white currants, in order to create a similar effect. For jams and similar things tangy and hard apple varieties are most suitable, and of the Finnish varieties e.g. Antonovka is good.
The Pie Batter
150 g vegetable margarine
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
4 1/2 wheat flour
1 dl ice cold water
10 small apples
2,5 dl white currants
1 3/4 dl sugar with added pectin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp wheat flour
1 tbsp vegetable margarine
First, I made the pie batter. I simply mixed first the dry ingredients and then added the margarine and til last the cold water. Then I put the batter into the fridge for about half an hour.
Then I made the filling: I sliced the apples and removed the seeds. Then I mixed in the rest of the ingredients, except for the margarine.
Then I divided the batter into two, and rolled it out using a rolling pin so that it would fit a round baking tin (24cm in diameter) that I had greased and floured earlier. I had the batter in between two layers of baking parchment, and it helped a lot with the process. Then I filled the pie, added the margarine in a few lumps on top, rolled the other part of the batter, and covered the pie. The edges I squeezed together and then made a few holes on top the pie with a fork.
I grated the pie in the oven in 200°C for 15 minutes, and then lowered the heat to 175°C for 45 minutes.
As a footnote, I ran into this concept in the internet: a veggie trader! Isn’t that a good idea! In the harvest time those people with red currant bushes, apple, plum or cherry trees, or zucchini plants, are usually in trouble with all the produce, like me with the apples. At Veggie Trader you can find people to swap your produce with! We should have that here too, because that is also one way to overrule the wholesalers that dominate our food consumption today.
Filed under: Baking | Tags: beetroot, bread roll, carrot, green dough, pea, red dough, spinach, yellow dough
Bread Rolls in 3 Different Colours
Long time ago, me and some friends were doing this vegetarian cafetery thing for a reggae dance party. It was mostly for fun, and we were being quite creative with the dishes we made. I had this idea of making bread rolls with dough that would be dyed in rasta colours: green, red and yellow, using natural ingredients only.
This never happened though, since my friends thought the idea was quite revolting. But after all these years, I still remember it! And now I finally realised it for a birthday party of two year old twins Oka and Aarni. I think the end result was gorgeous and I am very happy I finally did it..
First, I put on some reggae music. Jah Rastafari…
Then I started by making a a batch of bread dough in quite the normal way. I usually use about 20 g of yeast for about a litre of water. I heated the water to 37 Celsius and diluted the yeast to it. Then I added flour enough to make the dough feel like thick porridge. Then I let the yeast brew for about 30 minutes, until the mixture was bubbling.
After that I added 3 tsp salt, some more flour and some oat flakes, and divided the dough into three different bowls.
Then I added 1 dl of finely grated beetroot to one of them for red colour, 1 dl of finely grated carrot and 1 tsp turmeric to the other for yellow colour, and about 1/2 dl of frozen spinach and 1/2 dl frozen, pureed peas to the third for green colour.
Then I added enough flour to all of the three to make a nice dough. After that I let the dough rise for about two hours.
After two hours I baked the bread rolls. For the first batch, I simply made three long tubes of the dough and then combined them, and cut the result into pieces, rolled them a bit with my hand to get nice round shape, and put them on an oven plate.
For the second batch, I rolled the dough flat with a dough roll and then set the three slabs on top of each other. This construction I rolled into a tube so that the colours would form a spiral in the middle. Then I cut the tube into pieces and put them on an oven plate.
Then I baked the rolls in the oven for about 20 minutes in 225 Celsius.
The end result was both pretty and tasty, and I was quite happy how I got the different colours to show in the dough even after baking them in the oven. Though I realised that it was important not to bake them too much, since the first batch got a little bit too dark and brownish, and the colours weren’t so vivid. I knew from previous experience that beetroot makes a really beautiful red, and turmeric yellow, butI was especially happy for the green colour, because I thought it might be hard to create.
The main ingredients for this soup are very easy to find and cheap in Finland in the wintertime. Yet it tastes quite exotic, little bit like satay sauce, and you can almost forget the dull cabbage… This recipe yields about 20 – 25 portions.
Peanut and Cabbage Soup
500 g onions
1 kg carrots
3,5 kg cabbage
8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 green chillies
3 tbsp oil
4 dl peanut butter (the brand that I was using has salt and sugar in it, but it’s not overtly sweet)
1 dl vegetable fond
1 canned coconut milk
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
I chopped all the ingredients finely, and fried the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies in a big cooking pot together with oil. Then I added the cabbage and the carrots, and fried them some minutes. Then I added enough water to cover the vegetables, the vegetable fond, the tomato paste and some salt and brought the mixture to boil. Then I let it simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage was completely soft and translucent. Then squeezed the limes, added the lime juice, the coconut milk and the peanut butter to the soup and let it simmer still for a bit.
The people whom I made this soup for, liked it very much, except for one who thought it tasted “strange, but interesting”. I am at the moment very fond of peanuts, and this soup fulfilled that craving very well.