SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011
When you are poor, it is especially important to maintain a lifestyle that does not feel too shabby. One must take care not to get stuck in the depressing poverty trap. It requires a bit of creativity, though it can sometimes be refreshing to realize that one does not always need a lot of money in order to add some flavor to life. When it comes to large purchases and home improvement it is of course a different matter altogether. I must say that it is much easier to find interesting and decorative items at flea markets here in the UK than it is in Finland. There's more to choose from and most people prefer modern. Even traditional tearooms have often replaced the old-fashioned look with modern streamlined oak furniture. It's not what I expect! Still, on the whole I knew very well when moving here that I would come to replace comfort with the picturesque.
Every Friday evening, we eat crackers with different cheeses and wines. While the food on the whole, costs the same as in Finland, some things are a little cheaper. These include, for example, cheeses and fruits. For some reason though, the supermarkets have stopped stocking Finn Crisp, I asked for them but no one knows what has happened. There are a lot of ingredients that you miss, not just the typical Finnish products but also various ingredients with which to manufacture Finnish specialties. You'll have to enjoy what is good and fairly cheap, such as cheddar and goat cheese. I enjoy drinking English mead, it is mild and good, and doesn't bother my stomach. The alcohol content is the same as wine and a bottle will cost c £ 4.50. What I did not know before I moved here was that the UK has an incredibly rich drinking culture and that there are very exciting drinks to try besides beer. Ginger wine is a winter favorite that can also make a bad white wine drinkable. On the whole I think people are drinking an awful lot but I guess everything is relative!
Most of the items in the photo were bought in charity shops or vintage sales for next to nothing. Some of the things I got for our wedding. The flowers (which are also cheaper than in Finland) Martin got me because I was feeling homesick. We try to treat ourselves a little even though our wallet is stretched.
3 ripe medium avocados
1/2 decilitre olive oil
A handful of fresh, strong basil
salt, black pepper to taste
Mix everything. Nice in wholemeal pitta bread with humus or tuna mixed with mayonnaise, lemon, corn, and salt and pepper (and perhaps a little basil).
CHEAP FINNISH FOOD:
A simple Finnish dish wich is unknown to the British is "compote". It's not like British compote, nor Russian or Polish ones. Surprisingly, it took us a while to gather all the ingredients:
Dried applerings, dried pear, prunes and dried apricots.
Put them in a sauce pan and add about the double amount of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add muscovado sugar to taste (it depends how much fruit you use). Thicken with potatoflour mixed with cold water - the end result should be fairly thick. Eat with milk, sojamilk and/or double cream.