Sunday, February 14, 2010

Laskiainen at Liedon Vanhalinna

Yesterday, Sunday, was also laskiainen. I have linked to a Finnish vegan food blog for her historical analysis of laskiainen. What I know is that it is the last Sunday before lent and involves cream-filled buns and sledding. I have a picture of laskiainen buns at the top! You have a choice in the bakery, jam or almond. I always go for the almond.

To celebrate laskiainen we went by taxi to Liedon Vanhalinna on the Aura river. This property is owned by the university and is used for receptions and weddings, but it was once a private farm. For laskiainen they had a dog sled and a napakelkka, a sledding hill, pea soup, sledding buns, home brew, the works.

We did the short dog sled journey and sledded. Then we climbed to the top of this steep snow covered hill. We learned that the hill is a rock outcropping that was the site of an archeological dig in the 1950s. In the museum we saw some of the bronze age artifacts that were excavated on the site.

We toured the house and were allowed into a special gun exhibition mostly dating from the Winter War. Chris had a long conversation with the guide about guns and would occasionally turn to us and say, "These are the oldest." Chris' role in the conversation was to say, "jo, jo."

We also toured a barn that displayed farm artifacts illustrating a person's life from cradle to grave. That exhibit was beautifully put together with clothes, toys, tools, anything that would have been handled in agrarian Finland. The photographs of the weddings were fabulous. The brides would wear these elaborate crowns in the wedding. They crowns look like they are decorated with colored paper flowers.

All and all it was a wonderful way to celebrate laskiainen. So follow the vegan blog and make some pea soup. If you read the recipe you will notice that they do not sell split peas in Finland!

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