Friday 16 December 2016

A Finn-al festive Kitchen Trotter box for 2016

This year's final Kitchen Trotter box has arrived and it was delivered in a pretty golden metal box which I think I may use to store my Kitchen Trotter recipe booklets in. Sophie always rips the postcards off the cover to stick them on her bedroom wall but the rest of the booklets are cluttering up the kitchen !

This month's box has a definite festive feel and the destination is very apt. There's always something wintry and Christmassy about Scandinavia so I was delighted to discover that the latest destination is Finland.

As Cliff Richard famously warbled, "Christmas-time ... mistletoe and wine". Mulled wine is the ultimate festive drink and you couldn't get any more "hygge" than this pouch of Annika's Glögg Mix - a heartwarming blend of spices for Scandinavian mulled wine. It contains cinnamon, dried ginger, dried Seville orange peel, green cardamon pods and cloves and it smells like a Christmassy scented Yankee Candle ! Apparently Annika likes to serve this with pepparkaka spiced biscuits, so that sounds like another recipe to look up, if it isn't in the enclosed recipe book.

Next, I discovered a jar of sweet cranberry chutney, a tube of mild Finnish mustard some organic Christmas tree twigs, to be used in cooking. That's an interesting concept - I wonder what flavour they impart. I imagine something a bit like eucalyptus but I only have the flavour of herbal sweets to go on !

Next I pulled out a sachet of gingerbread spices, containing cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamon, for making spiced biscuits, some stripy golden drinking straws and - a Nordic product that seems to be the love-it-or-loathe-it equivalent of Marmite in Scandinavia - Salmiak or salty licorice. There is also regular sweet licorice but I won't be eating either of them because I don't like the taste, so I'll let Madhouse Daddy be the guinea pig !

There is also a pack of triangular crispbread and a mix for making Korvapuusti, which are little cinnamon cakes, very popular in Finland.

I have a good feeling about this box. Time to discover the recipes ...

First up, Graavi Lohi as a starter - fresh salmon, marinated in (amongst other things) vodka and pine needles. Sounds intriguing !

The main course is Joulukinkku, roast pork covered in crispbread crumbs and mustard, and served with a cranberry sauce that has added vodka. There seems to be a theme starting here !

To go with the pork is Lanttulaatikka, spiced swede or turnip mash.

The dessert is Piparkakku, little festive biscuits to go with the mulled wine.

I thought this was soup when I looked at the photo but Piparkakkujäädyke (how on earth do you pronounce that ?!) is a sweet creamy dessert.

I love the look of these little cinnamon buns called Korvapuusti - actually I love the look of all the recipes this month ! :)

 There is even a little crafty activity to keep the kids busy in the holidays using those drinking straws. What more could we ask for ?!

I may not get time to make many of these recipes until after Christmas and the New Year, but I can't wait ! I'll be back to show you how they came out and share the recipes with you.

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