Shrove Sunday and my favorite seasonal delicacy

Yesterday was Shrove Sunday. Especially before there were both Christian and heathen traditions practiced during the shrovetide. It was time of celebration, having fun and eating well before starting the fast and the wait for the Easter. In southern European catholic countries people celebrate carnevale (carne-meat, vale-farewell) at the same time.

In Finnish tradition it was also the celebration of work. Women finished spinning yarn, said goodbye to the past winter and started waiting for summer. Lots of beliefs were linked to this festival and people did many kinds of charms trying to assure a good crop year.

What is left of these traditions is sliding, having fun and eating well. My absolute favorite seasonal delicacy are shrove buns that you can get only during these festivities. The buns have whipped cream and strawberry jam inside and they are  easy to make yourself but this year we bought them. It’s kind of good that we don’t have these all year round! Yammy!

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria

Info from here

Finally some sun

Sun! Every year it surprises me how dark, cold and long the winter is. At this time of the year the sunshine feels hopeful. It feels like the sun brings promise of spring. As if the sun was saying “Have faith, the spring is coming!”.

Hang in there buddy, the winter is over soon.

It’s not a secret that the winters are little difficult to me. During the fall I start to feel like staying at home more, eating more and being more quiet. It’s not the cold or the snow that feels so difficult, it’s the darkness. You go to work in the morning in darkness, you come back home in darkness. For months you may not see daylight except through the window at work. It’s really hard for me but I’m glad that now the days are longer and the sun is shining and giving hope for the upcoming summer.

This week was little hard because the twins got flu. It got so bad that we had to take them to the hospital. Poor little ones. Luckily they are better now. But it did get me scared. I didn’t sleep for couple of nights but I’m happy that they are ok now. And the sun is still shining.

I’m smiling for my healthy babies. And the sun. And the upcoming spring.

xoxo

Mannamaria

 

Tasty spinach crepes

Here is another easy vegetarian recipe that I often make. You can eat the crepes with lingonberries or, for example, with parmesan and little salt and black pepper.

If you are busy you can mix the ingredients together and put them in the refrigerator in the morning and cook them in the evening or lunch time.

Ingredients

2,5 decilitres spinach (frozen)
3 eggs
5 dl milk
2,5 decilitres all purpose flour
salt
black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
(0,5 decilitres chive)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk.
  2. Add in the flour, spinach, (the chive if you have it), the salt and pepper. Gradually add in the nutmeg (if you like it).
  3. Beat until smooth and let it rest 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Add in the melted butter and cook the crepes.

Have a lovely evening!

Mannamari

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Playful bus

Does it sound like a translation error? It’s not actually.

So, I changed the name of the blog. I never liked the first name but couldn’t make up a better one. I decided to start the blog anyway and change the name later when I’d figure out one that I’d be happy with. I’m not sure if it was a good idea but here we are.

What is the Playful Bus? What does it mean? It was actually a prize that my son got when he finally let me cut his hair. He was very nervous about it and it took forever and ever for me trying to persuade him. Finally, he was courageous enough to let me do it and I gave him this bus. It’s not very fancy I have to admit but it’s very dear to him.

He started calling it the playful bus when he got it. I’m not sure what it means but I think it’s adorable. Maybe the bus likes to play with him? He likes to play with it? Or the bus is just being happy and playful? I’m not sure but I like it. To me, playful bus sounds very happy, joyful and childish. In a way, that’s also how I’m hoping that my blog will sound like.

Let me present the playful bus to you:

6 things I love right now

1. My family

Ok, this is an obvious one but I had to make it number one on my list. Every day I’m deeply grateful for my family. Only a year ago we were in a completely different situation and the past year was not easy. I appreciate everything we have today and try to make sure that the family knows it too.

 2. Healthy soups

They are easy to make when you are tired. Yesterday I made one with mashed sweet potato, earlier last week I made one with mashed potato and leak and before that a lentil soup. I also like the fact that the soup is usually so big that you can eat it twice or put the rest to the freezer and eat it later when you don’t have time or strength to cook.

They are also healthy. We have had lots of visitors coming over lately. Every time some one comes over I have cake and/or cookies for them. I also eat some myself. It has made it difficult to lose the pregnancy weight. I thought I’d be using  my old clothes by now but I’m not even close. I’m hoping that if I can keep up the healthy food and leave the cookies and cakes when we don’t have that many friends coming over anymore I’d get back in shape.

Soups are also nice comfort food. They are warm and tasty and not too heavy.

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3. Cut flowers

I didn’t remember that cut flowers are so bright and beautiful. People have brought us lots of flowers and they really lift the mood up! I have started to buy them myself every now and then as well. Luckily it’s the tulip season and I love the bright colors of tulips.

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4. Colic swing for the babies

Luckily our babies don’t have colic but this swing is a blessing anyway. I can put the other baby to the swing while I’m feeding or changing the other one. This means less crying and a happier mom. Our colic swing is Graco’s snuggle swing and I can give it five stars and my recommendations. It’s also quite nice looking one. We bought our swing from a friend and that is not an affiliate link but only my own recommendation.

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5. Movable daybed for babies

I hadn’t heard about these movable daybeds with my first son but after hearing lots of recommendations from friends I decided to rent my own. That’s right. I rent it for 4 months and then return it. First I have to say that I think that the business idea is brilliant. It helps a lot during the first months that you can take the baby with you everywhere even though he is sleeping most of the time.

During the couple of months the baby will grow and the small bed will get too small and also the babies can then sleep on their own bed or outside when the mom has learnt that she doesn’t need to check every five minutes if the baby is still breathing (that’s me!). We have found this bed very useful and I like the fact that someone will pick it up after a while and I don’t have to think about selling it. The bed was delivered one day after we ordered it and it will be picked it up from home four months later.

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6. Spring!

I started this blog post yesterday when the temperature was +6 c, the sun was shining and snow had nearly melt away and it really felt like spring is just around the corner. This morning the karma hit back when I saw it snowing outside. Noooooo! No more snow! I want flowers! Well the temperature is still above zero so maybe this is just temporary.

On the positive side there is daylight every day little more which gives me strength and lifts my mood up.

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Greetings from the twins

Time flies currently so fast that it feels impossible. I can’t believe that the babies are nearly one month old.

Everything has gone better than I expected. The babies eat well and sleep well and they haven’t had any stomach problems yet. At first we had the mother in law helping us. My husband has also stayed at home with me to take care of the babies and will stay for a little more. The real challenge will start when he returns to work and I’ll be home alone with the kids. At the moment I think that we’ll be fine. The babies have been easy ones so far. And the spring is just around the corner. It means more light, less dressing up, babies can sleep outside, maybe I can meet friends at the playground… hurry up spring I’m waiting!

We have been playing a lot with the older boy lately and given him one on one time with both mom and dad. We also still eat dinners together every day when the babies are sleeping and that’s when he has time to be with mom and dad both. He loves to talk about his day when we are eating. 🙂 He is also a proud big brother. He helps as much as he can with the babies.

The babies have grown out of their smallest clothes. It’s happy and sad at the same time. How is it even possible to hope that they grow and learn new skills but also feel emotinal when they do? I’m looking forward to finding out what kind of personalities they have but this is probably the last baby year we’ll ever have so it is also sad.

This week end we will have some friends over. Maybe also go sledding now that there is still some snow left and go eat in a restaurant. The boy calls his favorite restaurant “the chef restaurant” and we promised to go there.

Have a lovely weekend!

Mannamaria

Easy homemade bread

I like to make my own bread when I invite friends over for dinner. It makes a good impression and.. Ok ok to be honest we haven’t been able to host that many dinner parties lately but we do run out of bread every now and then (ok, quite often) and then I have to make my own. It’s very easy though. And the kid and the husband like it. Here’s how I do it.

You’ll need:

7 dl wheat flour
1 dl rye flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast
4 dl warm water

Directions:

In the evening…

  1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a big bowl.
  2. Add the water and mix the ingredients together but don’t stir too much!
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough for 8-24 hours. You can leave it on the table.

In the morning…

  1. Warm up the oven to 225 c.
  2. Preheat the cast iron pot or other ovenproof dish with cover for half an hour.
  3. Meanwhile put your dough on a table that has flour on it and shape a ball from it.
  4. Cover that ball with plastic wrap.
  5. When the pot is preheated take it (carefully!) out of the oven. Cover the bottom of your pot with baking paper if necessary.
  6. Put the dough in the pot (without the plastic wrap), put the cover on and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Then remove the cover and bake it some 10 to 15 minutes more.

Enjoy it!