Mike in Finland

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Two favorite recipes

These are two very simple but very tasty recipes. The amounts are slightly flexible and you can vary according to the number of eaters and your own preferences, for example you can vary the amount of stock.

Fennel and Tomato Bake

several potatoes, sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 cup of stock
teaspoon of tomato purée
salt and black pepper

Cook the sliced potatoes and sliced fennel in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. Blend the tomatoes, garlic, stock, purée and seasoning. Layer the potato and fennel slices in an oven dish, pour over the stock mixture and cover. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 1 hour.
It´s possible to substitute Jerusalem artichokes for some of the potato, which I would recommend, actually. I use about 25% Jerusalem artichokes and 75% potatoes.

Broccoli with Red Bean Sauce

broccoli florets
olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
1 can of aduki/kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of stock

Steam the broccoli for 8 minutes, drain and keep warm. Heat the olive oil and fry the pepper and spring onions until soft. Add the beans and stock and simmer for 3 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the bean mixture. Cook for one minute more. Pour sauce over broccoli and serve.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

From Coiled Roots by Donald Adamson

Donald Adamson is a Tampere-based Scottish poet. He has previously published two pamphlets and his translations from Finnish to English appeared in the anthology How To Address The Fog, published by Carcanet and the Scottish Poetry Library. His full poetry collection, From Coiled Roots, was published this summer by Indigo Dreams Press. The collection as a whole is wide-ranging and eclectic, including a few set in childhood, some that consider aging, some with a historical background and some wonderful, understated love poems that show great sensitivity and delicacy in their use of language; `understated ardour´ is the phrase I came up with to describe the tone. I have added an example of one of the love poems below. There are poems set in Scotland and several set in Finland; some of these name Finnish places, but readers familiar with Finland will recognise a Finnish setting where it is not actually stated as such. There are several versions based on poems by the Finnish poet, Lassi Nummi.

I have read and enjoyed the collection enormously and recommend it highly. The book is available from Amazon or from the publisher´s website

This is a poem from the collection which is reproduced here with Donald´s permission:

What We Found

An hour away from daylight; snow´s
light, blind touching, and the single eye
of a train drawing in.

And all that day, as pine trees
inked themselves on paper fields,
I did not know you

till joking nervously,
we crossed the frontier.
Words were new then, and eyes.

What we found there,
more than from any temperate season, grew

out of the ice and the crystalline
and dangerous purity
of snow.

Donald´s blog is at:
and has several poems, including one from the new collection, and a link to the publisher´s website.

Donald´s website is at: