In our first proper teaching/learning session me and my two Chinese group members taught each other about german/chinese food, traditional dishes and table manners. They started by showing me how to cook “Luoshifen”- a traditional chinese dish consisting of rice noodles and bamboo. It was especially interesting to see that these noodles need to be cooked twice and that all further ingredients come perfectly portioned in small bags. Something really unusual for the German kitchen as I experienced it. They continued to teach me about traditional Chinese dishes and their proper Chinese pronunciation. Therefore, they taught me 4 different kinds of phonetic symbols ( /, \, -, v) that help pronuncing certain words (but it was still very difficult). The dishes included e.g. Kung Pao Chicken, Zhajianmian or”Hot Pot” which is close to the in Germany well known “Raclette”. Afterwards, they taught me Chinese table manners. I knew that especially older people have a high status in China and certain strict rules need to be followed to be respectful. However, I did not know how strict they are and that they even manifest themselves in the positioning at the table, the order in which someone raises a toast or the placement of one’s glass at the other person’s glass when bumping them together. Also, apparently, one is not allowed to point at others with chopsticks or to put them into a bowl of rice.
Then, I taught them about the German food culture, especailly about the huge variety of breads, sausages and beers. Moreover, I thought it was interesting to teach them about the fish dishes that are very popular in the north of Germany because I think that not that many people know about that. In the course of teaching them the “food culture” I taught them the pronunciation of certain dishes like Brezel, Brot or Brötchen. I used “Brötchen” to explain the concept of a “Diminutiv” (a smaller/ cuter version of something) and the sounds of ä, ö and ü. Finally, I taught them how to make “Frikadellen” via live-cooking on zoom.
Overall, our first meeting was very nice and informative. Moreover, we managed to teach each other everything we planned to teach. Only the pronunciation of Chinese words by me could’ve been better, but I guess it will come with time.
For our first “each one teach one” lesson, we started with a practical application. Our goal was to have a Finnish tasting evening. We have already agreed in advance that we want to go grocery shopping together, but only want to buy typical Finnish dishes and then taste them. Said and done! We went to the K-Market together to choose the food and dishes there. The large selection of the most diverse brands of individual product groups immediately overwhelmed me. You won’t find such a large selection in my home country. So the first big question for me was what should we buy if I don’t even know the basic terminology of the individual dishes. However, with the help of my tutor, we were able to differentiate and clarify some ambiguities and terminology in the business. Fortunately, I don’t have any intolerances or allergies that I have to pay attention to and take into account.
The shopping basket full of Finnish delicacies from all areas, starter, main course, dessert and drinks, we made our way home. We did our Finnish tasting in a private apartment. With the individual dishes cooked and arranged on the plates, we set about the definitions, terms and ingredients of the individual dishes. That evening I not only got to know the typical Finnish dishes I had bought, such as “musta makkara” (blood sausages), “kalakukko” (filled bread), “peruna muussi” (mashed potatoes) and “lihapulla” (meatballs), but also basic terms such as bread, fish, various drinks and also types of cutlery and inventory. As part of the dinner, we also took up other exciting and useful terms and put them into writing.
Yesterday we continued our language learning journey at Hanna’s place. Hanna made a “finntastic” ham-cheese-pie for us which we enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere while there were soft Christmas songs played and us having a good conversation about what has happened over the last week. It’s really nice because meeting on Monday and therefore, starting the week with our EOTO get-together has almost became a tradition over the last couple of weeks.
Now, that it’s nearly December and the semester is ending soon we decided to give it a go and see how far we have come. Every one of us gave the others in their target language an overview of oneself. It’s great to see that we all managed to learn good pronunciation and some basic language skills as well. I’m really sad, that our time in Tampere is almost over and so is this course. It’s been a good decision to join the course, even if I was a little late. 😀 I met three wonderful people and learned a lot about the Finnish language and about Finland on the way. I will surely continue learning and hopefully coming back to Finland in the future. If I return it’s hopefully not just for holidays but maybe for a lifetime.
Our second meeting was on 22nd of October at my place where me and Jocelyn made some traditional Finnish food. We made macaroni casserole ’makaroonilaatikko’ for dinner and blueberry pie ’mustikkapiirakka’ for dessert. It was actually the first time that I made macaroni casserole but it turned out to be very easy to make. There aren’t many spices in traditional Finnish foods except for salt and pepper and those were also the only spices in macaroni casserole.
Makaronilaatikko Macaroni casserole
5 dl makaronia 5 dl macaroni
1 sipuli 1 onion
1 rkl rypsiöljyä 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
400 g jauhelihaa 400 g minced meat
2 kananmunaa 2 eggs
5 dl maitoa 5 dl milk
½ tl suolaa ½ tsp salt
¼ tl mustapippuria ¼ tsp black pepper
- Keitä makaronit. / Cook the macaroni.
- Kuori ja pilko sipuli. / Peel and cut the onion.
- Kuullota sipulit öljyssä. / Fry the onions in oil.
- Paista jauheliha. / Fry the minced meat.
- Lisää sipuli jauhelihan joukkoon. / Add the onions into the minced meat.
- Sekoita se makaronien kanssa. / Mix it with macaronis.
- Vatkaa kananmunat. / Scramble the eggs.
- Lisää mausteet ja maito kananmunan joukkoon. / Add spices and milk into the eggs.
- Kaada munamaito vuokaan. / Pour th eggmilk into the pan.
- Paista 175°C noin tunti. / Cook at 175°C for about one hour.
Mustikkapiirakka Blueberry pie
150 g voita 150 g butter
1,5 dl sokeria 1,5 dl sugar
1 kananmuna 1 egg
3 dl jauhoja 3 dl flour
1 tl vanilliinisokeria 1 tsp vanillin sugar
1 tl leivinjauhetta 1 tl baking powder
400 g mustikoita 400 g blueberries
Murutaikina Short pastry
50 g voita 50 g butter
½ dl sokeria ½ dl sugar
1 dl jauhoja 1 dl flour
- Sekoita sokeri ja pehmennyt voi. / Mix sugar and softened butter.
- Lisää muut aineet ja sekoita tasaiseksi. / Add rest on the ingredients and mix evenly.
- Levitä taikina vuokaan. / Spread the dough into the pan.
- Kaada mustikat vuokaan tasaisesti. / Pour the blueberries evenly into the pan.
- Valmista murutaikina ja levitä se mustikoiden päälle. / Mix together the ingredients of the short pastry and spread it on the blueberries.
- Paista 200°C noin 30 minuuttia. / Cook at 200°C for about 30 minutes.
- Tarjoile vaniljajäätelön kanssa. / Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Macaroni casserole and blueberry pie both turned out like they should have and tasted good. Blueberry pie is one of my favourite desserts and it was really nice to share the recipe with Jocelyn. 😊
Last Monday, we met at Loy’s apartment to try the Malaysian typical dish with the ingredients we bought in the last meeting.
When we arrived to his apartment, he had already started cooking, and at finally it was him who cooked everything.
These are the dishes he cooked:
- 酿豆腐 (yong tau foo) = Meat with aubergine.
- 炒菜心 (chao cai xin) = Stir fried vegetable.
- 米粉汤 (mi fen tang) = Noodles soup with meat.
- He also made a chili and soy sauce to attach to the dishes.
To drink, we had a Spanish and a Chilean wine.
Loy spent a great deal of time cooking the dishes; he studies Hospitality Management, so everything that he cooked was delicious.
While we were eating the food, we talked about the differences between Malaysian, Spanish and German table manners.
We could know that in Malaysian culture it’s not impolite to drink the soup from bowl, something that would be badly seen in the Spanish and German cultures.
Loy also told us that in Malaysia, as in Spain and Germany, it’s impolite making noise when sipping the soup.
It was a funny meeting (it’s always fun meeting with friends, especially if it’s to eat delicious dishes). Looking forward to try new dishes!
After a very exciting shopping tour to get the ingredients, we met at Loys place to cook the Chinese dish. When we arrived, Loy had prepared a lot of stuff already and we could start with the cooking right away (or he started cooking, we took care of the wine 😉 ). It was interesting to watch him cooking because he did many things different than I would do. I don’t remember the name of the dish, but it was something Loy usually cooks at home for dinner with his family. There was noodle soup with meat 米粉汤（ mi fen tang ), egg-plant filled with minced meat 酿豆腐 (Yong Tau foo), choy sum vegetables 炒菜心（chao cai xin) and a chili-soy-sauce for dipping. It was delicious!
Of course we also talked about differences in table manners. One example: in Chinese culture it is allowed to drink the soup from the plate / bowl, since they usually don’t use spoons, here it wouldn’t be polite.
time & place : 16th April, 12:00-15:30, My home
We planned to cook, and we decided to meet soon as we couldn’t see much each other, also after this time. End of April, and beginning of May was super busy with so many assignments and exams! This was the last meeting before May, however, we decorated our fantastic April very well!
Korean Food & Guillaume Style Curry
We gathered in my house, luckily none of my roommates were in my house, thus we enjoyed the empty free house. Korean girls cooked stir-fried rice cakes and he cooked curry with coconut milk for us. During cooking and eating, we Koreans talked about Korean food a lot, and he again taught us about French politics 🙂 I like this topic, so it was really interesting for me.
The curry was so good even I don’t like neither curry nor coconut! And he also enjoyed the stir-fried rice cakes but they were a bit spicy for him so he had to drink a lot of water. We talked about the new champion in league of legends, talked about our writings and future meetings. After eating, I washed dishes, and he went to my bed and found out that my bed was super warm! He asked me why and I answered it’s because of the electrical heating mat! He said he was shocked because he never considered that, I think he would buy it someday haha. This day was funny and enjoyable day and we will meet next time for my last lecture after the busy week.
So yesterday (April 16th) Marie and I met at my place to cook some tacos!
It was an easy recipe what i tried to teach Marie, because in Tampere we do not have all we need to make proper tacos. I actually was attonished by finding some real tortillas in Sokos.
We cooked some meat with choped onion in a pan.
Meanwhile we made some “GUACAMOLE”. Guacamole is made in very different ways in Mexico, but i went for the easiest recipe. We choped avocados, tomatoes and onions. Then we mixed everything. We also cutted a chilli in small slices -but we left it aside in case it was to spicy for Marie, good news… IT WAS NOT!!
Then everything was ready. I warmed a couple of tortillas , but them in the dishes, and then served some meat on top. Then, i told Marie that what we commonly do in Mexico is eat tacos with our bare hands, we add some guacamole and if we have, sauce, and then we take the tortilla by the sides and bite!!
Truth be told, it is a little bit hard at first to get the trick on how to eat tacos. The first time someone tries to, normally spills all the content of the taco in the plate. By her second taco Marie was doing a lot better and she even put some chilli slice in it!!!!
Topic for our 9th meeting was cooking.
We didn’t want to be so boring anymore, so we decided to make some dessert together.
Here you can get a recipe for a delicious spanish dessert:
Recipe = receta
Incredients = ingredientes
Cocoa = cocoa
Butter = manteca
Cookie = galleta
Sugar = azucar
Egg = huevo
Freezer = refrigerator
Spoon = cuchara
Fork = tenedor
Knive = cuchillo
Bowl = bol
Plate = plato
See you next time 🙂
Tuesday 4th April, Me and Marta went to Anna’s place to cook the typical Viennese sweet (but very common also in Germany) “Apfelstrudel”. I was very happy because is one of my favourite sweets and I use to eat it everytime that I travel to Germany, Austria or Trentino (an Italian region in the north of Italy where is common find typical food from Germany or Austria because they are very close). Anna was very nice because she gave to us the original receipe so I will try to do it also at home for my mum because it’s also her favourite sweet. We started reading all the ingredients and try to pronounce them also in german:
Strudel dough: 250g plain flour, 2g salt, 50g eggs, 100g lukewarm water, 20g oil. Buttered breadcrumbs: 100g breadcrumbs, 50g butter. Cinnamon sugar: 140g fine crystal sugar, 10g cinnamon. Filling: 150g breadcrumbs, 150g cinnamon sugar, 170g raisins, 10g lemon juice, 1kg peeled-cored-sliced apples, one shot of rum.
Me and Marta took care of cut the apple and fill our delicious strudel and Anna made the dough and closed the strudel after that we filled it because is a little bit difficult and like for Pizza, you should know how to do it to make it good! I really enjoyed do the strudel because I like cook, especially sweets, with my friends because is a good moment to share our traditions and show our cooking skills. While we were waiting that the strudel got ready, we talked about our experience here in Tampere and we are all happy about it because is an amazing city full of things to do like go to the forest tu run or just for a walk, skate or ski on the frozen lake, do shopping in the main street, practice cross-country skiing (so difficult for me because I use to practice down-hill skiing), meet with your friends for a coffee or a tea and a sweet, go to the disco for parties and a lot of other things.
When the strudel started to become golden-brown, we removed it from the oven and put it to rest a little bit before to eat it. Meanwhile Anna prepared a tea to drink with our delicious and tasty strudel. I really liked it also because we did it with our own hands. I will certainly try to reproduce it in my home country! Thank you Anna for your precious advices and for giving us the original receipe, I will keep it with me for all my life.
Keep in touch, see you! Ciao ciao 🙂