Tag Archives: food

American Culture Day, Finnish/English #7

Today it was all about the great and powerful USA. We spent the entire meeting in English because it was the day of Ella’s home country. We ate traditional American foods such as mac’n cheese, chicken nuggets and chocolate chip cookies. They were all delicious! Mac’n cheese is actually one of my own favourite foods, whenever I’ve visited the US I’ve had to eat some mac’n cheese there. They just make it the best.

We talked about Ella’s life in the US and to me it sounded so far away and strange that they have drills in their school every month about fire, earthquakes, extreme weather conditions and even armed invaders. These things sound something I’ve only seen in movies. Ella said she hates storms because she has witnessed trees being cut to half by lightning or trees literally going from side to side touching the ground. She told me a story about when she was younger and there was a hurricane of some sorts and her mom wanted to go outside to see how it felt. She remembers how it was so windy you could not move forward. The storms in the US truly are next level.

Ella told me how even though the state of Maryland is not in an area that usually has earthquakes they did have one when she was at the 4th grade. Someone in her class was actually just reading a book about earthquakes when it started. A coincidence, maybe?

The chocolate chip cookies Ella prepared for us were absolutely yummy! So soft and chocolaty. I got the recopy from Ella so now I can make them myself too. Ella told me about the Easter egg hunt that her neighbourhood always had when she was a kid. Every year they would go to someones yard to hunt for chocolate eggs.

Sadly we did not have American flag with us, which would have been soooo American. When Ella came here she did not pack one with her, but hopefully we’ll get to travel to the US together and can go explore the country of stars and stripes.

French – German: Cooking Session

On Saturday we finally had our French – German Cooking Session. As Léonie is, unfortunately, currently not in Finland we could not cook all together in real. But at least Tim and me, who are both in Tampere, met and did the Recette Tartiflette. We met at the supermarket, to get all the ingredients needed (potatoes, onions, crème fraîche, cheese). While grocery shopping we had to struggle with some difficulties, because the recipe requires a very special, French cheese – the Reblochon cheese. Unfortunately, we could not find it here in Finland. After extensive Google research, we decided to use Brie as an alternative. Back at my apartment we got straight to cooking as we were already hungry. For the recipe you first had to cut the potatoes into slices, dice the onion and fry both with salt and pepper for a quarter of an hour. Actually, bacon is added, but we omitted it because we wanted to keep the recipe vegetarian. Then the potato and onion mixture was put into a baking dish, alternating with crème fraîche and the cheese. Finally, it had to bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. Even though Léonie says it looks half as tasty with Brie as with Reblochon cheese, we really enjoyed the Recette Tartiflette. It is quite similar to the traditionale potato gratin (Kartoffelgratin) known in Germany and very substantial, which is why we just managed half of it. Since the recipe is very easy to prepare, we definitely want to try it again with the Reblochon cheese when we are back in Germany. 

French-German: Preparations for the Cooking Session

Yesterday we had another short meeting with our German-French group. We met via Zoom and made preparations for our cooking session on Saturday. We exchanged the recipes and talked about the ingredients and the necessary equipment. We also exchanged some background knowledge about it. Léonie chose Recette Tartiflette for us, which are kind of potatoes with cheese that are backed in the oven – I’m really excited for trying that out tomorrow! She said it’s traditionally eaten while skiing in France, as it’s a very greasy food. We chose Semmelknödel mit Pilzrahmsoße for her because it is easy to prepare. This are dumplings made of old bread with a mushroom cream sauce. In Germany, it is mostly cooked to still use stale bread.

I’m really looking forward to Saturday and I’m already curious how the Recette Tartiflette will taste and if Léonie likes the Semmelknödel mit Pilzrahmsoße. We will keep you updated with some pictures of the ready cooked dishes and of course also with another blog post about the meeting.

Third meeting-bulgarian cuisine

This meeting was based on my home country’s traditional cuisine and some traditions. I had prepared a special delicacy that is personally a favorite of mine. It is called banitsa and is prepared from thin pastry sheets, eggs and cow’s white cheese.

Luckily for me, everyone liked a lot that dish which made me very proud of my cooking skills. We talked about different traditions and customs we have in our home countries like festivals and celebrations. It was really interesting to hear about customs from the other side of the planet just to find out they weren’t that different from the ones I am used to.

Another topic of interest was how the education systems work. Now here it got interesting- so many new findings and unexpected facts came to my knowledge.

To sum it up, this meeting was full of new information, lots of food and drinks.

Pyynikki Brewhouse Chinese-Finnish -meeting

This was our second meeting with Chinese-Finnish-group and we decided to go to a Finnish restaurant. It was quite hard to find typical Finnish cuisine with variety on the menu, but after asking around I got a recommended Pyynikin Brewhouse. Located right next to Koskikeskus mall in a beautiful old brick building it serves local beers and dishes named after locations here in Tampere. I ordered Kaleva chicken skewers and they were tasty. I think this was a good introduction to Finnish restaurant culture and behavior.

Kaleva chicken skewer (kanavarras) with baked potato (uuniperuna) filled with cream cheese

We both love food and eating, so it was very easy to discuss about the topic and we will continue eating through cultures and learning the basics.

First Meeting (CHN-GER): Burgers and Joy

5 October 2019: First meeting at “Friends and Burger” ( Hämeenkatu 17, 33200 Tampere)

           

Our group consists of one German(Felix) and two Chinese(Menglin and Man Seng). Through planning , we had decided to have our official meet-up at a particular restaurant for dinner and discussion sessions about this course “each one teach one”.

Upon arrival, we chose a place in the restaurant to settle down. Then, we went to place orders of the scrumptious burger. While waiting for the burger, we did a small introduction of ourselves in English then in German and Chinese. We discuss and chat about our experience so far in Finland, our own culture and traditions, our traditional cuisine and more. There were similarities and also differences between the language, culture and traditions between German and Chinese which makes everything much more fun and interesting to learn and know about.

Here is some basic German that I learned that day:

  • Guten Tag = Good Day
  • Auf wiedersehen = Bye
  • Mein Name ist = My name is
  • Ich bin = I am

Although it’s only the first meeting but  I think this module are precisely useful to me. This is due to the reason that it would definitely help me to improve my communication skills through all the meetings and meetup. I believe this skill is one of the most important skills that a person needed to have in today’s employ-ability market. Language are fun to learn  but I still had to put in more effort in order to fully absorb the knowledge and the basics of a whole new language.

I’m excited for the next meeting and I strongly believe that it’s going to be interesting and fun-filled.

 

Cooking estonian food!

On Sunday we got together at my language partners place. I decided to cook something that has been my childhood favourite dish – buckwheat and cottage cheese. I also brought some Estonian chocolate with kama and found that Prisma sells an Estonian based kohuke  (curd snack). During cooking we exchanged some famous songs from each of our countries.

Hearing my language partner and his flatmates speak German to me was very exciting, since I haven’t practised it for ages. I was surprised at how much I understood, even though sometimes the meaning of the texts arrived to me a bit late. I was too scared to answer in German myself this time. I could tell that my accent would be horrible. However, I have decided to at least try and speak German on our next meet-up.

To my language partner I taught the Estonian names of the food we had (tatar, kohuke, kama). However mainly we talked about our culture differences and some common grounds. We even managed to slightly cover such topics as politics and religion. I got to ask questions about some things my German teacher in school had taught and to check their accuracy. Listening to our countries songs anyway, I got a chance to also introduce my country’s anthem and translate it. I also introduced a massive event – Estonia’s Song Festival, which has held a special place in the hearts of Estonians and also touched the hearts of some foreigners.

I definitely learnt to be more confident in my German skills and step out of my comfort zone. I also thoroughly enjoyed listening to the uniquenesses of Germans and their culture.

Kohuke

This picture depicts the Estonian curd snack called kohuke. 
(The picture is taken from flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anuwintschalek/8553573899) 

Lunch at School (Fin-Rus)

We were planning to have lunch at school together for a long time and finally, we did it 🙂 I again asked my friend to join us, so we had a long conversation about music, travellings and hobbies. It was interesting to know that Maksim listens to Russian music band Kino, which I like as well and Viktor Tsoi is a legend in Russia.

We discussed countries as well because it was a cyber Monday and me and my friend got really cheap tickets to Amsterdam! we were excited that moment that couldn’t talk about something else 😀

After all, my friend said that she really found the idea of this course super cool because it’s not only the opportunity to learn the new language, but also a chance to meet new friends 🙂

Ratina’s Shopping center: dinner and hot chocolate

For our fourth meeting we went for a dinner to a restaurant in Ratina’s shopping center called Tratto. There we ate dinner, Junhyeok had pasta, Gayeon had risotto and I had a pizza. I also ordered some bread for us all, that was some kind of oily bread. Gayeon had cold, so I was worried about her slightly.

The restaurant was nice and had minimalistic feeling. We talked a bit about some cultural rules around eating, and there is not so much difference between Finnish and Korean manners around dinner, for example can your elbows be on the table (it does not matter in both cultures). In Finland it is usual to pay while on the table, but in Korea I heard they pay privately.

After eating we went to a different place, not far away from the restaurant, to drink some coffee (or I had hot chocolate) and to study. That was a good idea. I had prepared some words around food and restaurant. This time I remembered to take a copy of the material that I was teaching to myself also! Gayeon and Junhyeok are starting to pronounce Finnish words quite well already, and I was proud of them. This time I emphasized the letter “L” and how short it is in a word.

In my teaching I like to make sure that all the words are pronounced to the letter, because it is rather important in Finnish language, because the meaning of the word can change fairly quickly. I tried to prepare a bit less material to teach to Junhyeok and Gayeon than the last times, so that it would be less tiring and there would be less new words to learn. Also I would not be so tired to learn some Korean afterwards. I may need to be more careful on how I explain words or parts of the words, so that I will not confuse with my teaching.

Junhyeok took the lead in teaching me this time. I had not had time to practice Korean since I had exam that Friday, and I had exams also yesterday and today. It was good that he had prepared some revision, so I had good time learning, even though I did not remember much Korean that day for some reason.

Junhyeok taught me well, and I also copied words in Korean from Gayeons translations. It was fun even though I probably pronounced Korean very interestingly.  Writing Korean is a bit like drawing, and the letters are written in blocks. In the picture above you can see how to combine Korean letters! I think I will not be able to write Korean fluently easily.

At the end of our meeting I gave Gayeon and Junhyeok reflectors, because it is going to get dark and everybody in Finland have reflectors (or should have them) during winter. For our next meeting I will try to memorize the Korean letters and also how to pronounce them, and I am looking forwards seeing Gayeon and Junhyeok after two weeks.

 

Shopping

On a pretty Saturday morning, me and my chinese friends + Tony, met on Sokos. They had wished I could teach them finnish names of the basic foods, drinks, desserts and so on. I had already prepared a paper for them with most common finnish foods.

As we learned, we disscused diffrences between Chinese cusine and finnish cusine. I learned that in China, chocolate is very bad compared to Finnish chocolate. Maybe it’s because Finnish chocolate is pretty preservative free and made in Finland?

It was also intresting to learn, that unlike in finnish, chinese words are based on something. Like Blueberry (Mustikka) is in chinese Lánméi, meaning blue colored berry. “-méi” means berry. Also that “Huang” means yellow.

We didn’t plan our next meeting yet, but it will hopefully take place this week. We are already half way done with our course! I hope we will still keep in touch after it ^^