Tag Archives: Mexico

Making some Tacos dorados.

As It has been stated before, We truly love food. So this time I brought the ingredients to make some “Tacos Dorados” at Maria’s place. I bought “Mazeca” a brand of corn flour used to make “Tortillas”, Lettuce, cheesee, chicken breasts, cream and Potatoes.

First I show Jacqueline, Maria and Nedas how to prepare the dough. Latter, we form medium size balls with the dough, just big enough to get a tortilla out of them. The process is simple, in Mexico we use a metallic press that squishes the doug, but here we had to improvise.

We use instead a plastic bag and common plate, with the bottom part of the plate we push the balls down until we got a round shape. Later, I show them how to cook  the tortillas on the pan.

While we cook the tortillas, We boil on the side, some potatoes and chicken, later on Nedas, Jacky and Maria help me peal and mash the potatoes and pull the chicken.

The next step was putting the mash potatoes and pulled chicken into the cooked tortillas, roll them and deep fried them in oil.

At the end when we got to serve the food we decorated the tacos with the cream, the cheese and the lettuce. (One mistake I made was forgetting the salsa.) But in the end, it is the best recreation of the dish we could have made by ourselves with the ingredients I found here in Finland.

I believe that they  enjoy the tacos a lot, they even got a little bit creative and started mixing the chicken with the mash potatoes. While we cook, I show them some of my favourite tunes in spanish. It was a nice evening, and I hope that in the future they try to recreate the recipe by themselves back in their countries.



Billiard at Mallashovi.

This evening was a bit out of the blue but, we manage to reunite at Mallashovi. One of the most famous bars among students and sport fans. We came up with a way of practicing the numbers and colours in Spanish and German. While we played we asked to the other team what was the colour or the number in German or Spanish. and so we had a fun evening and we learn and practice the vocabulary.

Spanish English German
azul blue blau
blanco white weiß
marrón brown braun
naranja orange orange
amarillo yellow gelb
rojo red rot
verde green grün
negro black schwarz

I already knew before hand the numbers from 1 to 10 but on this evening I practice some new numbers:


Spanish German
once 11 elf
doce 12 swölf
trece 13 dreizehn
catorce 14 vierzehn
quince 15 fünfzehn
diez  y seis 16 sechzehn
diez y siete 17 siebzehn
diez y ocho 18 achtzehn
diez y nueve 19 neunzehn
veinte 20 swanzig


German food and Next level UNO.

After a long week of vacations, we gathered at Jacqueline’s place to try some German dishes. I arrive with Nedas at the given time. Maria was already there helping Jacqueline. Jacqueline’s roommates were also there. The first thing we tried out was the “Apfelsaftschorle”, I was told by Jacqueline that this is really common amongst Germans, they even water down wine with mineral water!

We were presented with the first dish ““Kartoffelsuppe.” It is a potage with a salty taste. The ingredients on the soup were:




bay leaves


vegetable broth.



I loved the dish even though it was a bit salty for my taste.

The second and third dish we tried out was “Maultaschen mit Kartoffelsalat” which was a basically a salad with the added potatoes, but my favourite dish was the “Maultaschen”  which was really similar to ravioli, but instead of the cheesy filling, they had a sort of ground meat filling. (If I can buy them somewhere around the airport in Munich on my way home I probably will.)

At this point of the meeting we were pretty full, but we power trough another dish and dessert. the last main dish we had was called “Kässpätzle”. This dish had pasta with a lot of cheese, some onions and it was cook on a pan. It was majestic, I truly love all of the dishes.

At the very end, we spend some time having fun. We played some UNO and we ate German chocolates. I learned that Ferrero is a German company that makes this chocolates called Duplo, they ressemble a similar brand that we have back in Mexico but with a different name.

¿Cómo voy allí? – Directions in Spanish

The second lesson we held was again in Helsinki on the 8th of October at Café Kaarna in the Forum shopping centre. It had a very relaxed atmosphere with living room-like furniture. The weather was not so good so we just stayed indoors and in one place.

This time we discussed how to find ones way around in Spanish and travel phrases and vocabulary in general. Not exactly a timely topic for me as there are no trips planned to a Spanish speaking country but a common topic to expand ones conversational foundations in any language.

Some example phrases learned:
Perdón, ¿sabes dónde está…?                             Excuse me, do you know where is…?
¿Cómo voy al aeropuerto?                                     How do I get to the airport?
Tienes que ir en taxi/metro.                                  You have to take a taxi/metro.
A esta dirección por favor.                                      To this address please.
Teneís que ir todo recto y luego derecha.        You have to go straight forward and then right.

Barca                                                        Boat/ferry

Barco                                                        Ship/Liner

El crucero                                                Cruiser

El avion                                                     Airplane

La calle                                                     street

El centro                                                   City center

dónde                                                        where

adónde                                                     to where

la parada de autobus/taxi              bus/taxistop

izquierda                                                  left


We sat at the café for couple of hours with my girlfriend quizzing me with the vocabulary and asking some practical example phrases like ¿Como vas a Tampere? – How do you go to tampere? to which I answered Por la mañana en tren – Tomorrow morning by train. In general I’ve been trying to practise my conversational Spanish by speaking phrases in half spanish half english since I realised in how many situations I could say something in Spanish but didn’t know the rest of the sentence. With this technique I found it easier to accustom my spoken Spanish early on because otherwise I would probably just end up putting it off until later forever.

¡Hasta luego!

¿Hablas Español? – First EOTO Lesson

Hello! My name’s Ville Pelkonen and I’m a first-year Finnish student in the English programme Media and Arts. On this course I’m learning Spanish with my girlfriend Fatima who is not a student, but is from Mexico so I got permission to do the course with her by learning Spanish language and a bit of Mexican culture. I’ve been learning Spanish with her for 3 months now so I noticed the EOTO course would be a nice way to boost my learning, document the progress and of course to earn a few credits for it 😉 This former experience will also mean that I won’t start learning or posting from the rock bottom of the language. I’m learning from a textbook called Ventana 1 so the learning material and themes will follow that a lot but blending it with broader questions and interesting activities. We usually meet every weekend in Helsinki so the blog posts will mostly be located there instead of Tampere.

Eira beach rocks
Monument for victims of the sea at Eira park

Some good and useful examples were:

el restaurante restaurant
el primer plato starter plate
el segundo (plato) main course
el postre desert
tener alergia (a) to have an allergy (to something)
el men del día menu of the day
para beber? what would you like to drink?
aqua o vino? water or wine?
la cuenta check

It included some foods like which weren’t translated in the book so Fatima had to explain what they were.

tarta de quest cheesecake
sopa de pesco fish soup
fruta del tiempo fruits of the season

After some vocabulary memory game at the beach we moved to a nearby café where I took té verde (green tea) and Fatima café con leche (coffee with milk). We put the book aside and continued talking about other similar words and phrases and with me writing them down. I also asked questions like the differences between ordering in a fancy restaurant compared to a more relaxed café like we were sitting in.

Some examples:

el/la mesero, -a waiter/waitress (café)
el/la camarero, -a waiter/waitress (restaurant)
qué qui sieras? what would you like? (in casual restaurants)
qué de seas what would you like? (mostly in cafés)
qué os pongo? what would you like? (formal, in fancy restaurants)
area de fumar smoking side
la mesa table
la mesa para dos table for two

I also learned when ordering you would simply state that you want (quiero) something (for example a beer=una cerveza) and ending with please (por favor). Quiero una cerveza por favor=I would like a beer please. Or you could just leave the “want” out and state what you want and please: Una cerveza por favor (One beer please), Ensalada mixta por favor (Salad mix please) etc. Nevertheless Fatima emphasised that one must never EVER leave out por favor because it is viewed very arrogant and almost equivalent to an insult. I understood it to be much more important in Mexico to say please and thank you (gracias) than it is in English or Finnish.

The café terrace

We returned home after the sun went down and we’ll continue next weekend when we see again. Meanwhile I’ll revise the words I learned and finish the current chapter in the book so we can progress. We have planned to make tacos together for a learning session sometime so I intend to write more about food vocabulary then 🙂

P.S. Sorry for not having photos of us. Next time!

Easter Meeting

For our 6th Each One Teach One meeting we just met at TOAS City. Our topic was easter and we decided that everybody should bring some sweets and snacks. In the end we had homemade cookies, grapes, apples and chocolate.

First we talked about typical easter habits in our countries, such as the German easter egg hunt, the easter bonfire or the 7-churches walk in Mexico. Fernanda told us that she had to promise her Grandma that she would go to at least one church in Tampere during easter. We figured out that easter is actually quite simular in both of our countries. Of course, because we are a christian country and Mexico is katholic.

Some vocabulary that I have learned concerning to easter and food that day, are:

egg – él huevo

balls – huevos

grape – la uva

chocolate – él chocolate

easter – pascua

bunny – él conejo


What is typical German?!

This time, in our 5th meeting it was our turn to show Fernanda how to cook a typical German dish. We decided to make Käsespätzle and Kaiserschmarrn with Applesauce as a desert. Those are not typical for all of Germany but mainly for the South and they are well known abroad.

Because we had not the necessary kitchen instruments to make the Spätzle ourselves,  we decided to buy them ready and just to add the cheese and roasted onions. While cooking we explained Fernanda how you would express the ingredients in German. When we were ready with cooking the Käsespätzle a German friend had to come over and help us eating because it was weigh too much for the 4 of us.
As a desert we prepared Kaiserschmarrn which deeply impressed Fernanda. She told us that there is a special phrase in Mexico which expresses that desert doesn’t go to your stomach, it goes directly to you heart. Due to that we decided that we should do another Each One Teach One meeting just with deserts from Mexico and Germany.

After this meeting all of us have been happy.
Cause as we all know: Food is good!


Meeting 2#: Watching football…again!

2 weeks since our last meeting – but in contrast to last time we will this time go and watch football… wait a moment. That´s the same we did the last time? Doesn´t matter – football is great and in order to give the meeting another setting we went to SoHo-Bar today to watch the game of Borussia Mönchengladbach (yes, Oscar had to learn how to pronounce it) against Manchester City.

Today we talked for instance a lot about our most favorite football clubs. Because since we all come from different corners of Germany, we all like different ones. We tried to explain why fan culture in Germany is very important and which clubs and fans don´t like each other and why. So this was also a very good way for Oscar to get common with the names of big cities in Germany, like Munich, Cologne or Freiburg.

I also talked with Oscar about cities in Mexico and that there are a lot of clichés how we as European imagine them to be. For example we always see this image of almost destroyed city sides where drug wars are taking place, surrounded by never-ending wastelands. In fact that is the truth…but just in a very few corners in Mexico. That Mexico also has a great culture, nice beaches and wonderful landscapes is often neglected by the media around the world.

Netherless it was a cool evening with interesting talks, although Mönchengladbach lost the game and Freddy was really sad 😀

DSC_0082 DSC_0083

La noche Mexicana

September 15th is the celebration for the Mexican Independence which took place in 1810. Since then, most mexicans organize a “Mexican night” in this party, traditional dishes and drinks are served with decorations and fun games.

At midnight we ring a big bell and scream a loudly “Viva México” together, for remembering the beginning of the Independence war.

Although we are so far away from home, we did our best to share this tradition with our new friends. On Tuesday 15th we met and prepared several dishes for our guests, explaining its ingredients and giving them a taste!

It feels good to share something about your home with other people, and see how different it can be from theirs, although it also makes you miss yours a little bit.

We also taught some hand mexican games and it was very exiting to see foreigners learning and playing them, it made the evening even more enjoyable!

La primera reunión y la noche mexicana

Our Spanish group consisting of ten people from five different countries – Finland, México, Germany, South Korea and Malaysia – kickstarted our first official meeting at Coffee House near Keskustori last Friday. We introduced ourselves, discussed about our EOTO plans and got to know a little bit more about each other’s countries. We have three languages as main learning goals: Spanish, Finnish and German.

Therefore, as part of our Spanish learning process, Paola and Sofia invited us to celebrate México’s Independence Day together on the follwing Tuesday (15.9.2015).

La Noche Mexicana

Despite the rainy weather, our group gathered with 20-30 others  (perhaps even more?) at one of Lukonmäki’s grilling place to enjoy delicious Mexican dishes, listen to Spanish songs and get to know new people. I have also learnt some clapping games, e.g. Choco Latte (which our Korean member, Sohee, is really good at) and a game that has to do with sailors and sea (which I would like to learn the words from Paola or Sofia). In addition to that, now I can also do “Piedra, papel o tijera!” with my Spanish-speaking friends in the future.

Besides that, I was told that during their Independence Day, Mexicans dance-sing-drink-party and shout “¡Viva México Cabrones!” as part of the celebration. And cabrones, I have learnt, is a term/slang that could be used in either a positive or negative way.

All in all, it was great party, as we get to see and meet people from different nationalities coming together to celebrate an important day for our Mexican friends. ¡Muchas gracias, Paola y Sofia!

Blog post and illustration by: Chrystal Giam, 13Media