Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Farewells... and a huge stress!!!

Saying goodbyes ain't always easy! A week ago we started to say goodbye to our friends and my relatives here in Finland. Last weeks tuesday we had again car full of stuff and headed towards my poor little student sister... so now Heli has a proper jungle in her flat and birthday presents for the next ten years (at least!) :) Then we went to my grandparents who can sometimes be so nice and positive... last words I heard were: "I guess we'll never meet again". How lovely to hear such things, when you anyway worry about them almost constantly:( Well none can do. It was still a nice afternoon there and I will heavily miss them! Terveisiä mummulle ja papalle, ikävä jo nyt!

My mini cupcakes were a huge hit :)
Last weekend we had a farewell party here at our home with a vegan potluck theme. Was a lovely day with nice atmosphere and the guests could get to know our plans and equipments etc. much better. Warm thank yous to all of you who attended the party! All the foods were great too, especially the hummus and banana cake! :D

The bald and the hairy old dudes :D Always teasing the smaller ones...
For me the toughest part was most likely yesterday when I had my last training in my beloved karate club Sokuto. That club is so far the best I've ever been into and I have (unfortunately?) been in quite many already! I had really great seven years there, had plenty of good time and great trainings and befriended with many wonderful characters. I will miss you guys a lot! This of course doesn't mean the end of my karate career, not even a bit! I will still continue practising alone, visit as many clubs on this planet as possible and will also teach my dear husband to be my training partner (Wolfi has jujutsu background) so that I'd finally get the black belt...

So this last week has been full of farewells, but also full of STRESS! Everyday has been a real working day with cleaning the house and yard, building/maintaining the bikes and doing all the final paperworks. Wolfi just estimated that we have donated about five full car loads of our belongings to Fida, two car loads went to my sister and one load to HESY (animal protection society). Also countless of bags of clothes to UFF and way too much of things to trash/recycle! Tomorrow our car, some tools and rest of the useful stuff will be donated to Tuulispää animal sanctuary. So plenty of good work done at the same, no need to earn with everything! :) Still some tiny things to do, like our testaments... Thank you Ulla for giving that as a very first advice, when we told about our plans last year! (hehe) Well there was some point in her comments also... if something will happen to both of us we would never want any state to inherit us, no way! Much rather some animal sanctuary or so, who do much more good in this world! :)

btw. It's now Vappu here in Finland, which is a celebration of work/working class and we have definitely celebrated it with a load of work! Well done us :D Tomorrow will start the packing stress, so let's see what all have to be excluded...

Hyvää Vappua! Happy May Day!

~ Ilta

Friday, April 19, 2013

Farewell NSN

I had a small farewell party at work yesterday. I had a good time and enjoyed a lot the company of my now ex-colleagues.

First of all I want to thank my wife for making me several cakes and food for the evening sauna. It was delicious, especially the apple pie was fabulous.
Delicious vegan cakes
Thanks to Leena for helping me to organize the event and thanks to Kati, Pavel and Taha for your inspiring words. I was touched and it made me feel good that I was able to make a difference. Thanks a lot to all of you for the convenient farewell-gift, I will use it well ... maybe a travel guide? And of course, thanks to all who came to the event - without you it would have been a kind of awkward ;)

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :)

Have fun and enjoy the future posts ....

- Wolfi

p.s. cake recipe can be published on demand.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wolfi's Birthday Cake

Happy birthday my dear Daddy-O!!! (inside joke :))

I haven't done marzipan cake for a very long time (because they're not too healthy), but Wolfi loves marzipan so of course had to do one for his birthday. Especially because this might be last chance for a very long time that I have a proper kitchen in my use.... I had some doubts with this one, but in the end it turned out to be almost a master piece and extremely delicious! I'm rather proud of myself :) Not too healthy though, but still from the better end... gluten free and sugar free (except the marzipan).

Globetrotter cake 
(1 small 19cm cake)
  • 1.5 dl agave nectar (or eg maple syrup)
  • 1 dl liquid coconut oil (or other veggie oil)
  • 2.5 dl soya milk (or any other veggie milk)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 tsp ground psyllium or flax seeds (you can omit this if you use gluten flour)
  • 3.5 dl oat flours (other gluten free flours should be also ok or wheat/spelt)
  • 1 dl cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2-3 dl cherry jam (or whatever you like)
  • 100 g vegan margarine
  • 100 g soft coconut oil
  • 1.5 dl cacao powder
  • 1 dl agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp dark rum
and marzipan for cover.

Whisk all the liquid ingredients (syrup, oil, milk, vinegar and rum) and ground psyllium together and let set for few minutes. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients together and add to the wet. Mix quickly into fine batter, but don't overdo it! Pour the batter into an oiled cake form and bake in 175 C oven for 30-40 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely before removing from the form. Cut into half and moisten both halves from inside with rum-water mixture. Whisk the coconut oil, margarine, agave, vanilla and rum into smooth cream. If the cream is too soft then let it set a moment in fridge. Spread about one quarter of the cream on the bottom cake layer and spread the jam on top of it. Put the top cake layer gently on top and spread rest of the cream evenly on top and sides of the cake.

Cover the cake with desired marzipan. Remember that almost always the red colours (from pink to dark) and quite often also the blue colours contain E 120 (a.ka. Carmine, Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470), which is squeezed scale insects and therefore not vegan! That's why for the 'sea' I used normal white marzipan and coloured myself with Dr. Oetkers blue food colour, which is vegan.

The cake is best after one day when all the flavors have set and it has got nicely moist :)

~ Ilta

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wolfi quit his job today

A "small" step for me - big step for this new life.

20 years working in the same company certainly connected me to many people and I will miss my colleagues at least once in a while. Comparing the old and the new life ahead, I had no regrets to quit and it took me no longer then a few minutes to write my resignation email, hit the send button and it was done.

Being at home right now and writing this post, I admit that I feel free and relieved, not bound any longer by the Monday-Friday, 9-17 rhythm. Now I can fully concentrate on getting the bikes ready and take care of the last issues before take-off.

Yeah, for some strange reasons (called freezing cold weather), the bike maintenance did not progress as well as planned. I also noted that one of the cross joints on my cardan is not moving fine, so I needed to get a spare and I am waiting for that one to get my GS back together.

Besides selling stuff, we have been also busy with packing our things which remain in Finland. Not much is left. All our belongings we'll save fit into these two boxes and suitcases! Also the didgeridoo and one cool Rammstein wallpaper got saved :) Of course!

Thanks a lot Heli for storing these with you.
All our belongings we'll save fit into these two boxes and suitcases!
Now I will enjoy my vacation :)

~ Wolfi