Autumn time

My life has been really busy lately and as you probably have noticed I haven't had time to share anything with you. And I'm sorry for this. But this is the only thing I'm sorry for. You know, I have had the best autumn ever! I feel happy, I feel strong, I have visions of a bright future and I have this strong feeling I'm on the right track.

So what has caused all these feelings and thoughts (no, I didn't take any happiness pills)?

First came the time for harvest. Our "famous" plum jam with ginger and lemon. Juices with berries and fruits from the garden of Villa Hattarala. Mushrooms from the green, relaxing forests of Porvoo region. Apple jam. Apple pie... The cellar is well equipped for the winter. And who knows, maybe there is also something to take as a present when visiting friends.

Red juice in old wine bottles
Did you go to forest this year? OMG! If you didn't, please, but on your boots and do it now! It's not too late to do so. I must have been a baby when my father took me with him for the very first time to pick up mushrooms. Since then - for the last 45 years - picking up mushrooms have been a tradition in my life during autumn season. And what a season it has been this year. The forest is full of them. These delicious wonders of nature. And you can even choose what to pick up. The whole range is there. Porcinis, black chanterelles, funnel chanterelles, northern milk-caps... You just name it and the forest will deliver it.

Black chantarelles
Do not pick up these - though they look lovely
I have mainly dried the ones I found and the milk-caps I salted. Antti already made a creamy porcini pasta one day last week and it was SO good. And I would like to make porcini soup soon by the recipe of my grandmother.
The strong aroma of dried porcinis remind me of my childhood and my father. I remember how he dried porcinis in our sauna and how the aroma filled our house. If I close my eyes I can still see how porcini slices were wired on a thread and hanged there in a dark sauna. I need to thank him for teaching me how to pick and prepare mushrooms. Thank you dad! And tomorrow, if there is not too much rain, I will take Miss E and Mr P with me and drive to a forest nearby to get some funnels - there should be loads of them.

Salted milk-caps and dried porcinis
But this is not all... After all this harvest came the school and studies to become a gardener. How has it been you might ask. I'll get back to it tomorrow. But I can give you a hint - fatally totally SUPER!

- Mika -

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