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June 22, 2015

Midsummer is very important in Finland. Unless you’ve been here once and experienced it, you can’t even imagine it. Cities empty out and people head to summer cottages (own, family-owned, rented or a friends’) in droves, meaning that the outgoing roads in the Helsinki area are a nightmare from Thursday afternoon to Friday noon around the third Friday in June. So of course we also headed for the Villa for a nice, long weekend. Must admit the traffic was not as bad as usually and we made the drive in pretty much our usual time around 1h45min.

In preparation for this important summer celebration weather forecasts are followed religiously for at least a few weeks before the actual event. We’ve had a really bad summer so far, actually no summer to speak of, so it was a bit of a downer that about a week before midsummer the forecast changed from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. But if anything we’ve learned that it can in reality be anything in between. And it was. Overall the weather was better than I expected over the weekend with some rain, some sun and plenty of clouds.

We haven’t formed any special midsummer traditions at the Villa. The main one we have adopted is the Midsummer Bonfire. Very useful to get rid of all sorts of branches and construction garbage that has gathered over the year. Though usually we have the first bonfire after winter around Easter time. So we had a nice bonfire: Bonfire 1

For once we didn’t need to worry about the grass or forest catching fire around our bonfire as it was wet. Once the fire burned down a bit we also put the remaining fire to good use by making some Finnish pancakes (lettuja)!

Bonfire 2

The Other Half had a birthday not so long ago and we bought him two fire frying pans, supposedly specifically designed for making pancakes over an open fire. The bottom of the pan is supposed to be designed to be perfectly curved so you can easily flip the pancake to cook the other side without a spatula. Well this is what happened when I tried that flip: Bonfire 3

Yes, it was a flop! After that we used only spatula for the flipping and have to say the pancakes tasted really good! Bonfire 4

Even though it’s been cold the nature is waking up. We gathered this lovely bouquet of wild lily-of-the-valley just up the road from the Villa. WP_20150613_16_27_22_Pro 1

There are other traditions related to Finnish Midsummer, I’ll tell you about another one of them later this week…

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