The Nasturtiums are blooming in the green house and we are enjoying those flavorful jewels with every meal.They are welcome harbingers of summer after the long winter.

The Tidendal Woods is also enjoying its own welcome to the warm. Spring Peepers from Leaning Tree Pond to Cranberry Bog fill the air with their melodious cacophony.

We groom the trails where Old Man Winter has thoughtlessly cast limbs. A huge branch, too big to move with our equipment, fell from an ancient oak and blocked the path south of Cranberry Bog. Maybe a carving in the deep woods would be nice to commemorate the old tree? I am wishing for a seat to be carved as well, a pretty long hike from Punzel’s Cottage.

Sauna Sam, previously seen on Punzel Notes, is appearing in his own poster. My long-ago mentor, George Farris, inspired Sam to pose for these pictures. We are delighted to share them with our friends. As legend has it, every sauna has a troll or elf that watches over it. Sometimes one is lucky enough to see him or her in early dawn or dusk. We are most grateful to know these magical creatures. Sam is a troll, grey of color. He blends into most backgrounds and is extra hard to discern. His routine sets a good example for other sauna dwellers, which is why we made a poster of him enjoying his sauna.

A decade ago I became acquainted with a Finnish family who visited the Traverse area for a year and then returned to Finland. The mother taught me how to make Karjalanpiirakat, Karelian Rice Pasties. She was born in the Karelian area and there the pasties were a treat after taking a sauna. Sam tasted those delicious pasties and they became his favorite food. Now, if we want him to bring us good luck, we must serve him Karjalanpiirakat.

Sam likes a dollop of applesauce on his pasties. We usually add a Nasturtium blossom for color and zippy taste.

Please try these delicious pasties. Hint: make the dough so thin that it’s almost transparent.

Var Så God!

Karelian Rice Pasties (Karjalanpiirakat)
(Makes 20) Preparation time: 1 hour Baking time: 5-7 minutes per batch. Oven temperature: 575 degrees F (300 degrees C) Suitable for freezing
Pastry: 3/4 cup (2 dl) water 1-1/2 tsp salt 1-1/4 cups (3 dl) rye flour 3/4 cup (2 dl) white flour
Filling: Rice pudding or 1/2 portion mashed potatoes 1 egg 3/4 cup (2 dl) boiling milk 3 Tbsp melted butter for brushing the pasties
1. Prepare the filling and mix in one egg.
2. Mix together the water, salt and flour.
3. Shape the dough into a long rope the thickness of your wrist and cut into 20 equal portions. Shape the pieces into flat round cakes and form into a pile at the side of the baking table. Roll out each cake into a very thin circle. Set aside, but not on top of each other or they will stick together.
4. Fill the center of each with the rice pudding or mashed potatoes, fold over the edges and pinch tightly.
5. Bake for a short time in a hot oven.

Read more: Recipe: Karelian Rice Pasties (Karjalanpiirakat) http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinations/finland/karjalanpiirakat.html#ixzz2Suz6KiOU

The little booklets on the right are the first stories in our collection of tales published under the title “Sagas of The Tidendal Fairies.” A finger puppet named Moritz, a very naughty weasel, can accompany the “Incident at Clover Creek.” Anders the chipmunk is also made into a finger puppet. Read and play.

Our next Post will introduce you to the Tidendal Valley and how our stories began.

Wishing you magical moments in every day.

Judy and Britta

Punzel's Cottage