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Archive for April 11th, 2009

Housewarming party

This past week was sooo busy, so I really appreciate the three-day weekend I have for the Easter holiday. It all started last Saturday when we had our housewarming party or soolaleivapidu (salt and bread party, literally). We spent all day shopping and preparing food for our guests. We didn’t want to only offer the typical chips and things. J got creative with frozen puff pastry, creating little sausage rolls sprinkled with sesame seeds and also some pockets filled with ground beef and taco seasoning. The latter reminded me a lot of Jamaican beef patties, but I may just be imagining it since I’ve only had beef patties once or twice in my life.

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I decided to finally utilize the sushi- making equipment my mother sent me from the States. I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned sushi on the blog before, but I learned to make it over a year ago from a Canadian friend who brought his own sushi kit to Tallinn. Buying your own rice, vinegar and fish and creating homemade sushi is vastly cheaper than buying it here in Estonia, so it’s fun to do every once in a while. However, I was a little nervous, since I’d never prepared the sushi rice before.

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I followed some directions I found online and the rice came out perfect (despite the fact that while it was steaming, J came over and asked “what’s in here?” then proceeded to remove the lid from the pot instead of waiting for an answer :-P).

I made a bunch of different roles with combinations of veggies, salmon, and imitation crab. Some of our guests were trying sushi (and wasabi!) for the first time, but everyone– sushi novices and experts alike– seemed to enjoy it. So did I.

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And of course our lovely guests brought some nice things for us as well! One friend (who came for the “pre-party” we had so that our friends with small children could come see our place as well), brought us a gift bag with the basics, saying, “May you always have plenty of these things– bread, salt, and wine.”

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And we also got these from later guests:

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The blue elephant is a watering can, and he came along with a measuring tape (the couple that brought it said we could decide ourselves how to divide the items). Frankly, I’m surprised that nobody started mixing drinks in the elephant before the night was over. Then there’s a packet of küüslaugupipar, or garlic pepper, which came with the cookbook Poole tunni road, or 30-minute meals (just like Rachael Ray!*). The book has a lot of great simple recipes using everyday ingredients, so I’m sure I’ll be using it for some weeknight dinner inspiration.

Overall the party was a success. In my next post I plan on introducing you to the most important room in our new home– the kitchen, of course (although the sauna runs a close second…).

* I actually kind of like Rachael Ray. Please don’t judge me.

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