Joulupukki is the Finnish Santa Claus. The name literally translates into “Yule Goat” :-). Strictly speaking, I don’t think I got any gifts from “Santa Claus” this year– we were, after all, six adults having Christmas together. But I still got some wonderful stuff.
Considering how well-stocked my kitchen was after last Christmas, plus the fact that during the year we acquired a few more new kitchen tools (including a springform pan and an old mandoline of J’s that I’m still too terrified to use), I really didn’t even ask for anything for Christmas. J still came up with some very lovely gifts for me, my favorite being the Jamie Oliver cookbook “Jamie’s America”.
This is a big, beautiful hardcover book, filled with stunning photos and text written the same way Jamie talks– casual, straightforward, kinda goofy. The book was born of his travels to different regions of America, where he learned about America’s “real food”– not the fast food we seem to be so notorious for these days– and created recipes, some authentic and some with his own touches added. I’ve already made two recipes from the book and have about 50 bookmarked to make in the future. For the most part, I think I’ll be able to find all the required ingredients in Estonia.
J presented the book to me wrapped up with a box of candy canes, which of course led me to ask “Where did you get these??” Apparently this year the Stockmann chain in Finland carried them– what an American Christmas treat.
I also received the book “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg of the blog Orangette. It’s a memoir with recipes, and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it (plus I love her blog). As I just finished the Bill Bryson book I was working on, I think I’ll start reading it today. The rest of my food-related gifts were of the chocolate variety, about which I am not complaining one bit :-). And in the gift-giving department, J and his family truly seemed to enjoy the Starbucks coffee and Fortnum & Mason fruitcake I had picked up for them in London (which, I might add, we did not eat until several days after the Christmas feasting was over!).