Tiia was taking my picture, posing in front of my camera and hiding behind the steps...she had a lot of energy!
Tiia's grandmother cooked Joulutortu, which was a special pastry for Christmas in Finland. The filling was sweet-sour paste like prune jam or plum jam and it was really delicious. I heard that originally it was star-shaped pastry, which had the image of the star on the top of the Christmas tree.
We ate some Joulutortu after lunch and we stayed upstairs for a while. When we went back to the kitchen, to our surprise, the rest of pasties had gone! There was an empty plate on the table.... I didn't know who ate our special pasties at first. But either of these dogs could be the thief!
right: When I look back now, I think the dogs were staring intently at her cooking the pastries....
This was the way to cook baked potatos in the stove. That was all you need to just wait!
Potatos baked in the stove weren't oily at all. It went with makkara(sausage) and Finnish beer. My host father loved beer so we drank beer with dinner every night. I hope one day to have a drinking game with him!
My host mother loved stone painting and lots of small painted stones were decorated. She told me that she was always looking for good shaped stones. They were really interesting and unique works.
By the way, I heard of an interesting story from her. She had lost her cell-phone in the forest and her father found it later. Though her cell-phone had been covered with snow for a few days, it was no problem at all. She said, "My cell-phone is Nokia's mobile phone. It is strong enough for the water and terrible cold. Why don't you use Nokia's phone! If you lost your phone in a snow covered forest, it probably wouldn't break down!" It was interesting advice...but most Japanese don't have a chance to lose their phone in a snow covered forest.