Thursday, November 18, 2010

Father's Day in Finland, 2010

While this photo doesn't show you their faces, perhaps you can see from Brooke's body language that she's laughing. This is a shot I took of them in October when we were in Stockholm, Sweden. Bryan and the girls were laughing, laughing, which is something they often do together and is one of the reasons I know my girls are lucky to have him as their dad.

Father's Day is Isänpäivä in Finland and has been celebrated on the second Sunday in November since the 1950's. We followed the Finnish timing of this holiday this year, and I'm a fan of the fall date for two reasons:
  1. it has it's own space on the calendar, more removed from Mother's Day than it is the U.S.
  2. it is celebrated during the school year, which means that as with Mother's Day, younger students often make cards and even gifts for their father at school, w.
We started the day with Bryan's requested egg, cheese and ham breakfast casserolle and then had a slow morning and early afternoon, complete with naps and a sauna for Bryan.
Bryan's Father's Day gifts included chocolate, a wooden pen made in Finland, the chance for Brooke to be his servant for the day and a nice towel that everyone else in the family promises not to use (Bryan often has trouble finding a towel when he needs one - now he has one just for himself).

After lunch, I made these pastries that are common at this time of year and are referred to as a type of Christmas pastry:

Made with store-bought pastry, they are simply squares that are shaped into star shapes with jam in the middle. I used a store-bought raspberry jam and a lovely sea buckthorn (tyrrni in Finnish) jam made by our Finnish exchange student's mom, Eija Korpi.

Baked at 175 degrees Celsius, they puff up and are quite delicious. I forgot the egg wash, which would have made them browner and shinier.

We took the finished pastries to the home of one of Bryan's co-workers. Mike is an ex-pat originally from Tennessee who has three kids here in Tampere and seems to love Finland. It was fun to be with another father on Father's Day, and the kids got to watch cartoons for hours while the adults drank coffee and talked. It was a nice day and hopefully a good Father's Day for Bryan.

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