Monday, June 25, 2007
Jaaniõhtu 2007 - St John's Night 2007
The shortest night of 2007 is behind us, and I'm pleased to say I had a lovely time in Lalli village in Raplamaa. Before the night's festivities began, I found my first porcini mushroom of the year (above) - an early brown birch bolete (Leccinum scabrum, Birkenpilz) and between the two of us managed to pick a good kilogram of wild strawberries in just over an hour. Wild strawberries vol. 2007 deserve a separate post of their own, so click here to read :)
After visiting my uncle in Paluküla and one of my first cousins in nearby Kädva, we returned to Lalli just in time for the traditional village bonfire celebrating the shortest night of the year, The bonfire was held on their traditional bonfire site - Sonni hill. Not the most dramatic location, but extremely peaceful and beautiful nevertheless. The party began around 9pm, and there were 14 people in total, aged 9 to 90, with couple of dogs to boot. Here's a picture taken from the bonfire site from 9.30 pm, and it's still rather light:
And almost the same view half an hour before midnight:
Dark, but still not too bad, is it? As we walked home across those fields around 1am, without any flashlights, and I was giggling when I saw my sneakers in the dark. Althought summer nights in Scotland are light compared to the ones in Southern Europe, I had still forgotten how much lighter they are at home in Estonia..
There was some singing, and lots of chatting and catching up. And of course there was lots of food. I had made a selection of small sandwiches to take along: small rye bread squares with garlicky cheese filling, classic sandwich triangles with egg & cress mayo, and some with tuna & tomato filling. Additionally, I brought along two types of muffins, adapting my recipe for moist rhubarb muffins to make pear & ginger muffins and apple & cranberry muffins. From the market, we picked up some day-old salted cucumbers and a huge Italian watermelon, and other people had brought along lots of different sausages for roasting over the flames. Our 'BBQ' was one of the very rustic ones:
You see the two sticks on the right, with chunks of meat stuck on them? Well, that's my improvised rosemary-lemon-honey lamb, which seemed to be much more popular than the various sausages, I'm pleased to report :)
And here's what's left of the big fire at 1 am, just before we left..
BLAST FROM THE PAST: A year ago I spent St John's Night on Santorini, in Greece, where my friends Annemieke and Georgios got hitched. You can read about breakfasts with fabulous views here and dining on Santorini here. Two years ago I was hosting my parents, sister and older nephew in Edinburgh, as they had flown over for my graduation ceremony.