Taryn - Finland (for mobile viewing, view in landscape)

Experience Schedule (menus below)

Private online experiences:

A great way to connect with family who live far away, and during this time when we cannot gather in person.   A fun way to spend time with friends, and a great team building activity for companies, schools, parent groups and clubs.  Any group!

Online experiences:

All online culinary adventures include interactive cooking instruction, a pdf packet with our host's family recipes and a video recording of the experience.  Culinary adventures are 1.5 hours in duration, and are co-hosted with In My Kitchen founder Paula Mohammed, on zoom.   Our online culinary adventures require a minimum of 4 registrants to ensure they go ahead as scheduled.

Here’s how it works:

After registration you’ll receive an email with your shopping list and equipment list.  A day before your experience you will receive your zoom link and recipe packet.

At the scheduled time of your culinary adventure, you’ll click on the Zoom link and join your session live! Afterwards, you will receive a link to a video recording of your experience that you can revisit at your leisure.

In My Kitchen Delivery (coming soon):

Have your ingredients delivered the day of your your online culinary adventure.  Ingredients will be "mise en place"; measured out and ready to go.  Included in your In My Kitchen box will be some select favourite ingredients from our hosts. This makes a great gift idea, team building event or your own private event with your friends and family.  For more info email:info@inmykitchen.ca

Immersion experiences:

All Immersion experiences  include a light snack upon arrival, approximately 2.5 hours of "in the kitchen" time, learning the recipes and participating in making the dishes, a full dinner shared together, and a booklet of recipes and in-depth culinary info. Not available during COVID-19

Cooking with Taryn 

When you cook with Taryn, you will be swept up by her passion for her family history and knowledge.   Watching Taryn cook, and listening to her stories allows you to imagine you are staying at her Grandparents cottage on the lake, stepping out of the sauna and about to have a fresh buttered Rieska hot out of the oven.

Get to know Taryn:

Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your family?

My dad’s side of the family is from Finland. The family lineage on that side stays in Finland for as long as I know. My granny was an only child to a cook and my grandad was the youngest child in a family of 3 kids, his father was a carpenter Both grandparents were born in the 1922’s. Finland had been under Swedish rule for quite some time and later Russian rule, only gaining independence around 1900. It was quite a poor country with an infant death around 1 in 10 in the 1930’s. Since about the 1960’s the quality of life has drastically improved. After the war the grandparents still feared a Russian invasion and wanted a better quality of life for their young family. They immigrated to Canada with my dad and aunt in the 50’s.

Wherever they lived they had a garden….my grandad loved to garden! They “left” much of their culture as assimilation was standard practice, but as I have learned, there is a lot of cultural behaviors you can’t leave behind. They are stoic and hard working, determined, and quiet, a sense of dedication.  This all said my Granny still mostly cooked traditional recipes, sadly she passed away before I realized how precious this knowledge was. So with the help of my dad, my aunt and many cookbooks I have been able to get a grasp of the recipes, culture, what their life was like in Finland and most importantly learn more about all the weird yet normal food I grew up with.

The one thing that was passively passed on, something very innately Finnish was the way and being, something that can be summed up as Sisu. This grit  has not only been my biggest blessing but also my biggest curse.

My mom grew up in East Vancouver.  Her dad, of German descent, came from Alberta and her mom, from Winnipeg.  I credit my mom with my resourceful cooking. My Grandfather on my Mom's side;  his family is who wagon trained from Brazil. I wish I could say we have special recipes from that side of the family, but most of it turned into standard Canadian farmhouse cooking when they settled and when my mom was little, they just made do.   I think if it weren’t for the way my mom was raised, her mom being involved and getting the girls in the kitchen, I wouldn’t love cooking the way I do.

When and how did you develop a love for cooking?

My mom has always loved to cook and she and her sisters always cooked from a very young age, so kids in the kitchen weren't weird to her. She was also a primary teacher so wrangling kids and getting messy was sort of her thing. She got us involved in the kitchen from such a young age. 

At a certain point we were expected to cook dinner for the family a few times a month. My eldest brother and I would often make dinner or bake cookies together. It was just part of our life.  My relationship with the practice of cooking and the type of gatherings (Sunday dinners with grandparents, family picnics, birthdays, family reunions and dinners) that cooking created were always positive.

The kitchen to me is not just a place of tradition and story, but as a place of fun, exploration, family and connection.

What makes Finnish cuisine special?

The main staples of Finnish food are: dill, rye, fish, milk and butter, coffee, berries, mushrooms, white pepper and cardamom. I think as a whole it’s understated and simple but in the best way. The focus is on the ingredients/food, plain and simple so if you aren’t using in season product or have poor cooking techniques the meal is just not going to be as good. Culturally there is an eat seasonal mentality and Finns are encouraged to pick local berries and mushrooms and many have their own gardens. At the end of the day I think simple, clean and understated best describes Finnish cuisine.

“The kitchen to me is not just a place of tradition and story, but as a place of fun, exploration, family and connection.”