Taryn - Finland

Experience Schedule (menus below):
ONLINE: Sunday July 18 3:00pm-4:00pm (option to stay until 4:30pm)
10 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #2
$25.00 Sign up now
Friday Sept 18th, 5:30pm-7:00pm
20 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #2
$25.00 Sign up now
ONLINE: Sunday June 14th 3:00pm-4:00pm (option to stay until 4:30)
5 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #1
$25.00 Sign up now
Friday Oct 16, 5:30pm-7:00pm
20 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #1
$25.00 Sign up now
Sunday Oct 25 10am-11:30am
20 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #3
$25.00 Sign up now
Sunday Nov 29 10:00am-11:30am
20 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #3
$25.00 Sign up now
Saturday Nov 14 10:00am-11:30am
20 spots available
Taryn Online Experience #4
$25.00 Sign up now

Online experiences are 1.5 hours in duration with lots of time for questions and conversation. The online experiences are hosted on zoom.  If the dates don't fit your schedule, you are able to sign up and receive the recorded zoom the next day.  Please indicate in "notes" on your registration if you are signing up for the recorded zoom. 

Recipes:  recipes are sent to you along with your zoom event information the day before your online experience.  Ingredient lists are sent to you shortly after you register.

Technology:  connect with the host using zoom on your computer, mobile device or tablet.  If you have a tv in your kitchen try the screen mirroring feature on your device!

If you would prefer to book your culinary experience over the phone or would like to book a private group experience please email us at info@inmykitchen.ca  

Immersion experiences are a 4 hour experience in the Host's home.  Includes 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.

All experiences are informal, warm and welcoming.  IMK experiences are suitable for families.

Our online culinary experiences are moderated by In My Kitchen founder, Paula Mohammed.

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.

Taryn Online Experience #2

This menu is the epitome of my memories of summers with my Finnish Granny and Grandad at the lake, short of rye bread it is an example of a Finnish meal. My mom even recalls the time her and my Dad were visiting family in Helsinki in the 70’s and my Dad’s cousins served them many meals similar to this.

Kurkkusalaatti (quick pickle)

With the cucumbers and dill, Grandad would make a jar of what he called, quick pickle. It was a side that went with everything, even just a quick nibble in passing. A blend of vinegar, sugar and water poured over fresh dill and garden cucumbers, a refreshing tangy taste.

Tomaatti-sipulisalaatti (Tomato and Onion Salad)

The lakehouse garden is where I learned to love tomatoes, especially baby tomatoes fresh off the vine; they were sweeter, fuller in flavor and somehow the warm sunshine added it’s own unique flavor that store tomatoes just don’t have. This tomato salad highlights those bright lush garden tomatoes with a vinaigrette that perfectly balances out their sweetness.

Sinappi (hot mustard)

Every summer, without fail we would roast wieners or sausages over a fire at some point, whether it was in the fire pit in the garden or the inside fireplace (on rainy days). Grandad would pull out the tube of spicy mustard to go with the sausages. The mustard was sweet and smooth, thick but has a unique nasal burn, almost like wasabi. 

Makkara (Finnish sausage)

Makkara is a generic word for sausage in Finland. They are similar to bratwurst or polish sausage but are much lighter in flavor and have a different texture, some being much finer in texture and are often mostly pork. If they are spiced it is with allspice, nutmeg or some pepper. The best way to enjoy makkara is over a fire or on a charcoal grill and then topped off with sinappi. For this mini experience we will be doing things a bit differently, we will start by boiling the sausage to cook it through and then searing it off in a hot pan.

Taryn Online Experience #1

Lohikeitto (Salmon Soup) Kalakeitto (Fish Soup)

Traditional Finnish soup, it's a light spring soup, quick and simple, with chunks of potato and fish with a creamy broth finished with fresh dill (not heavy like a chowder).  The choice of fish is up to you, Taryn prefers salmon but trout or any white fish would work just fine.

Rieska

A traditional rye "flatbread", that's quick and easy. There are plenty of variations to change things up. Commonly eaten with butter, cheese and cured reindeer or an accompaniment to soup.

Taryn Online Experience #3

Ohukaiset (Finnish Pancakes) and Strawberry Compote

Ohukaiset goes by a variety of names and are traditionally a dessert. They are similar to crepes but much darker and have butter and sugar in them and are cooked in a plett pan. The goal when making ohukaiset is to get super lacey edges, but I prefer them thicker. They are commonly served with strawberry jam or compote, whipped cream or ice cream. My memory of these little pancakes is my Granny cooking dozens of these for my brothers and I at the lake. She would patiently cook 7- 3” pancakes at a time in a plett pan and create stacks and stacks of them, only for us to devour them in minutes.

I have paired the classic strawberry compote with the pancakes for this menu but I suggest getting into the Nordic spirit of local, in season produce or the tradition of foraging and pick some of your own local and in season berries instead. This might take a bit more time but I promise you’ll reap rewards in satisfaction and taste.

Taryn Online Experience #4

Joulutorttu 

Joulutorttu is a wintertime classic for me. These cookies would start showing up nestled between the pulla and spice cookies on the dessert plate at family dinners from mid-November onward. These little star shaped cookies are often made with a puff pastry type of dough, filled with a plum jam and served with Christmas dinner; slightly sweet and best served warm, they are very "moorish" in their own way.

To go with these cookies we will have a glass of glögi. This beverage is a spiced or mulled wine served with a few almonds and raisins at the bottom of the glass, and if you¹re a part of my family, an extra shot of vodka thrown in your cup before the first sip.  

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.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1954/9303/files/Taryn.jpeg?v=1589918950
Taryn
Finland
“The kitchen to me is not just a place of tradition and story, but as a place of fun, exploration, family and connection.”
ct-Finnish