Thursday, May 01, 2008

For First of May

This day has all sorts of meanings, but one of them has to do with the celebration of spring. The traditional drink in Finland on this day is "sima", a kind of mead. Sadly, it needs several days to bubble, so you can't make it for today. But I'm going to give you the child-safe recipe for next year:


8 liters water
1/2 kg brown sugar
1/2 kg white sugar
4 lemons
1/4 tsp fresh yeast or equivalent dried yeast
optional but traditional:

What to do:

Boil part of the water and pour on the sugars. If you like a darker color drink, use all brown sugar (one kilo).

Add the rest of the water and the juice from the lemons. (Real recipes chop up the lemons, peels and all and add it all, but juice is fine, too). When the mixture is hand-warm, add the yeast. Let stand for one day in room temperature, covered.

Bottle the following morning. Add one teaspoon of sugar and a few raisins in each glass bottle. Cover (but not too tightly as the bottles will explode over time if you do.) Let stand for seven days in a cool place or three days in room temperature. Consume within a week.

You can make this quite alcoholic but I'm not giving that recipe.

The traditional accompaniment is a kind of a doughnut, made by letting the batter drip into the hot fat so that it creates something which looks like a big knot of threads. You dust the knots with icing sugar.

They are both quite nice. After eating them you can go out to watch the communists march in some countries. Or to watch the students celebrate spring in many countries. Of course, here in the United States this day has been declared A National Prayer Day. Probably to keep the communists away.

Note how very masculine and militaristic that National Prayer Day site is. For instance, this picture is from the site: