The Dog on the Tuckerbox

Guess what I’m up to this weekend?

Okay, I’ll let you off the hook, you don’t have to guess. I’m hosting a restaurant! Last year I wrote about the first time I attended Ravintola Päivä (Restaurant Day) and I closed the post by expressing a vague desire to maybe have my own restaurant for a day.

Fast forward 12 months and here we are… on the verge of being restauranteurs for a day.

Perry posing for Restaurant Day

Perry posing for Restaurant Day

Here are some of the more important details:

  • The name of the restaurant is The Dog on the Tuckerbox.
  • This name is borrowed from a famous Australian landmark situated on the Hume Highway, just north of Gundagai in NSW.
  • The theme is Australian and dog friendly.
  • The menu includes some yummy treats for our four-legged friends and some Australian classics for the two-legged types.
  • I’ll be flying the Aussie flag and playing Aussie music – a little old, a little new, something for everyone.
  • You can find me in the Rajasaari dog-park 🙂
  • Here is the official invite on Facebook!
  • Here is the link to the official Restaurant Day page.
  • Mr. 13 is unhappily helping out for the day.
  • Perry will be with us of course, and will have the best four hours of dog fun he has ever had!

Is there anything I’ve forgotten? Probably. I already have a long list that I keep tweaking. I’m sure I’ll miss something. Anyway, it’s a learning experience.

Possibly I’ll blog from the restaurant if things are not so busy. More likely, I’ll wait until I get home. Either way there will be a follow-up!

PS. Is that not the best looking dog you’ve ever seen (excluding your own of course!)?

We are hunting lions!

The 2012 IIHF World Championships start today and continue until May 20th. I must confess I’m not a big ice hockey fan. Let’s take that one step further, I’m not a big sports fan! Anyway, I do feel it is a little wrong when I live in a country where I’m sure children can skate before they walk, as well as enjoying ice-skating as a school sport. Ice rinks pop up all over the country at the first hint of chilly weather and the fences don’t come down again until it is well and truly spring.

2011 was the year that Finland won the world cup after many years of being in so close. 2012 we get to host the world championships in conjunction with Sweden. Now because I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about ice hockey I’m going to direct you to the IIHF page and you can read all about the upcoming championships there.

One of the stars of last years team was a young man by the name of Mikael Granlund, believe it or not, I know his name without resorting to running Google search! He leapt to fame after ‘shooting’ this amazing goal. To make matters sweeter it was against Russia.

Fast forward to this years Championships.  Every time there is a major sporting even that both Finland and Australia are competing in I have this terrible conflict. Which country to I put my heart and soul behind? Formula 1 is the most difficult: on one hand we have the rugged Mark Webber representing Australia and then there is the taciturn, yet looking like a ‘little boy lost’ Kimi Räikkönen,  back flying the flag for Finland after dabbling in rally. Oh, the conflict!

It doesn’t appear that Australia is fielding a team in the championships this year, they lost to Romania. Due to the large amount of advertising everywhere in the last few weeks Lion-fever is building, even for this confirmed non-hockey fan. Here is this years championship logo and mascot, courtesy of Leijonat.fi.

If the bird seems familiar, it’s because you’ve been playing Angry Birds too much! Yes ‘HockeyBird’ has escaped from the Rovio nest. Here is some background information if you are interested.

On a final note, because I have to put in some music here is an advertisement being run by one of the local cable channels. High on patriotic fervour I would say!

Onnea Leijonat! Good luck Lions!

Potato cooking… again!

My iPod is always on shuffle and these last couple of weeks I’ve been getting plenty of 80’s tunes popping up. Mr. 12 hates it because I am much more likely to start singing (or wailing!). Anyway, Monday was Mayday Eve and while I was preparing potato salad, this came along. Talking Heads on that Road to Nowhere.

Mayday has its own word in Finnish: Vappu and a great many traditions also. Earlier it was a day of celebration for workers and in more recent times, students have turned it into a day of revelry. Actually, the most action seems to take place on the eve of Mayday, when statues around Finland are ‘crowned’ with white cap that students receive once they have successfully matriculated. If you are game, do a Google picture search using key words Vappu and Helsinki!

There are some dishes that are also traditionally served at this time: sima, which is an home-brewed soft drink, similar to ginger beer, very low in alcohol so children are able to partake also. The first year I brewed sima I was a little heavy with the yeast and we had exploding sima! One year I made munkki also, and although they looked and tasted great, the house smelt like deep-fried food for days afterwards. Once was enough to prove that I could do it. Potato salad and nakki (frankfurters) are also traditional Mayday fare.

My potato salad comes from this fantastic book, based on the TV show of the same name. (In English it’s called Surfing the Menu, by Ben O’Donoghue and Curtis Stone.) If it comes to a small screen near you, take the opportunity to watch an episode or two. Good looking chefs, great scenery and yummy food, what more do you need?

Surfing The Menu (in Finnish)

I’ve been making this salad for three years now. It’s especially good if you don’t enjoy mayonnaise based potato salad. The finished product looked like this:

Potato Salad

We bent the rules a little and had some bubbles (from Tasmania) to go along with our dinner:

Jansz Sparkling