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Posts Tagged ‘juusto’

Today I decided to have breakfast in bed.  It is not that I am particularly lazy or consider myself the Queen Bee or anything, (admittedly, I am a little bit of both),  but the morning view from my bedroom of a bright pink flowering crabapple  tree against a backdrop of blue sky and green grass is what drew me back in. That, and fact that the mornings are just a little bit too chilly to be dining outside. “Dining” is not exactly the term that I would use for my simple country breakfast of coffee and juusto.  Juusto, also known as  juustoleipa is a warm Finnish cheese, but when I was growing up in my strongly Scandinavian household, we called it “squeaky cheese”, for the way it squeaked against our teeth when we chewed.  Made from cow, goat, sheep or  even reindeer milk if you happen to own a reindeer,  juusto  is a fairly easy cheese to make, so they say.  It keeps well, and Finnish Farm Women in the old days would even dry it to store in their larders to eat when fresh milk wasn’t available for cheesemaking. (I hope they didn’t store it next to their dried stinky lutefisk.) It is traditionally served with coffee, bread, and jam, and to me, tastes like a buttery grilled cheese sandwich without the bread.  I remember my mother making it only once or twice, and since I recently discovered it in the grocery store, I haven’t bothered with trying it myself, so I won’t infringe on any copyright laws by sharing a recipe that is not my own. There are plenty of recipes available on the internet, if you are so inclined.  I usually warm mine in a pan or on the grill, but the package even gives microwave instructions. (My Finnish Farm Woman ancestors, who even warmed theirs by putting it in a cup and pouring hot coffee over it, are probably rolling over in their graves right about now.)  Barney the Chihuahua was hoping for a bite and was following closely behind me with every step I took, but then again, he would follow closely behind me if I was preparing warmed-over  Finnish shoe leather for breakfast.  I have served juusto as an appetiser, with coffee (on the side,  not in the cup),  or diced in a salad with mixed greens and vinaigrette dressing,  but my favorite way to eat it is just the way I did this morning:  Warmed in a pan and eaten while in bed on a Sunday morning, with the beautiful flowers of late spring right outside the windows,  a cup of coffee and a cute but begging little dog within my reach. I would like to think that my Finnish Farm Woman ancestors would be proud that I am keeping with tradition. Maybe not, though…by this time of the morning, they would have already milked the reindeer, stoked the kitchen fire, gathered the eggs, and scrubbed the
kitchen floor. Never, ever would they have crawled back into the bed unless they were either in active labor during childbirth or dying, but they most certainly would have  had the  limppu bread baked for the company that was sure to come for either.  I like to think that I am making new traditions, however,  so right now I’m going to go and pour myself another cup of coffee before I crawl back into bed.

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