The first time I made simit, I mixed water and yeast and watched the mixture start bubbling as the yeast was doing its work during the first ten minutes. It was amazing, so beautiful. That was the moment I fell in love with baking…
When I came to Helsinki in 2010, I was a product designer with quite a few years of experience in the field. Even though I liked to cook and bake every now and then, I was anything but lousy in the kitchen.
I remember one summer day a few years ago, while I was still living in Istanbul. My mother was visiting me that month and for that night only my youngest brother was visiting me too. My mother and brother had left for a little walk by the Bosphorus coast, and I wanted to surprise them with a freshly baked cake waiting, with nicely brewed tea – in my family, the five o’clock was the time for tea time with always something to eat. I checked a few recipes on the internet, and found an easy one that I could bake with the ingredients I had home. In the recipe, there was 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of sugar. I noted down on the paper as completely opposite – 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 cup of SALT. Well, people can make mistakes, right? And yet, as I was preparing the batter, I did exactly what I noted and I did not even question the measurements.. When my mother and brother returned back home, the cake was still in the oven. I opened the door and said to them: I am baking a cake for us! The cheering of the two was very short with my mother’s quick remark: “It smells a bit salty in here.” I froze, looking right into her eye, and realized the unfortunate mistake… The lovely afternoon tea was accompanied by biscuits my brother bought from the market right after this realization…
But, people change. Apparently their skills can change too. In my first year in Helsinki, in a summer day again, I prepared Turkish Sunday Brunch for about 20 friends coming from different countries. The day before was a whole day cooking – which is something I am used to now, but at that time it was strange for me. My sous chef was my boyfriend at that time. The next day’s brunch was a big success – people loved my food!
So I started to cook and bake more and more. Before I knew, I was famous among friends as Asli the baker girl! Then a few of them encouraged me to start a blog. For a while it was just a hobby for me, until that day I baked my first simit.. I even wrote my Master’s Thesis on this!
Today, I am happiest when I bake. I cannot think of a life without baking — and cooking, yes, but mostly baking. I love learning the science behind it, I love that you have to have exact measurements and I love watching the change from my oven’s window. Even if it is a really hot summer day, and yes, it can be quite hot in Helsinki too, I feel perfectly fine baking bread for hours in my apartment, in a 220 degrees oven.
This blog is about my experiences in the kitchen and my recipes, as well as my culinary trips, food related interviews with the most inspirational women in my life, food related events…. my long journey in the world of food – and as I am still at the beginning of this journey, I feel like my life is just starting – I finally found the meaning of my life and I finally got to know who I am…
Welcome to my journey!
Dear, my dear kitchen in helsinki your blog is wonderful and your recipes and photos are great! I am nominating you for the Liebster Award, you can click on the link for more information: http://finallygettingtogether.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/liebster-award/
Congrats! And keep on blogging:)
I am so glad to have found you. I was watching a documentary on TV, something about cities by the sea and it was on Helskini. And I realized that I knew NOTHING of what people eat in Finnland. I mean really nothing, I couldn’t even picture it, like you can with some general areas. So I started to do some research and that’s how I found you! I look forward to following your progress.
Wow i am so happy that you found me like that! :) I will try to add more Finnish recipes soon, learning traditional Finnish recipes from people living in various regions. Hope you try those recipes and write to me about them :)
I am fond of Turkish food too though! Actually anything from around the Mediterranean!
I look forward to following you!!!
Thank you! Hope you enjoy the recipes!
Thank you, Asli, for lovely catering and hosting for our development day event at Hietsun pavlijonki yesterday! We also enjoyed the cookies on the way home.
You’re welcome! It was lovely to have you in Hietsun Paviljonki! Hope to see you again!
I love Nepalese foods. Please present Nepalese recipes too. My best Nepalese restaurant is Ravintola Nepal, Kivenlahdenkatu 1, 02320 Espoo.
Hei, I don’t know much about Nepalese cuisine – i am not a very big fan of it. But I might try some recipes from it in the future! Cheers!
Hi Asli! I’m so happy that I just discovered your blog (through Ellen’s beautiful themes actually): it is gorgeous and mouth-watering! I also like food and cooking/baking a lot and I’m also expatriated in Scandinavia – Copenhagen more precisely. I read the whole story up here, and I found it incredibly funny and touching! I was almost about to scream “No! That’s salt!” as soon as I read it. :-D So, go on with your great blog. Cheers!
Hi Véronique!! Lovely comment, thank you! I’m so happy you liked my blog – and the story behind it – so much!! And Copenhagen, ahh, lovely city! I’m actually planning to visit it this autumn! Cheers from Helsinki!
Great! Feel free to contact me if you need any tips about Copenhagen. ;-) Cheers!
Hello Asli! It’s nice finding recipes from Finland around your blog. I was there and also got friends there. I remember they often cooked Macaroni Lada -do not know if its well written-, which they mentioned was a typical recipe from South Finland, especially Swedish families. Maybe it’s a very common dish, but it tastes really good and I usually cook it here in Argentina, saying it’s a Finnish recipe. Cheers from Buenos Aires!
Hi Roberto! Lovely to hear from Buenos Aires! I don’t know that dish you mentioned, I should check it! Cheers from a very cold and rainy Helsinki!! :)
Hi again Roberto! I wanted to find that dish, but I wasn’t able to. Could it be “Makaroni Laatikko”? Is it a baked dish? Cheers!
Hi Asli, that’s right. In Finland, the dish is called makaronilaatikko (Finnish) or makaronilåda (Fenno-Swedish). The dish is made of macaroni and minced meat, eggs, milk and spices. Then it is baked in the oven with chesse. May be it’s a Swedish-Finnish dish. Will you try! It’s delocious!
Ok, i don’t remember eating it, but i will try to cook it! Cheers!
I really enjoyed to read this. Much have changed from those first cake experiments :) Wish you wonderful moments in your kitchen :)
Thank you! Yes, i’m constantly learning more and improving myself – and i hope with this blog i’m inspiring others like me too! I wish you sweet moments of cooking too! ^^
Hi Asli, I love your stories! The way you weave together food with culture, place, history and personality is so wonderful. I’m very glad to have found your blog :-)
This is so great to hear! I love stories, and especially when they are around food, they are priceless! Cheers from Helsinki!
Love your posts! I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award. It’s totally optional if you want to accept.
Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award February 2017 | onceuponmyworld
Thank you for dropping by my blog.
Cheers from Helsinki!
Ein schöner Blog, wie wir auch viele Bildder bis die Gerichte fertig sind. das gefällt mir gut. vielleicht kannst du auf deiner seite ein Widget “Übersetzungs Programm einrichten, dann ist alles perfekt. Ich werde auf deine Seite wieder besuchen und dann werden wir sicher etwas nachkochen
Thank you for the comment! Cheers!
Hi, Came across your blog today. You are such a wonderful writer and can’t wait to try some of your recipe’s, would also like to follow you.
Hei! Thanks a lot and it’s lovely to hear your thoughts about my writing! Cheers from Helsinki!
I found your blog by accident today looking for a specific recipe! You are a WONDER. I went through so many of your blog posts and recipes and I could feel your authenticity through your words. I am a fellow blogger and writer currently living in Estonia and studying. I love when I come across genuine people sharing good vibes to others whether it be through words or recipes. There are so many bloggers and writers on the internet, but you are a gem. Keep doing you, please. :)
Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment!! I think I blushed reading it hihih. Hugs to Estonia!!
Pingback: A recipe from Helsinki | The Petwood Hotel Blog
Pingback: A recipe from Helsinki – and more besides | Peter Dewrance
Just happened to have stumbled upon your blog! It is such a wonderful space…happy blogging:))
Thank you! Lovely to hear that! Enjoy!