Getting back into normal gear is proving pretty impossible. August in Madrid can be so nice. Nobody´s at work, and the ones who are are just want to stay quiet, and let the dogs sleep til September. And the weather is beautiful, balmy and breezy. We might almost be in Estonia.
J and I agree that this has been our best holiday ever. No contest. It was perfect.
The cottage we rented was even better than the description on the website. The garden was huge, the forest was lush, the wayside was peppered with wild raspberry, the sea right in front was full of swans lazily swimming about, and once a moose ambled out of the forest and over a field, right before our eyes.
Best of all, we´ve had the best times with Pille and Kristjan. I can´t think of anyone who could have shown us Estonia in such a beautiful light. We couldn´t have hoped for better hosts, more fun or more generous.
And of course, being food bloggers, perfectly happy to spend hours talking about food.
As soon as we arrived we had dinner at one of the best places in Tallinn, the famous Old Hansa restaurant in the old town. And that was great. But everything paled to insignificance before the next day, which I think was the perfect Saturday.
It started with Kristjan making a batch of pancakes, light and lacy and golden (J, take note). Later, we met his mother, Vaike, a wonderful lady with the brightest blue eyed and the springiest step I´ve ever seen. We were cautioned against trying to follow her during the mushroom and berry hunt, as there was little hope of us ever catching up. I agreed, wistfully. I can never keep up with anyone, ever, since I´m lazy and easily distracted by any passing insect.
Still and all, let me tell you that with some careful guidance from our hosts, we were able to keep our end up pretty well. I was the first to fill my basket. Sure, it was the smallest, but still, I´m very chuffed.
We found lots of stuff that those of you who follow Pille´s blog will already have seen. Also the goodies made with them. A scroll down her blog is best here, since I can´t do justice to the situation, plus, I have no photos.
I was too taken up with the excitement of it all. Here in Spain we have mushrooms, but in October and November. And no berries, ever, so that the idea of a forest sprouting little red edible beads seems too wonderful. K&P reckon picking a lemon from your backyard tree must beat everything, but I don´t agree. Maybe I´m blasé about citrus, but after all, you don´t hunt down lemons, so how can that be exciting?
Anyway, we came back tired but happy, with heaping baskets and buckets. I very sneakily left the prepping of the mushrooms to the rest, and after making a quick batch of gazpacho, retired to draw the day´s findings, helped by K in the identifying.
More friends came for dinner. We tried the three types of mushrooms, perfectly sauteed by Pille, couldn´t decide which was best, so came back for more and more, and then for a crowning touch, had a pudding consisting of cloudberries with squeaky cheese. An exotic and wonderful end to a wonderful day.
(Thanks so much, again, Pille and Kristjan. I hope we may show you as good a time here in Spain soon.)