Finnish Ham from Savo
My husband and I have very different Christmas traditions because we come from opposite sides of the great Atlantic Pond. As should be wicked clear by now, I am from New England…. My husband, is from loosely five hours into the center of Finland from Helsinki. The Savo region, comes with it’s own strange accent that you come to recognize if you spend enough time talking to Finnish people from around the nation. Our cultural differences impact how we celebrate holidays. Down to the activities, when you do different holiday things…. And even what foods you eat.In my family, it was always turkey and an almost replay of thanksgiving. My husband learned about thanksgiving from a text book in school. The book called it, “kiitospaiva.” Which translates to thanks day, and no such holiday of a similar nature exists in Finland. Our thanksgiving and halloween, at one time for him weren’t things he celebrated, they were stories in strange american movies and books… He goes home every year to his parent’s place, they play board games, hang out, sauna a lot…. My mother in law, produces this amazing dinner on Christmas eve, a huge ham….. I am trying to get used to this new tradition…. Just as I am getting used to watching the Christmas Peace get declared, and opening presents after dinner rather than on Christmas day morning…. I watch him amused by all my Christmas music, and our strange Christmas movie obsession, and he tries to get used to my turkey.
We may not share Christmas traditions, but we are having a great time learning to honor each other’s. It causes a lot of growth. And as the year is coming to a close, I wanted to stop for a moment to think of family far from the farm. I will never forget my first Finnish Christmas, and that incredible ham.
From my mother in law’s kitchen in Savo Finland, to our Wildflower Farm Christmas Eve dinner table, to the blog…. And finally, to you…. A Christmas gift from Wildflower Farm.
Put ham in the oven at about 200-230 degrees. Cook ham till inner tempature is 165-175 about half hour to 45 mins per pound. At the end, cover it in mustard and bread crumbs put it back in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.
My husband spent all day baking his ham for dinner tonight…. I was starving by the time it was ready to eat. The smell…………. I don’t know how to describe it…. It was beautiful.
It has been a lovely, quiet, peaceful evening… The crackle of magic lays thick in the air… But it is soothing now, not exciting fading into the New England night…. Almost as if it never was…. And I could accept that, except the lingering smell of the ham and the warmth I feel, the little light inside that doesn’t switch off, it keeps the memory alive causing us to look forward to future holidays.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
Amanda of Wildflower Farm