Self-made owl toys & etymology of the Finnish word for aspic

Self-made owl toys & etymology of the Finnish word for aspic

Greetings from my “Polish adoptive family”, the family renting the flat in the ground floor of my house! I was doing these stern-looking paper owls with their 10 year old girl using her mum’s leftover nail polish and toilet paper roll cartons. Loved the creativity, a kid making some toys herself! The chicken-egg-vegetables aspic was the other thing to give me kicks. The first time I saw this kind of aspic dishes with vegetables was in supermarkets in Baltic countries, so for me it’s an Eastern European thing.

Lately, when travelling across Europe I read Julie Powell’s Julie&Julia so I know now that the English name for this interesting dish is “aspic”. Julie cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The point she reached the part about aspics the blog readers were suggesting she could perhaps just skip them.. I can totally underdatnd why. Personally I like this dish – not because of the taste (the gelatin is quite icky…) but because it looks funny. I also find it astonishing that somebody has the dedication to make food with so much effort, myself being more of the type “fling vegetables, some protein, some oil and some spices in a wok pan/ oven dish and let be for 40 minutes”.

I probably like aspics also because my late grandmother used to have in her fridge a piece of meat aspic that she would cut on her bread. I Finland we don’t really do aspics, the only one is this the meat aspic called “aladobi” (or as my grandma would have said: “alatoopi”).
I was always thinking the word “aladobi” comes from Swedish, as Finnish language doesn’t originally use the letter B and the letter D is also quite rare. I was right: the Swedish word is “aladåb” …. but what I didn’t know was that the Swedish word comes from French “à la daube”. Thank you once more, Wikipedia!

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