Nyytikestit. What a word. All those letters to say pot luck!
When we arrived in Finland in December of last year (ALMOST A YEAR AGO!) and met a bunch of people on New Year's Eve through my former uni housemate in London who is Finnish and moved back to Helsinki (are you keeping up?), we said we needed to have a pot luck at our place real soon. Yeah, yeah! We'll definitely do it!
Ten months ticked by, and still nothing was planned. To be fair, we had a big year for everyone- house purchases, weddings, new jobs, lost jobs, travelling...it was hard to coordinate a bunch of busy couples and it sort of was forgotten (yet still mentioned every time we got together in between, eye dart). Something had to be done, so last month I sent out an invite to everyone and almost immediately got a resounding "YES!" from everyone.
Hm. That was easy!
On Saturday we had everyone round for our first-ever nyytikestit in Finland and it was awesome. So much food, so much laughter, and yes, even dancing. So much dancing. I bought a mini disco light online to surprise everyone with and it turned the flat into a nightclub. People were pulling shapes all night, much loosened-up by the kick-ass punch I brewed from a (British, of course) recipe I found from 1835. Seriously, if you've never had a Garrick Club Punch before, you are missing out. It's gin-based (my favourite alcohol, which makes me sound like a mean old man) and lemony and sweet and just goes down like gangbusters. The only problem is that after everyone arrived and we got stuck into the food and bevvies, taking photos sort of fell by the wayside. I managed to snap some of the food (including my Union Jack fish pie, which was inhaled after some light ribbing about how it should have been a Finnish flag on top now) and some shaky iPhone videos of dancing (from which I'll spare you) but I think everyone had a blast. And judging by the "two little surprises" we found on the pavement outside the next morning while taking the rubbish out, I think we all drank a little too much! Sorry neighbours. Cough.
After that charming image, behold the food! I made spinach-mushroom-ricotta parcels with roasted bell pepper and garlic dip. I also toasted some rye bread and whipped up a Philly/basil/tomato/whatever-else-I-found-in-the-kitchen dip as well as some kale chips too for snacky bites. The main course was the fish pie. Then I also busted out an old classic for afters- the Portugese tarts. Yum. Yum. Yum. The chums brought so many sweets- fresh cookies, cinnamon buns (still hot and squishy- DYING HERE), some splendid goat cheese and leek tarts, a seared salmon salad with rocket and citrus sauce, and some spicy little cabbage wraps with turkey meat inside that added some kick to the choices. I now understand why the word nyytikestit has so many letters...they really go all out, and there needs to be a suitably-long word to match it. At least that's what I think.