Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mimi's cat

Eileen, yesterday, pieni kissa, a small cat, jumped on the roof of my car when I pulled up into the driveway. I had returned from my mom's and sister's, where I went to have a morning coffee, first having stopped at Harri Paakari, one of the Finnish bakeries in town, to pick up some of Harri's famous freshly made danishes and lemon leaves pastries.

First, the cat tried to get into my car. Me pois!, I shooed her away. Nonchalantly, she followed me to the front door and mewed loudly to be let in. "I'm not letting you in! Get out!" Nonchalantly, she plunked herself down on the doorstep. I squeezed in the door, using my leg to keep her out. Me pois kuule kissa! Get out you darn cat!

I think she is part of the clan of a million blue cats. At Least a Million Blue Cats. Ainakin Miljoona Sinistä Kissaa, another one of the old Finnish books I've found at rummage sales. This fantastic book by Kaarina Helakisa, published in 1978, has great illustrations, too. When I get back from having a sauna at Armi's today I am going to read the chapter "Seitsemän ovea ja seitsemän sinistä kisaa sekä vähän tähtitiedettä ja kynteliä ja kuminaa" ~ Seven doors and seven blue cats along with a bit of starlore and tears and some noisy clanging.


northshorewoman said...

"kynteliä" does not mean tears; that was my misreading, mistranslation, for I was thinking of "kyyneleitä." Kynteli is some kind of spice. But what exactly it is in English, I do not know. Anyone know?

In the story, Samuel Tuuli had to move stuff out of the kitchen, and empty the spice cupboard, and that was a big job. He read the names of the spice jars as he took them out: iisoppi, timjami, muskotti, meirami, kynteli ja kirveli, fenkoli ja basilika, rosmariini, salvia, kurkkuma ja kumina. From this list, I decipher only marjoram, fennel, basil, rosemary, sage and cumin.

Johanna said...

Talviterveisiä Kauhajoelta! :)

Kynteli is summer savory.

I had never even heard of 'iisoppi' before, but my trusted dictionary and Wikipedia both say it's hyssop. The rest that you didn't already guess are thyme (timjami), nutmeg (muskotti), chervil (kirveli) and tumeric (kurkuma).

northshorewoman said...

Hello Johanna! nice to find you again in cyberspace! thank you for helping me with this; my Finnish dictionary does not show such specifics as the names of spices. I am glad to find these names. I grow kynteli and timjami in my garden and didn't even know it! Muskotti, of course, I put always in my maustekakku, kirveli I'm not so much a fan of, but kurkuma I use a lot!
say hello to everyone, especially dear Aulikki....