On '5. veebruar', also known as 'hundi/kuu', wolf month, (Estonia's rahvus/loom, national animal), the Estonian Weather Service's 'lume/kaart' (snow map) showed Tallinn as having 34 cm on the ground. This never happens in one huge (s)torm à la nor'easters in Eastern Canada, but has accumulated steadfastly as 'mere/efekti' (sea effect) snow over the course of many weeks of sub-zero weather, set to continue. It's the same as 'Suur' järvistu (Great Lakes) lake-effect snow and is nature's gift to kids and winter sports lovers of all ages in an otherwise compromised time. Photo: Ülle Mesikäpp (2021)
Friday, 12 February 2021 19:00
Estonian Life No. 6 2021 - Riina Kindlam
"Laud on kaetud!
" writes jewellery artist Ülle Mesikäpp from her home in the Tallinn suburb of Nõmme. Katma lauda
= to set the table in preparation for a meal and when the laud
, you're welcome to take a seat (asuma lauda, võtma istet
is also simply to cover. This table is covered. In snow. And set. (Ready, set, go! = Tähelepanu, valmis olla, läks!
) The artist continues: "Kui puudu jääb, saab puu/otsast lisa!
" If there's not enough, help yourself to more off the tree! "Eelmise talve sadamata jäänud lumi tuli ka maha!
" Last year's "unfallen" snow has also now fallen. Eesti has not seen a lot of snow in recent winters, but last talv
(winter) was exceptionally, excrutiatingly lume/vaene
("snow poor"), practically flakeless. This year, ALL of Eesti is snow-covered and is being blessed with the extended külma/kraadid
(cold temperatures) to enjoy it.
So, mida pakutakse
(what's being offered), if the table is ready and set? A laste/aia/laps
(kindergarden kid) might offer a heavily garnished lume/tort
(ice torte) frozen in a bucket and full of suspended beauty, while someone with a little more expertise in the köök
(kitchen) might find lume/palli/supp
("snowball soup") especially fitting. What has been made from milk and eggs in Eesti, and is very widely known and enjoyed throughout Europe, is the classic French dessert they call oeufs à la neige
(snow eggs) – pillowy, airy poached meringues (pošeeritud beseed
) in a custard. Prantslased
(the French) also call it île flottante
(floating island), while Estonians plural it up as ujuvad saared
A true bath of crème anglaise
(English custard) includes double cream, which down-to-earth eestlased tend to skip, but vanilli/suhkur
, if not ekstrakt
, adds a lot. A bird feeder is a linnu/söögi/maja
("bird feeding house") or linnu/söögi/LAUD
(table), where ise/teenindus
self-serve is the name of the game, as is the case with a külm/laud
("cold table" of traditional Estonian savoury foods) and Rootsi laud
("Swedish table", i.e. a buffet). Linnud
would really appreciate if their laud
right now as well. Watch Estonian birds enjoying lunch otse
(live) via the bird camera at: www.looduskalender.ee > tali/linnu/kaamera
. Be sure to also see what's happening on the hülge
(seal) beach on Saaremaa island's western coast via the hall/hüljeste seire/kaamera
(grey seal monitoring camera) on the same page. If you're lucky, you can catch a peek of newborn seal pups nursing and a good amount of rolling and playing.
People often wish each other kuhjaga õnne
– heaps of luck. Kuhjaga õnne
= kuhjaga lund
. The bigger the mounds of snow, the more, the merrier.
Riina Kindlam, Tallinn