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Let‘s learn about each other’s food culture! is a project initiative of Marjala school from Joensuu, Finland with an intention to invite other European primary schools to participate. In this project homes are also involved. During the weekends travelling mascot characters are visiting students homes and attend to making food and baking together in the families. The mascots will also be present in the school lunch situations.

Marjala school is a primary school with grades 1-6.  In this project they work with classes from the 2nd and 3rd grades.

1. FIRST GREETINGS 

13.10.2023 Hello and greetings from Finland! 

We are a lively and cheerful group of second graders from Finland. Our hometown, Joensuu, is in Eastern Finland. We love our clean nature and fresh air! Our school, Marjala school, is located by a beautiful canal. There are 260 pupils studying in our school and we pay a lot of attention to sustainability and recycling. 

We are excited to get to know you and learn about each other’s food culture together. 

Soon you will get to know our class mascots who visit our families over the weekends. They would love to share their adventures with you too! 

Here you will find a photo of us and our favourite foods! We would love to see similar photos of you. So, here is a challenge for you: draw a picture of your favorite foods and send them with a short introduction of you in this blog! 

We can’t wait to hear from you! 

Best wishes, 

Class 2A from Marjala School, Joensuu 

29.10.2023 Hello from Kokrica Slovenia!

We are curious, learning group of fifth graders from Slovenia. Our hometown, Kokrica, is in North West Slovenia, almost 1700 km from Marjala school.

There are 190 pupils studying in our school. This year we celebrate 50th years of our school.

We also draw pictures of our favourite food and you will find them here: Favourite food,PS Kokrica,Slovenia

We are excited to get to know you and learn about each other’s food culture. We are having autumn holidays this week (30.10.-5.11.).

We can‘t wait to hear from you and get to know your class mascots.

Best wishes,

Class 5č from France Prešeren Kranj Primary School, Kokrica branch school

Teachers Alenka and Petra

20.11.2023 Greetings from Polhov Gradec Primary School, Slovenia!

Hello to everyone

We are the students of the 2nd grade of Polhov Gradec Primary School. Polhov Gradec is located only a half an hour from the capital city of Slovenia – Ljubljana, but still in the middle of some pretty amazing hilly scenery. Our school is attended by almost as many students as there are days in a year.

We talked about our favorite food and presented it in different ways.

Because we are curious, we can’t wait to hear what your favorite dishes and recipes are. Maybe we’ll cook something at our school to try it.

Our mascot is already being created and can’t wait to travel around and eat all the delicious dishes.

Greetings to all

20.11.2023 Greetings from Marjala school 3B class!

Hello there!
We are class 3B from Marjala school Joensuu Finland. We have nine boys and eleven girls in our class.
Finland is called a country of thousand lakes. Our school is by a canal and very near the school the canal opens into a big lake Pyhäselkä. In Finnish lakes there are  lots of fish to catch. It is possible to cook tasty food out of them.
This autumn we have been studying things about fish in our environmental studies. Our teacher Johanna had been fishing and she caught a big pike and some small perch and roach. We got to open small fishes and examine, what is inside of them. That was really exciting! Here you can see some pictures of that day.
Some favourite fish dishes here are fish soup (out of pike or salmon), fried pike perch or perch (also our teacher’s favourite)and pasta with salmon. Do you like to eat fish? What kind of fish do you eat the most in your country? Waiting to hear from you!
Best wishes
Class 3B, Marjala, Finland

01/2024 Hello everyone from Croatia!

We are curious and happy first graders from Croatia. There are 19 of us in our class. Our hometown is Karlovac. Karlovac is the city of parks, because it is very green, and it lays on four rivers: Kupa, Korana, Dobra and Mrežnica. Our school is the oldest school in our town. It is 130 years old. There are more than 300 pupils in our school. This is our first international project and we are very excited about it. We can’t wait to hear from you all and to learn something new from our international friends.
Best wishes, class 1.a school “Braća Seljan” and teacher Vladimira Fumić
Here are some drawings of our favourite food plates:

2. DEEPENING OUR KNOWLEDGE

27 November 2023: Traditional Slovenian Breakfast


A warm hello from the third graders of Polhov Gradec Primary School. Polhov Gradec is a town situated in the heart of the Polhov Gradec hills near Ljubljana. It is known for bees and honey production.
On November 17, we celebrated a very special day – an all-Slovenian event called the Traditional Slovenian Breakfast. Children all over Slovenia had honey, bread, an apple and milk for breakfast.

Within the project we want to place an emphasis on the educational aspect of eating: the importance of breakfast, the attitude towards healthy eating, cultured eating, the importance of locally produced food and the problem of wasted food.

We like learning about healthy, traditional food, so therefore we look forward to learning about the traditional food of other countries.

Best wishes from the students of the 3a grade of Polhov Gradec Primary School and teacher Jana Prebil

20 Dec 2023: Christmas food & greetings from Finland

Christmas greetings from Marjala!
In this video, we are singing a traditional Finnish Christmas carol both in Finnish and Karelian. We also share our favourite Christmas dishes.
It’s Christmastime again,
pots are filled with porridge! 
Now we can get our tummies full of porridge!
It’s Christmastime again,
and we are having so much fun!
Children are having fun from dawn till dusk!
Best Christmas wishes,
Classes 2A and 3B from Marjala School,
Teachers Pauliina ja Johanna

Febryary 5, 2024: Meet the Marjala school mascots!

Hello everybody!
It’s wonderful to finally meet you! We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, but we’ve been busy visiting our pupils’ homes every weekend.
So let us introduce ourselves: We are the class mascots of Marjala Schools 2nd and 3rd graders. Our names are Kaktus-poro, Nalle Karhunen and Avokado-hiiri. In English you may call us Cactus the Reindeer, Teddy the Bear and Avocado the Mouse.
Cactus and Avocado have already visited many homes, but Teddy is just starting his exciting journey. Stay tuned for next week’s update where we’ll share the adventures, we have gotten ourselves into. Spoiler alert: it’s been a delicious experience! In this picture, we are in our school’s dining area. Below you can also spot some pupils enjoying their free school lunch.

Cactus the Reindeer, Teddy the Bear and Avocado the Mouse in the school cantina

Earlier our pupils sent you a video greeting, where they presented their favourite Christmas dishes. Have you already had a chance to check it out?
We can’t wait to tell you more about our adventures next week!
Warm regards,
Cactus the Reindeer, Teddy the Bear and Avocado the Mouse

Febryary 13, 2024: Mammoth and Buckwheat carp dish from Slovenia

Hello to everybody!

Thank you for all news. We love your mascots and your school cantina. Our mascot is a mammoth. There are three small lakes near the school and archaeologists found a mammoth skeleton there, so it is a symbol of our place. With mammoth, we prepared a traditional Slovenian dish – Buckwheat carp.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for buckwheat carp with breadcrumbs:

Dough:

450 g buckwheat flour

6 dl of water

1 teaspoon of salt

about 100 g of white wheat flour

Filling:

80 g of millet porridge

1 egg

130 g cottage cheese (not pureed)

40 g of sour cream

1 level teaspoon of salt

Dressing:

butter

crumbs

optional sugar, if desired

Preparation:

Wash the porridge several times, then let it stand overnight in fresh, cold water.

Weigh 450 g of selected buckwheat flour into a bowl. Pour 6 dl of water into the container and salt it with 1 teaspoon of salt.

When the water boils, pour it over the buckwheat flour and mix with a mixer so that a mass similar to buckwheat dough is formed. Leave the dough to cool while preparing the filling.

Pour water into the container and salt it with 1/2 level teaspoon of salt. When the water boils, pour in the millet porridge that we soaked earlier. Wait until the millet porridge is cooked until soft. Drain and pour into a bowl.

Add 130 g of cottage cheese, 40 g of sour cream, 1 small egg and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt to the millet porridge. Mix everything with a mixer.

When the dough is cooled, spread it on a floured counter. Use smooth white wheat flour for shaping and rolling. Knead a lump of dough from the gristle. When the dough is just right, roll it out. It will be easier if we cut it and roll a smaller piece of dough at a time. Roll it out to about 3 mm thick.

Using a donut cutter, cut out circles from the dough. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Carefully fold the dough circle over the filling to form a semicircle. We have to join the dough well at the edges so that the filling stays in the pocket. We help ourselves with a fork, which we flour several times in between so that it does not stick to the dough. We can also use special models to make such pockets.

When the preparation is finished, put a large pot of water on the stove, salt it with a teaspoon of salt, and then put the buckwheat carp in the pot. Probably not all of them will go into the pot at the same time. Buckwheat carp are cooked in about 10 minutes or when they float to the surface. Take them out of the water and drain them. Place them on a serving plate. Put a little butter in the pan and when the butter melts, add the breadcrumbs. Stir so they don’t stick together. You can add sugar too.

Bon Appetit!

Greetings from Slovenia,

Class 5.č with Alenka and Petra

Febryary 14, 2024: Carnival treat from Croatia


Hello from Karlovac, Croatia!

Today we wore carnival costumes and we were enjoying carnival tradition. One of the oldest and best known traditional carnival food are donuts.

Pokladnica or donut is a sweet cake made of yeast dough. Pokladnica got its name from poklada, an old custom of masking, the verb ‘to disguise’. The adapted German name donut has been preserved among the people. The cake is a legacy of Austria-Hungary. It is fried in oil on both sides. It is round in shape with or without a hole in the middle. It is filled with a filling of jam, marmalade, or a teaspoon of marmalade is placed on the donut itself, and decorated with powdered sugar.

If you want to try to make it, here is a receipt!

INGRIDIENTS

2 eggs

3 dl of milk

100 g of margarine

20 g of yeast

3 spoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

a little rum, grated lemon zest

if necessary, flour (650-700g)

and more

oil for frying

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preparation

  1. Mix the yeast, a little sugar, a little flour in a little warm milk and leave it in a warm place to rise.
  2. Beat the eggs, add sugar, salt, melted margarine, yeast, rum and lemon zest.
  3. When the ingredients are combined, add a couple of spoons of flour, mix, pour a little milk and pour flour and milk alternately until the end. Add flour gradually to knead a smooth dough that does not stick to the pan. The dough should be elastic and should not tear when pulled up with a spoon.
  4. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume. Stir it, but do not beat it, but pull it up with a spoon and let it rise once more.
  5. Spread the dough on a floured work surface, mix it and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 cm and cut out circles (be sure to leave 2-3 mm from the outer edges) with a diameter of about 8 cm. Let them rise for 20 minutes (after about 10 minutes, turn them over and leave them for another 10 minutes.
  7. Pour oil into a deep pan and heat it (the oil should not be too hot, as the donuts will brown quickly)
  8. Put the newly arrived donuts in the hot oil, upside down compared to how they were on the work table, the side that was up goes to be fried first.
  9. This amount makes about 30 doughnuts.

Teacher Vladimira and class 1.a from Karlovac!

March 20, 2024: Letter from Cactus the Reindeer

My Travel Diary

I have had the opportunity to visit many of my students’ homes. I have been delighted by how warmly I have been welcomed into their homes, into their hearts… and into their kitchens!

I have noticed that many families enjoy baking on weekends. It’s wonderful that children get involved in mixing and tasting the dough from a young age. This way, they learn new skills and come to appreciate food in a new way. I have often been involved in making pancakes and crepes. Do you like making pancakes or crepes in your countries? In Finland, they are often eaten with jam, sometimes with handpicked berries. However, I have also had the chance to taste savory pancakes, with vegetables hidden in the batter. Smart and clever, I say!

In addition to baking, I have attended birthday parties, where treats like chocolate frosted cakes are served. These treats taste like chocolate and coffee, yum!

It’s been lovely to spend time outdoors. Finnish nature is so beautiful! Regardless of the season, it’s common to roast sausages over a campfire. People often pack homemade buns for picnic too.

In the pictures, you can see what else I have had the chance to taste. You probably enjoy hamburgers, but have you ever tried macaroni casserole? It’s made with pasta and minced meat and it is a favorite dish for many Finnish children.

I’m looking forward to visiting another student’s home again next weekend! I wonder what I’ll get to taste then?

Best regards,

Cactus the Reindeer