Monday, August 18, 2014

My Home: Sauna with Friends

Once a month my friends gather for a very nice event, sort of healthy cleaning ritual with plenty of fun and tasty dinner. There is a sauna in my garden. It is a small house with two rooms or cameras and a swimming pool. The walls from within are covered with larch boards.

The first room is for rest after steaming procedures and a place where

oak brooms

and smelling wild herbs are kept.

I pick these herbs in the mountains,

where they grow in abundance

This doll is a symbol of sauna Good Spirit

The steam camera

On the upper shelf there are several pieces of juniper trunk from Elbrus area,

herbs and oak brooms

 The deference between Finnish sauna and Russian ‘bagna’ is that we pour water or some aromatic  tasty liquid on the heated stones.

The scent is incredible…

 Heat and steam (+80 - 120°C) emit sweet-scented natural resin from the boards of larch. And if you add beer to water before pouring it onto heated stones, you get the steam with the aroma of fresh baked bread!

You stretch out on the shelf, surrounded by herbs.

The hotness of stem disappears quickly, pores of the skin open…

And then somebody from the band starts ‘beating’ and caressing you body with one or two oak brooms, knocking-in the healing steam into your skin…

After this procedure you jump into the swimming pool with cold water (icy in spring and autumn). The circle – heat, steam with booms –cold water is repeated as many times, as you wish.

Russian bagna tradition

Of course, in-between these extremes, there is a luxurious dinner.

Shashlyk (roast) is obligatory

This is my garden stove

Festive dinner in preparation

In the warm weather we usually have dinner in my garden with juicy red apples everywhere.

Last Sunday (yesterday) I made  baked fish with mayonnaise and lemon.

Anyone can do it!

You pour oil into the baking pan, covering the bottom and put there fish cut to pieces, salt  each of them.

Then you put a slice of lemon onto each piece of fish

You can also add some spices and onions, the way everybody enjoys!

Put mustard and some salt in mayonnaise and mix

Mustard adds unforgettable taste to the whole dish. I make very strong mustard myself. Later I’ll show you how to prepare it at home.

Cover each piece with this mixture

And put the baking pan into the oven for 25-35 min.

Your fish is ready

Your friends are happy! You become happy, because people you love and value are in high spirits, clean and satisfied…

Life is great!

Natalia Levis-Fox,

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