On my Facebook News Feed comes the most interesting items from RECIPEEZ’N’MEMOREEZ.

I left a comment and Jaana responded. She has a most interesting story of wanderlust to share with us.

Hello Jaana, thanks for being our Facebook Focus for today.

Please tell us about your BACKGROUND

I was born in the beautiful Scandinavian city of Helsinki in southern Finland, 49 years ago. I migrated to Australia in 1967, with my parents. Mum and Dad had decided to come looking for the golden opportunities that this vast new homeland of ours was to offer. We settled in Melbourne and quickly became a part of the local Finnish community,as my father was a very talented accordionist and always in demand to play at friends parties and weddings.

Homesickness plagued my parents, so that we ended up traversing back to the other side of the globe four times, until in the late 70’s the decision was finally made, that I had to finish my secondary schooling in one country. By the end of my schooling, I had been to 17 different schools in two countries. After I finished high school in Melbourne, I entered college to become a primary school teacher. I received my Dip.Teaching(Primary)in 1984 and began teaching the year after. I continued studying and completed a B.Ed two years later and taught in Melbourne for the next eight years, until I moved up to Brisbane where I gained a position at a Bayside private school. I continue to teach.


We would like to meet your FAMILY

My family consists of my husband, a keen fisherman and motorcyclist and one, very sporty 13-year-old daughter, who is a swimmer. We also have a 4 and a 1/2 year old German Shepherd dog and 4 chickens.

Our family enjoys fishing out in the bay, motorcycle riding and camping together…..I enjoy cooking (what a surprise!), reading, travelling and riding my own motorcycle.


I am thinking TRAVEL must be a big part of your life….

I have been traveller of the world from a young age. My first trip was across the globe from Finland to Australia by cruise ship via the Suez Canal, as a four-year old. My father, who had a great sense of humour, very matter of factly told me that he’d lost his shovel on the side of the canal awhile back. I spent the whole length of the canal looking out for it. Needless to say, I didn’t spot it.

My father and I standing on the deck of the SS Orcades

I blame my parents for the “wanderlust” that still plagues me. Standing at the airport always gives me itchy feet, as I eye the departures board with the anticipation of visiting new and unexplored destinations, meeting new people and the discovery of local exotic dishes for the first time.

My travels have included road trips across Western Europe, the U.S.A and Eastern Coast of Australia. Finland has been a destination on various occasions to catch up with family and friends. Paris and the midsummer celebrations in Finland are favourites. Possible future destinations include the metropolis of New York and somewhere totally offbeat like Greenland!



Honestly I can’t remember the first thing I cooked alone, but I am sure it would have been something that my mother would have cooked over and over again.

My love of food has evolved over the years. I do not have any formal training in the culinary arts, apart from Home Ec. classes at school and lots (and I mean lots) of trial and error. Growing up in multicultural Melbourne also exposed me to the foods of many cultures, helping mould me, as a “cook”.

I’d also have to thank Jamie O (Oliver), for giving me that first push and who proved that cookbooks didn’t have to be full of complex instructions, verbose and that anyone was capable of producing wonderful, tasty food.

Once I married, my husband became a very good food critic, taste testing all sorts of concoctions, that I so proudly presented in front of him. There were some disasters, like a very “hot” tomato soup. I had put in some of the neighbour’s birds eye chillies , not really knowing how strong they were…


How did you make the name RECIPEEZ’N’MEMOREEZ and what was your goal for it? 

Recipeez’n’Memoreez came about from the need to share and honor the recipes that we cook at home. Lots of these recipes were handed down through the generations and generously donated by friends and family.

I recently inherited my late Mother-In-Law’s old Finnish cookbook. It is full of notes and inscriptions this is what made the recipes hers.

Recipes are a living form of history, recording and telling the tales of families.  As such, they should be preserved, shared and cooked with the next generation, so that they stay alive and their origins are not forgotten.

I endeavor not to cook anything that is too complex,it takes the enjoyment out of cooking and especially the eating!

A family friend kept telling me that I should get the recipes ”out there” in one form or another, so hence, the blog and Facebook page were created.

Our German Shep Taru and yours truly


As far as CHALLENGES go do you enjoy the… JOURNEY OR DESTINATION ?

Life’s journey seems to be full of challenges, little detours, that keeps life from getting too monotonous… from family illnesses to work challenges and bringing up a teenager!

The “busy-ness” of life is challenging in itself at the moment, trying to fit everything in. The days don’t seem to have enough hours, so hence the difficulty of the journey eventually makes the destination worthwhile!

On the Recipeez front, writing my own cookbook would be a challenge that I would relish.


Finally, inspired by The Actors Studio 10 Questions:


1.What is your favourite word? loquacious – a word often used to describe some of my students, and it rolls off the tongue very nicely!


2.What is your least favourite word? Hate…such a strong word, and often used without thought.


3.What excites you? Travel plans and watching my girl swim.


4.What bores you? Arrogant and egocentric people….


5.What do you love? My family, rain on the roof and sails whipping in the wind.

6.What sound do you hate? A storm bird whoo-hooting outside our bedroom window at 3:30 am…especially on a weekend!


7.What do you love doing most? Making a mess in the kitchen, reading a good juicy romance novel and being out on the water.


8.What profession would you not like to do?If desperation calls none, but having a choice, a mortician.


9.Chocolate or not chocolate? Chocolate…no question!


10.If heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “So…..are you sure that you’ve finished?” ( As I always have stuff to do.)


Jaana, we have so enjoyed reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

© Jaana 2012

Where to fine Jaana….


recipeeznmemoreez BLOG : 

FACEBOOK: @ recipeeznmemoreez

TWITTER:@recipeznmemorez  ( I had to cut the double letters out since it was too long)

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