Grateful Thoughts: Soul Gift ~ My lovely gift from a beautiful friend.

I’m highlighting the blog  SOUL GIFTS written by the lovely Raili today as the subject of my Grateful Thoughts.

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Raili, originally from Finland, moved to Australia with her family when she was just a little girl. She also met and married a fellow Finn in the “desert heat of Mt Isa in North Queensland” of all places! Here’s how Raili describes herself:

“I think of myself as an Aussie-Finn. My family is a mini melting pot of nations – Finnish, Indian and Filipino born first generation Australians. You might have guessed by now that our kids are adopted. Our extended family too is a riotous mix of races, cultures, traditions and beliefs.”

She spent her career working as a nurse in the field of mental health. She says

“the privilege of working with some of most disenfranchised people in the community was humbling, enriching, challenging. I learnt so much about life, the universe, and everything.”

My special “soul gift” from Raili

At the end of November, 2018, I was surprised by my wonderful friend Raili,  as a recipient of her “soul gift” for the month of December. Here is a quote from Raili’s blog, explaining “soul gifts.” :

“This is my way of saying thanks to those who visit or follow my blog.   I wanted to do it in a unique way. I like gifting.  I like surprising people in a nice way.  So here’s what I have come up with.   I call it Soul Gifting – a small token of my appreciation for your presence on my blog – a published thank you with a link to yours, posted, at random times. Surprise!”

I thought it entailed a mention in her blog, but it didn’t stop there! She sent me a message, asking for my mailing address because she had a special gift to send me!


Inside the card is a delightful recipe on the left called “Finnish Beetroot Christmas Salad” (Which is SO good, I’ll be eating all year – NOT just at Christmas!) On the right is a note from Raili:


I know people probably don’t use old fashioned cloth hankies anymore, but here’s one for you. I crocheted an edge too. You could use it as a doily I suppose. Anyway, a little bit of Australia winging it’s way to you for Christmas. Hope you have a happy one!



The handkerchief is lovely, with a map of Australia in the middle, with 4 animals unique to Australia in each corner. The edge of the handkerchief is lined with Raili’s beautiful and delicate handiwork. I can tell you, it has a prominent place in my office. THANK YOU RAILI!

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With Raili’s permission, I’m posting the salad recipe below. I highly encourage you to make it…IT’S VERY GOOD! (Even my son liked it!)

The salad, which I made with the help of my 18 year old son, is wonderful and beautiful. Here are a few pics of the steps I took. The ingredients I used are below. I chose to use pre-cooked beetroot from the produce section. I  drained the beetroot juice in the package, to save for the dressing. Then I cooked the carrots/potatoes, and chopped the remaining ingredients. Next, I added everything to a bowl and stirred in just 1/2 the dressing. I ended up using 4 potatoes, as mine were very small. I also used sweet apples, as I didn’t have any tart on hand.

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Finnish Beetroot Christmas Salad

  • Servings: 8=10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This wonderfully, delightful salad will satisfy all year!


  • 1 small can diced beetroot (or cooked beet from scratch)
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tart apples (finely chopped)
  • 1 gherkin – (finely diced)
  • salt and pepper to tasted

  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp beet juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of white pepper (I used black, it’s what I had)


  1. Boil veggies – cool, peel and chop
  2. Add all ingredients to bowl
  3. season.
  4. Mix dressing ingredients. Raili indicates to serve on the dressing on the side. I decided to go ahead add the dressing to the salad, to get the full effect. I ended up using only 1/2 of it. The salad is delicious! Will absolutely make again!


Thank you so much Raili for these beautiful gifts. It was such a wonderful surprise. Thank you for including me in on such a wonderful tradition. Thank you, also, for following my blog and supporting me over the years. God bless you!

To everyone else…please head over to SOUL GIFTS  and give Raili’s wonderful blog a visit. There are lots of things to see over there!



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