F 1 D 0 -- 02 01 06 at 12 01 Pancakes. Thunder Bay is many things. One important thing is that it has many from Finland. Half a block to the east is Kangas. That is primarily a Sauna house. Yes, a place where singles and couple can go, and for about 10.00 rent a room for ninety minutes. The temperature is 80F, but is adjustable so it is hotter if you prefer. The sauna opens to a big luxury shower, where you can recover from the sauna. After that, you can proceed to the shared hot tub, where you can cook or cool as you like. The whole idea is to pamper yourself here for about an hour. Well, part of this place is a Coffee Shop. It is all done up in blonde wood coloured tables, and has a spacious counter too. The specialty here is thin pancakes. An order of three or four is 3.00 or 4.00, and they're as fine as any good crepe I've had. Remember Hoito's? That is the place two blocks west of here. They're specialty is pancakes as well. I didn't think I'd be interested in them, really. They're just pancakes, right? Well, they got under my skin. I was interested in them. I usually order them with Strawberry Sauce. They bring a bowl of used-to- be frozen berries. I suppose it is sauce because it isn't jam, but would better be called preserves. I do not ladle these over my pancakes. I savour each one from a teaspoon. I cut the pancake in half, or thirds, and roll it up. They're not sweet, if you don't put sweet stuff onto it. They provide butter, but I find them plenty buttery as they are, from the griddle. I roll it, and it has this appetizer finger food quality. Well, we've had a problem here. We had four bananas turning black, and I felt a need to deal with them. No problem, sez me. I figure I'll make a pancake stuff, using banana as the liquid and the egg part of the batter. Well, I did this. I even added an egg, thinking it could use the extra binding power. We made four crepes this way. Crepe 1. It would not turn, and on closer inspection, it would not even set. Crepe 2. It looked good on the outside, but the inside remained the same. Raw banana. Crepe 3. I tried making this, cooking it extra hoping to dry it out before attempting to turn it. This worked, but it had so much fat on the pan, I was unhappy. Crepe 4. Less fat in pan. Wow. Did you know banana sticks to a nonstick frypan? I figured maybe it needs to get the middle cooked a bit, so I scrambled it. I've never seen something so steadfast about not cooking under heat. To be fair, it turned from yellow to brown, and had many browned bits in it. But it was still very soft. Ann rescued me. She got a couple more ounces of flour, another egg, and plenty of extra liquid in the form of milk and water. When we stirred this into the mix, our luck improved. We found a pastry brush in the drawer, and used this to oil the pan. The next four crepes were fine. We used them to learn how to flip them. Flip 1. It broke. A lot. Except that we didn't flip. We just used two spatulas, and one assistant holding the frypan still. Flip 2. This one was a cheating flip. We used spatulas for the turn that counted, but then practiced on the poor unsuspecting pancake, learning how to flip without a spatula, but after it was all done. Flip 3. I predicted in advance that I had bad aim, and that I'd end up catching the edge of the wet pancake on the edge of the pan. What can I say? That's how it landed. Flip 4. I stepped back from the stove, and wasn't afraid to use sufficient force to get it a foot into the air. You know, before yesterday, I figured that this high flip was all for show. I really did! But now I can tell you that the purpose is to get it high enough to get in position and be relaxed for a perfect catch. No rushing! The high throw helps. It just happens to look like showing off. Game playing with pancakes. I've been mapping this place out. Just in my head, but that's enough work. So I figured out that Red River Road, which is a couple of blocks from here, runs not just to the edge of town, but all the way to Winnipeg. We took Junot Avenue, and found it went across the entire city, really. It is also on the edge, but passes Confederation College and the Art Gallery, passes the Country Club, and becomes Golf Links Road, continues and becomes Edwards, and runs all the way into West Fort, and ends at the train tracks, at the foot of Mount McKay. Without the mapping, I do things by rabbit run. I've learned that Water Street and Memorial Avenue connect the towns, and I'd find my way there before doing any movement. Why? Just so I don't get lost, I suppose. Seeing the new way across town helped put this place into the right perspective for me. I feel like I know my way around. One goal was to find things I like having around. I scored when I found a couple of sources for cut oats. It was hard since people don't call them steel cut oats, but Scottish Oatmeal. Actually, on close inspection, it may not be steel cut at all, but it is close. It is like cracked wheat. Cracked Oats. I didn't count this as a score. I was looking for big hunks of TVP. Textured Vegetable Protein. It doesn't sound like fun, but it is. You let the stuff drink warm soup in, and poof!, you have non-meat chunks ready for use in about 10 minutes. This can be fried up and used just like meat. Of course, this is primarily of benefit to those who don't do meat. The health and bulk stores had TVP, but not the big pieces. Just little ones. Bits suitable for using with beans and onions and red sauce. Chili sized bits. That's all I know.