F 1 D 0 - 2002 11 28 at 2145

Flour and Water.

Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet. For nearly
a year, I've been trying to make Finnish Pancakes
just like they do here in Thunder Bay.

I don't try too often. Being the kind
of man who eats his mistakes, as well
as eating his words, I'd end up eating
far too much ruined pancake stuff.

Ann came in after dinner, and probably
joking, asked what kind of pudding I'd
make for dessert. Well, I'd already started
making the pancake stuff.

Here is the recipe I started with.


Finnish Pancakes


   two eggs 
   2 tbsp sugar (or to taste) 
   pinch of salt 
   6 cups milk 
   all-purpose flour (approx. 2 cups) 


   Beat eggs, sugar and salt in large bowl until thoroughly mixed. 
   Add milk and mix thoroughly. 
   Beat in flour gradually until batter begins to thicken...you
   want it just right - not too runny or too heavy. 
   Heat a frying pan to medium-high (a cast iron pan is recommended). 
   Coat pan liberally with butter and pour in batter (about 1
   cup) to cover 3/4 of the bottom; tilt pan to cover bottom evenly. 
   When bubbles appear on top, flip pancake over. Don't burn
   - colour should be golden brown on top and medium brown
   on bottom when removed from pan. Keep warm in a
   warming tray or an oven-safe platter on stovetop, on low
   heat, while you continue. 
   re-coat pan with butter and repeat procedure until you have
   a stack of fantastic pancakes!

Here are some personal notes from me.

1. I made only half this recipe. And it was still
far far far too many pancakes for two people.

2. I found it *very* runny, and added 3tb extra flour.

3. The pan I used was a nonstick Ikea pan (STEKA). The
oil beaded up instantly, and didn't really help the pancake
process as much as I wanted. So after a couple of failed
ones, I stirred in more than 4 oz of oil into the batter.
I was surprised how it remained suspended.

4. Be patient. These are very thin and when they're
even a little underdone, they turn to scrambled egg
if you attempt to turn it early. Or something. But 
if you wait for them to begin smoking, then count 1. 
2. 3. ... 58. 59. 60! And then release it from the 
pan and flip it, it remains together. Yes, it is darker 
than I'd like. Ann noticed as well. But it came out 
just right.

5. These pancakes are *not* diet food. They seem
to be happy to absorb as much fat as chicken legs
render. Okay, not that much, but these seemed to
be very greasy, just like the kind we actually
get at Hoito. Butter tastes better, but sticks too.

Last time I tried this, I didn't use a recipe,
but simply made a batter like I remember from
my mother making at home. Kind of thick batter,
with occasional lumps. This was okay, as it usually
was just fine. Well, it made the same kind of pancakes
too; about 3/4 of an inch high, wooden coloured on
one side, light with bubble holes on the other. 

I have to dig out my waffle maker. They are no 
more diet food than the Finn Pancakes, but I think
it is about time I got into making some.

6. Get the fire right. That was one of the 
hardest things for me.  It would seem like
common sense to turn the heat down, and just
make them for longer. Nope. That won't do it.
The heat has to be hot enough to that the batter
doesn't cool the pan. If it does, the butter finds
its way on top of the pancake and it *really* sticks.
Even on my nonstick pan. On the other side, if it
is too hot, I can only imagine the nonstick coating
bubbling and ruining my future forever. On my stove,
I used about a 70% intensity. As I ladle the stuff,
it hisses violently, and the edges begin to stick
right away. But the fat fries it, and that seems
to be the key.

In other news, I'm getting my stamina back. Today I 
worked out briefly, four times. The deal is I increase
a minute each time. 

When I'm healthy, all I want to do is work out, 
dance, exercise, and be active. But at this time,
I'm in bad shape, at least for me, and so it is
a beginning each day. This afternoon, I decided
that I Am Going To Do This Right Now.  I ran for
eight minutes. 

I finish by drinking a measured 8 oz of water, and
setting the timer for 15 minutes. When it buzzes,
I return. This time for NINE minutes. 

Same deal, then ten, then eleven. 

Now, this isn't entirely fair, as I'm delaying
the work out when I'm doing other domestic things
here. But I won't turn off the buzzer until I get
back into running. 

I'm thinking that when I'm at 20 minutes, part
of the routine will involve running OUTSIDE. I'm 
hoping the stamina returns soon.

Some of you reading this are doing better than me.
You runners (Ohio, and United Kingdom) understand
how important this is, to continue making progress
after a time away from it.

I'll say this: my body temperature is better when I'm 
active. I get warm and I stay warm. 

Here is the menu for the "Portraits" opening at
the Magnus Theatre on Saturday 5-7pm.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
Assorted Sausage Bites
Cheese Tray
Sweet Tray

I'll be trying to entertain you on keyboard. Please
come. Thunder Bay isn't far. Corner of Algoma and
Red River Road.

Earlier today I was thinking about things which
were truly important. Okay, not truly important,
but made good writing material. The ideas didn't
sound ordinary. But I didn't take the time to write
them down for you, so I hope to have something
brilliant for next time around.


Yesterday, in honour of American Thanksgiving Day,
I picked up a frozen utility turkey. For all of you
enjoying family time, or time with friends I send
holiday greetings. 

For you who somehow managed to be on your own, 
and are feeling alone (the kind of alone that 
also happens at Christmas and New Years Eve) I 
send special greetings. Lonely holidays can suck.
I hope life gets better.

Some of you have had your fill of the holidays
before they start. Holidays just mean extra work 
at home, and dealing with people who can never 
be satisfied. It becomes a day off for everyone. 
Everyone but you. Remember it isn't Hell. But maybe 

Runners! Let me know how the running
(or walking) on Thanksgiving works out. 

Hey, there are some of you who won't do the
family get together thing because it is never
fun.  Go and distract your partner. There
will be plenty of time to play games on the 
computer.  Block the monitor with your body.
Or take a lesson from one of the cats and
interfere with the keyboard in a friendly way.
Besides, you will be happiest doing things 
familiar.  It might be Thanksgiving, but you 
can Still Order Chinese Food. 

Have I forgotten anyone? 

Yep. I always do.

That's all I know.