Summer Solstice

June 21, 2015

Midsummer, the longest day of the year.

Having lived more up north, I’m used with 22 hour long days during the summer, here in Helsinki, the day is around 18 hours or something. We had initially made these big plans that we’d go down to Hanko for the day during midsummer, but the weather thought otherwise, and since there were going to be a lot of rain, we decided to stay in the city.

The host himself, Herman.

Herman invited us to dinner at his place. He just recently moved from Vaasa to Helsinki, he lives just north of the city center. You might remember him from our Ă…land trips.

Vera, joyful as always.

So me, Paulina, Vera and Herman spent the evening together. As usual, Herman served us all delicious food. The meat being the best part of the meal. After the main course, we got a dessert, made by Vera, which was meringue with whipped cream, which was, again, simply delicious.

Meat and potatoes.

We argued back and forth about going out to get a glimpse of a Kokko (bonfire), but when we finally decided to go out, we noticed that most of the bonfires had already been lit, so we instead opted to stay in.

90 minutes, yeah right.

Paulina had brought with her Trivial Pursuit, a game I haven’t played that much, mostly because I’m not very good at it, most of the questions, at least in the Swedish edition, is very country focused, and I don’t know that much about Swedish historical/sports people to be able to answer any of the questions. Luckily I got paired up with Herman, who has a large general knowledge about everything. After around 3 hours, with some tweaking to the rules (since otherwise we’d have to keep playing for another 3 hours), Herman and I won.

Making pancakes

At this point, I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve spoken about my cooking. A couple of months ago, Anders and Johan made me promise that I’d make pancakes — and write about it, before midsummer. And so, being a man of my word, I complied.

Step 1. Mixing the ingredients.

For normal people, pancakes is probably one of the easiest things to make, and when it comes to just mixing the pancake-dough, I’d agree, that’s easy. I’d even venture to say that it’d be a hard thing to mess up. Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, and mix the shit up. Easy.

The thing that I feel is hard, is actually making the pancakes, what’s the correct heat, when should you turn them? Turn them too soon, and they’ll break, turn them too late, they’re burnt. It’s basically a lose-lose game.

Step 2. Make the pancake. Well. Fuck.

I had actually expected that everything would turn out to be a big, great mess, and that I’d end up having to ask Paulina for help. But after making a couple of pancakes, I kind of got the hang of it. Well, kind of, the apartment was completely filled with smoke — though not enough to trip the fire alarm. Thankfully.

Out of the maybe 12 pancakes that I made, I only “broke” two, the rest of them came out pretty good. Though I have to say I didn’t know when to turn them, I just went with my gut feeling, which surprisingly worked pretty well.

Step 3. Whipped cream.

There’s two things that go with pancakes, strawberry jam and whipped cream. Strawberry jam is easy, you buy it premanufactured, I’d have no idea where to start if I’d have to make my own jam.

And whipped cream is actually one thing that I can do without having to do any research at all.

Step 4. Profit.

In the end, it was really easy making them. A lot easier than I had thought it would be. The first pancakes were served to Paulina. That would be after I took the above picture. Recollecting, I think I actually spent more time taking pictures, and doing the editing, than I spent making the pancakes.