Thursday, November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day".
~ Robert Caspar Lintner

Wednesday, November 23

This is Finland

For the record: the tempretare in Finland can be higher than +30C. It is not the country that is covered with snow all year round.


+15°C / 59°F
This is as warm as it gets in Finland, so we'll start here.
People in Spain wear winter-coats and gloves.
The Finns are out in the sun, getting a tan.

+10°C / 50°F
The French are trying in vain to start their central heating.
The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.

+5°C / 41°F
Italian cars won't start,
The Finns are cruising in cabriolets.

0°C / 32°F
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Vantaa river (in Finland) gets a little thicker.

-5°C / 23°F
People in California almost freeze to death.
The Finns have their final barbecue before winter.

-10°C / 14°F
The Brits start the heat in their houses.
The Finns start using long sleeves.

-20°C / -4°F
The Aussies flee from Mallorca.
The Finns end their Midsummer celebrations.
Autumn is here.

-30°C / -22°F
People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth.
The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.

-40°C / -40°F
Paris start cracking in the cold.
The Finns stand in line at the hotdog stands.

-50°C / -58°F
Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole.
The Finnish army postpones their winter survival training awaiting real winter weather.

-60°C / -76°F
Korvatunturi (the home for Santa Claus) freezes.
The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors.

-70°C / -94°F
The false Santa moves south.
The Finns get frustrated since they can't store Koskenkorva vodka outdoors.
The Finnish army goes out on winter survival training.

-183°C / -297.4°F
Microbes in food don't survive.
The Finnish cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.

-273°C / -459.4°F
ALL atom-based movent halts.
The Finns start saying "Perkele (=damn), it's cold outside today."

-300°C / -508°F
Hell freezes over, Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest.

Tuesday, November 15

Red Velvet Cake

Ten years ago I would say cooking was not my cup of tea. Ten years later half of my web bookmarks are recipes.


12 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 sticks
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons red gel food coloring plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup buttermilk - HELP! What is this thing?
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cooked Frosting
1 cup milk
1/3 all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
milk or cream


Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour 3 8-inch round layer cake pans or 2 9-inch cake pans.

Cake: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat 1 minute longer. Beat in vanilla until blended. Combine cocoa, food coloring, and 2 tablespoons water; beat into the egg creamed mixture. Combine flour and salt. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixtures to the batter, beating on low to medium speed. Combine soda and vinegar in cup and add to cake batter. Spoon batter evenly into the 3 cake pans; bake at 350° for 22 to 28 minutes. Cool on cake racks. Remove from pans and frost tops and sides.

Frosting: In a saucepan, whisk together the 1/3 cup flour and milk and cook, stirring, until thickened; cool in the refrigerator. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer. Add flour and milk mixture a little at a time (make ahead of cake so that it has plenty of time to cool). Beat well, adding milk or cream as needed. Frost layers, sides, and top of cake.