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An important part of Reading Round Europe for us is going to be using the books we read as a family to explore other countries and cultures. So to go with our reading of It’s Snowing in Animal town (review here) I searched high and low for a genuine, fun Finnish activity for us to get up to us a family. I wanted something more interesting than colouring in the Finnish Flag so I reached out into the blogosphere for suggestions and discovered Ruth who blogs at The North Wing.
Ruth is a jewellery maker and designer based in Finland and when I stumbled across her blog and website I was immediately drawn in by her beautiful photography which reminded me of another blog I enjoy, Bloesem. I wrote to her asking if she could help suggest an activity for me and my girls and despite it being the week before Christmas when I contacted her, she came up trumps and very generously wrote up a recipe for Pannukakku, “a very, very traditional Finnish dessert that is really easy and good to prepare with kids“… what could be better than that?!
For 2 generous portions
For 6 portions
1. Preheat the oven at 225 degrees Celsius.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add half quantity of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
3. Add the rest of the milk. Add eggs and whisk.
4. Grease a pan (Ruth uses a glass oven-pyrex pan for the small pancake and for the 6 portion pancake a pizza pan of about 30×40 cm size). Place the butter or margarine into the pan and put the pan for a few minutes into the oven until the fat melts and starts to get a little colour.
5. Pour the mix into the pan and bake at the middle level of the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until the pancake has puffed up and has a beautiful colour.
6. Leave to cool in the pan and cut.
7. Serve the pancake as a dessert with fresh fruit – Ruth normally use berries, berry jam or compotes. It is also served with ham, salmon as an starter.
And here’s how it turned out for us:
The girls did just about everything themselves, apart from taking the pancake out of the oven.
They were very proud of what they prepared and baked!
And the pancakes were really delicious – definitely something I would cook again!
Whilst cooking and eating our Pannukakku we listened to:
Ruth also suggested some other activities with a genuine Finnish element, and any of these might be fun to do alongside reading It’s Snowing in Animal town or learning about Finland:
Tomorrow I have an interview with the author and illustrator of It’s Snowing in Animal Town, Hannamari Ruohonen – I do hope you’ll be back to join us then, and in the mean time my huge thanks to Ruth for her help (do go an visit her blog or website!), and let me know if you’ve ever read any Finnish books or been to Finland…