Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Potterin Around With Ribs, Chili and Piercing Saw

250 portions of ribs - gone. Restaurant day was a success but not an easy one. I can’t remember waking up at 4am on Saturday morning just to chill under a tree and observe strange people walking from East to West. That of course, if army reconnaissance “fun” is not counted.

Luckily this time the place was in Esplanadi Park in the middle of Helsinki. And the strange people were mostly Chinese (and luckily) tourists and not little green men. Occasional Finnish person passed by to check the situation in the Finnish - Russian Ice hockey World Championship semi-final game. We won, but damn you Canada!

After we recovered from the ribs overdose and the silver medal, the decision was to not to do anything like that ever again. Except two weeks after the first one… This time the menu was moderately spicy chili con carne with nachos. Even the professional fast food critics in their blue and white flashy car gave thumbs up for the cooking. Thank you for the review!
In between the cooking we have continued the construction of the prime attraction of the trip that can be called the closest thing to home for the summer. Our sauna. The schedule has been quite tight with the day job, travelling, cooking and constructing. The emphasis is to get everything physical ready before the trip. And physical we do. Hammering, drilling and sawing. This however means lowering the speed of video editing and blog writing. Two weeks to go! Everything seems possible!

SiirBros / Roope

Friday, May 20, 2016

100kg of Meat, Sweat* and Laughs *(sweat not included in recipes)

Have you ever chainsawed down a tree? Well I have now. A full grown birch. Because who wouldn’t build their own grill out of fresh logs, oil barrel, and an old bed found from their grandparents backyard. And all of this work for one day only.

Well, it might seem quite excessive to have a grill that is bigger than average American tourist’s sunbathing chair. Still it wasn’t enough for us. We stepped up the game with our all natural, handmade charcoal. This exclusiveness will give our Ribs the perfect colour and fresh slices of gray alder will add a hint of smokiness to the delight.

Did I already mention that we also created our very own recipe for the ribs. It will be used for a 100 kilogram portion of pork next Saturday.

At first it seemed like a piece of cake. We have grilled some meat before. But it turns out to be bit different to do hundreds of portions instead of a handful. Big hand for all school cafeteria workers!

So there was few challenges to be expected. Were to prepare such an amount of swine flank? In the end we got lucky. But how about the cold chain? Delhi belly is newer a nice companion, especially after hobbyists kitchen day. We needed ice! A lots of ice that could keep the food cold enough before grilling. But where to keep it all so that the ice wouldn’t melt? Back to the grandparents backyard. And there it was, not a needle but a 70’s solution, under a hay stack! An old dusty chest freezer. In it we can keep everything cold enough throughout the day. Also, an old and huge cast iron sauna water heater pot will help us in the effort to cool the sparkling beverages.

It all might be just for one day. Hours and hours of working, learning, swearing and laughing. But not for an any day. It is for the Restaurant day!

Come and join us at Eino Leino statue in Helsinki 21th May 2016!

SiirBros / Panu

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Aaand... It's Broken

GRRRR GRRR GRR. Did the engine sound this loud last time? I think it did. But the steering is extremely heavy. Let’s check it out. What is that pink stuff dripping to the snow and pooling underneath the car? Damn power steering…

Otherwise the car seemed to work ok. Except the heaters. But that should not be a problem in a sauna van. During summer. In mediterranean region. +30 celcius outside, +50 inside and +80 at the back. And of course there is no air conditioning. Maybe we should get a fan. One fan that would support us even when we look really sweaty and tell boring stories about Higgs bosons and castles.

Few months ago, the heat was not a problem in frozen Finland. Panu had manage to fill the back compartment with all of his belongings. A sofa, an electric bed, a non-electric chair and so on. There was a plan to get the stuff to Helsinki. But without power steering we postponed this procedure and decided to maintain the car first.

Couple of weeks ago the maintenance guy called. The power steering might not be broken. Great! But… apparently the motor was bit like Danny the Dog, unleashed. It had dropped some 25 centimeters from the original position. The mechanic wondered how it could still move to the workshop. Our Italian steed seems to be quite tough, like Italy in general. Still running without the well oiled machinery.

Anyway, if you happen to have an extra fastening part for 2003 Fiat Ducato, we are interested!

In a meanwhile, enjoy the video that has boosted our enthusiasm. It has automatically created Portuguese subtitles that can be translated into English. And the translation makes no sense whatsoever. 
Kummeli - Autolla Maailman Ympäri:

SiirBros / Panu & Roope

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Aaand.. it´s white

It was the second to last day of 2015. What a perfect day to grill some lunch outside. Thank you excessive CO2 emissions and thick grandma-made wool shirts! At the same time we were busy browsing with the fast connections ex-Nokialand can offer. And suddenly. Wow. “Brent Rambo approves”. A potential four wheeled powerhouse for our sauna project. Only problem was that it was in Raisio. Or so we thought.

Since we would go totally opposite direction from Raisio after the holidays, we decided to go and pick up the van immediately. The journey was not a blink of an eye but we managed to arrive just in time. 12 minutes before the closing. Would this be the right place? It was. A small shady place with lots of vans in a crowded parking lot. Inside we found a leather jacket -man with thick southwestern accent (in Finnish Turun murre but nobody understands that anyway.). He had wondered if we would ever show up.

The van felt quite good to drive. Or relatively. How good vans can be in the end? In real terms quite shit. But it felt pretty ok after three hours in tiny Ford on slippery roads. And it would fulfil all our criteria. It was white. It was high. There was at least three windows in the back compartment. As men, it is quite challenging to confess that it was mainly the number of windows in the car that was the pivotal feature leading to the purchase. Not the horsepowers. Nor the brand. Like we would know something about cars. Seven minutes of test driving and five minutes of paperwork. And there it was. Our “new” Fiat Ducato Maxi!

Should have tested it more. Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

SiirBros / Panu & Roope

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mongrel of an Idea

Probably the most Finnish way to start a story: It was in sauna - of course - that my brother told that he had been in a special sauna. The speciality was an ability to float. A great concept to keep as much cold beer as you want close by. Since there are almost 188 000 lakes in Finland, why not build our own sauna raft? Surely there would be a place for it. Plus, this design would allow us to take a swim in refreshing water without commuting long distances between sauna and a lake! Splendid - we thought and walked 2.75 meters to the shore.

Another great idea was to attend Mongolian Rally. The one with tiny cars and crazy persons in silly costumes trying to drive from London to Mongolia. You know? That would be a great activity for us. Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Tripyat, Donetsk, South Ossetia, Tehran and so on.. What a nice road trip.

Closest to any reasonable plan was to get a train and tour the Europe like young fellas used to travel some 70 years ago. However, the train option would limit the possibilities to visit some spectacular places, like the breathtaking wine cellars 101th Airborne found from the Alps.

In the end. Probably somewhere between 4th and 9th beer and 2 hours in sauna, these three ideas merged into a super one. First to a Mongolian Rally with a sauna and then to a mongrel of a trip with a sauna van around Europe. Great success! Maybe…

SiirBros / Roope

Sunday, April 17, 2016

As good as 4th grade diary

Writing a blog is something that neither of us have planned to do. Compulsory diaries, in first grades of elementary schools, are the closest thing of writing a blog what we have done. At the time writing diaries seemed pointless. I thought that nothing so special happened in my life. It was the same same all the time. I woke up. Went to school.  Ate some food. Tested some brand new computer games. Planned to build a wall between Mexico and US. Pretty much the same nonsense that the Internet is full nowadays.

Really?? And I am about to do this all over again? Will it be as much out of the comfort zone than last time? Probably not. This project will be so amazing that we want to share the experience with you however we can.Writings will be about our endeavours always when we are not busy whipping Pope Franciscus with birch bouquet in sauna (you will see what we mean) or drinking Rakia with Croatian fishermen.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy the original 4th grade “blog posts”:

"I had nothing to do. I was inside almost the whole day. At evening I cheered up a bit."

"We were supposed to shortly visit the city. But we were there for five hours. We went to a pizza place. I bought Hubba Puppa bubble gum and Omar toffee."

"I wrote many days of diary. I didn't do anything else but chill."

"Today is first day of December. There is exactly twenty four days to Christmas eve."

"There is only a little time to the new years eve. There is only 23 days to Christmas eve. Try to guess what day of December it is."