Interlude: Toopajaiset

My dear daughter Toop got the Varpajaiset she deserved on Saturday night. Now, I write this intro purely as it happened, at about 1 in the morning after the party ended – yes, it finished pretty early – and will add the rest later. But it was a grand old party.

Welcome to Bar Äijä's.

The warm, welcoming glow of Bar Äijä’s.

Your varpajaiset, and I accept this explanation is not going to help the English-speakers much but it is what it is. I don’t know or care much about it myself. It’s a celebration of having a kid, and only male family members and friends are supposed to be invited, and if it is a male baby then there is supposed to be some whiskey and cigars. I decided quite early on that it was my bar, so I would invite females if I wanted to, and also there would be cigars, regardless.

Cigars happened.

Spoilers.

Google Images gave me this for “Wetting the Baby’s Head”, which is what I think this whole thing translates as:

I guess it's this.

Prince William should apparently have been involved. Also, does that woman have a gun to the baby’s head? And if so, why is her face not blurred instead of the baby’s? Why even blur a baby’s face? What is this? I’m still drunk.

Actually, from the search results above, there seems to be a recurring drink:

WHAT IS THIS?

This drink, bloggies. Bring it to me! I’m still drunk.

So, let’s get this done.

The party was fantastic, a pure Bar Äijä’s classic with no real acrimony or unpleasantness. Virva didn’t even hardly get into a fight at all, and it wasn’t just because a) she’d slipped the fuck out of her rotator cuff and b) the only Itkonens present were polite and inoffensive. I think overall there was just a good vibe.

Fix my couch.

The party started with modest handicrafts, as the first arrivals helped finish assembly of our couch-bed.

Squee

The new couch then became Baby Central.

Gentlemen. Let's begin.

Da Äijä, Baarimikko and Lanttumies hang at the bar.

There was also, fittingly enough, something of a next-generation theme, with numerous babies and small children underfoot throughout the night. Indeed, one of the Last Men Standing was none other than Young Miss “Wump” Hatboy, who came to the bar on numerous occasions and placed orders, such as “blackcurrant juice”, “water in a small plastic lid” and “sausages and cheese”.

Ordering

“I want one of those,” she seemed to say.

Mmm, chips.

There were Karasjärvis.

GRÜKers.

And children of all ages.

Wump had been taken to the aquarium by a few of the Roleplayers that afternoon for a spot of Live-Action Role Playing in the genre of Taking A Kid To The Aquarium. It had been a resounding success and Wump had been her usual amazingly well-behaved self.

Hold this baby. Bye.

I don’t even know if I’m being sarcastic anymore. But Zach had all the babies he could cuddle. And he’s actually way more thrilled and impressed than he looks here, as you can see from other shots.

Hena, Mrs. Hatboy, Karoliina

Hena, Mrs. Hatboy, and Karoliina pay respects to the Varpajaiset Girl.

The bar was soon packed, in spite of my disastrous invitation failure and the Facebook-dependent nature of the communications process.

Standing room only.

Standing room only at Bar Äijä’s.

Now, call it currying favour if you will, but I feel obliged to award the joint Best on Ground to none other than this blog’s own dreameling. OH YES. No no, hear me out. He consulted the drinks list and ordered a broad selection of shots and, maybe once or twice by accident, cocktails (he said he wasn’t a big drinker and I guess that was quite literal: he drank an impressive amount, in very small glasses). Actually I felt a bit bad for him after a while because everything he ordered was a shot and he probably could have used an actual drink. But he shot like a hero. And he ordered an “Äijä” (don’t ask what it is, if you order one you have to drink it), and he drank it because that’s the rule. And he walked out unassisted. Although Mister Fahrenheit (hereinafter The Booze Whisperer) was with him so he may have had help.

Party on!

Party on.

And that brings me to the other joint Best on Ground. The Booze Whisperer made a magical and wondrous appearance, and invented a new shot (his previous great success, the Dagobah, has been immortalised on the Bar Äijä’s drinks menu. Not sure if this new one will end up on the roster, it may require some work but let’s see what the 6×6 Party brings in May. The shot was called Get To Da Chopah, and included steamy-jungley melon liqueur, thirdy-worldy tequila, Arnie-oily Amaretto, and a Predator-laser of Grenadine.

Sensei and grasshopper.

The Booze Whisperer works his magic, Baarimikko just reverently does his bidding.

Get to da...

The Get To Da Chopah takes shape.

CHOPAH!

GET TO DA CHOPAH! (Note: In background, pulped fresh ginger for another popular shot for the night, the surprising, refreshing, non-alcoholic Jaffa Kree.)

All in all, an interesting night for the drinks-pourer, as plenty of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic options were consumed and greatly enjoyed. The new additions were approved and Happy Baarimikko was vindicated in his hideous, hideous creativity.

What's in this? It's gggggggggggggg

In this shot, you see Bella enjoying a Jolt-o, which is technically alcohol-free but also includes cola, energy drink, and several coffee beans.

Actually, Bella enjoyed the Jolt-o so much, she later had a double. As you can see from the photo above, Vuta looked on in approval and later thanked me sincerely by not punching me in the face. Although he did sort of crash out on the couch so maybe he could have had a Jolt-o himself, I don’t know.

Meet the ladies. Four in a line.

Or he could have left it to his son to punch me in the face, but Walder was too busy out-drinking his old man to be bothered with anything as pointless as punching his weird foreign uncle.

Tequila Funrise.

At least one Tequila Funrise was also consumed.

GO FOR BRAINS.

We also experimented with a few new “Brain” shots, and the Bloody Brain suggested by Ms. Tor was certainly a great success.

I hereby award Sir Vainikka with the Iron Cross of Come At Me Bro, for actually managing to squeeze into the bar’s chain mail. And then managing to get out of it again without slipping a disc.

Like a gauntlet.

And doing so in a Stormtrooper shirt and that hat: Genius.

The night went on and there was much revelry. Pizzas arrived.

Mmm, pizza.

Lots and lots and lots of pizzas.

Angles

And OH LOOK, this seems to be the same picture from the other camera.

People laughed at the amount of pizza, but we ate almost all of them – indeed, if the party had maintained numbers for another hour, I think we would have finished them all.

Äijä's Tea House

Also coming soon to Bar Äijä’s: The Äijä’s Adorable Tea House.

The Booze Whisperer underwent a strange and hilarious transformation.

Oh God.

“The change … I can feel it…”

And, for some reason, he became a meme.

misleadingb(1b) misleadinga(1a)

Introducing “Misleading Janne”.

Last Man Standing Award goes to Mr. Chris Helenius, after missing the last bus out of Sotunki he came on back and we had a good long chat about George RR Martin set against the backdrop of I don’t know, randomly squealing infants, not sure what that was all about, something about the reason for this whole party.

Honorable mentions to the Linzitkoblooms for preparing a fucking bizarre interpretation on the jello shot / edible shot glass. They were delicious, with any number of different shots poured into them (the Hawkins’s delicious cherry Jim Beam, and the classic Squashed Frog, being favourites). We couldn’t get them out of their moulds, so ended up having to just eat the whole lot with spoons (although Misleading Janne did explore more disgusting methods), but they were fantastic.

Jello shots.

I asked for it, I got it.

I must also thank the Lanttumies for providing Cubans, and for having the only Prairie Dog of the night, although plenty of Jaffa Krees were had. I hope nobody involved is too sore today.

KREE

KREE!

Well, that’s about it. Watch this space for more hilarity.

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48 Responses to Interlude: Toopajaiset

  1. dreameling says:

    ‘Twas indeed a grand, fun evening. From what I can tell, you’ve managed to surround yourself with a tribe of really good, pleasant, easygoing people, so kudos, foreign dude. Got a really good, warm vibe going on in that place of yours, is what I’m saying. (Also, Bar Äijä’s was literally an oven at one point.) I’m not the biggest party animal around (I’m sure this comes as a shock), but if this was indeed classic Bar Äijä’s, I’d do your parties any day. So, again, thank you for the invite. And for the free booze and pizza.

    He consulted the drinks list and ordered a broad selection of shots

    At the risk of losing the blatantly favor-currying joint Best on Ground award, I didn’t have a clue what half of the ingredients were. I just looked for stuff that said “baileys” and had a funny name. My favorite so far? Dagobah. Mister Fahrenheit is clearly some kind of savant.

    Introducing “Misleading Janne”.

    Brilliant. 🙂

    That shit needs to stay alive for generations.

    Watch this space for more hilarity.

    Anyone write down the lyrics for that awesome Nokia Lumia song you, Sir Vainikka, and Mister Fahrenheit (and probably a few other people I’m criminally forgetting) came up? That needs to be a YouTube video.

    • stchucky says:

      That was indeed Classic Äijä’s, and they are an excellent crowd. Most of the older generation were family, the younger generation roleplayers. Good mix and good people.

      I didn’t have a clue what half of the ingredients were. I just looked for stuff that said “baileys” and had a funny name. My favorite so far? Dagobah. Mister Fahrenheit is clearly some kind of savant.

      Quite so. And that’s fine, you don’t need to be an expert on every crazy liquor invented by humanity in order to knows what you likes. Although I feel compelled to tell you, the Dagobah didn’t have Baileys – that was Mozart chocolate liqueur. But pretty much the same thing.

      (You can remember the ingredients of the Dagobah by this simple mnemonic [and oh boy did I ever have trouble trying to pronounce that word halfway through the night]: Malibu, Mozart, Midori. MMM. As in “Mmm, you seek Yoda.”

      Anyone write down the lyrics for that awesome Nokia Lumia song you, Sir Vainikka, and Mister Fahrenheit (and probably a few other people I’m criminally forgetting) came up?

      Oh snap, I’d completely forgotten that entire thing, and now I still don’t remember anything about it except it was not entirely complimentary of the Windows Phone in general. Oh right, it was sung to the tune of “Spider Pig”:

      Lumia, Lumia,
      Does whatever a Lumia does
      Can you surf on the web?
      No you can’t,
      Windows Phone.
      Look out,
      Here comes Lumia.

      Or something like that.

    • dreameling says:

      Although I feel compelled to tell you, the Dagobah didn’t have Baileys – that was Mozart chocolate liqueur. But pretty much the same thing.

      With the Dagobah, I really just went for the name. Because, you know, SW and total geek cred. (For some reason, though, I remembered it being “Degoblaah”. Which is just weird.) Oh, but there was also Misty Dagobah with Baileys, right?

  2. stchucky says:

    I have now added a few more pictures to the page.

  3. Linza says:

    “The Booze Whisperer” is the best nickname in awhile.

  4. aaronthepatriot says:

    Awesome! Looks like a great time had by all, and the family is looking really cute, bro!

    And pizza! Oh the pizza! Of all the consumables I miss the most now that I’m gluten-free (paleo), pizza is at the top. And my triple ale microbrews, those too…but most of all pizza!

    Although Mrs. Patriot makes an excellent millet-and-flax-seed-crust pizza, I have to say.

    • stchucky says:

      I don’t pretend to understand diets of any kind, but surely the healthiest thing about the pizza is the crust? Wouldn’t it be all the stuff you put on top that you’d want to change in order to lose weight?

      Oh, as an addendum to the story: we did end up with 3 pizzas left over, so we had a Continuation War party the next night with select family members. And I opened a can of anchovies (only available at certain shops here, and never actually properly available on actual pizzas as far as I am aware) and put them on one of the pizzas, along with some extra cheese, when I re-heated them.

      And they were delicious.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “I don’t pretend to understand diets of any kind, but surely the healthiest thing about the pizza is the crust? Wouldn’t it be all the stuff you put on top that you’d want to change in order to lose weight?”

        You would think so, but no. Wheat is the worst thing you can eat, for a great many people, even some who don’t think they experience any negative consequences. And wheat is one of the worst offenders for raising cholesterol, alas.

      • stchucky says:

        Huh. Interesting stuff. So … how about potato? There’s a really good line in potato bread / patties that would be awesome with pizza toppings. Otherwise, just slide the pizza toppings off and eat them with a spoon. Healthy!

        *mental image of Homer with cheese-and-pork-laden rice cake, saying “Mmm … only one calorie…”*

      • And if you could mention the potato, that would – wait, what?
        Original text:

        Geez I need to read more slowly (or after fewer long island ice teas). Potato BREAD you said? Well the potato flour usually replaces only a portion of the wheat in those, so the short answer is: no, not really. Sorry about that!

      • stchucky says:

        The rieskas I am talking about tend to be barley-based rather than anything else, and the potato ones are basically as it says on the packet. Not much wheat in them at all. Mr. dreameling may be able to correct or offer more info, frankly I don’t care much either way since I’m not on the diet and I don’t know if you’d be able to get rieska in the US.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_bread

      • dreameling says:

        All I know is that regular rieska can taste really good, while potato rieska is a bit meh for me. Wikipedia clearly knows more about rieska and Finnish bread than I do, so let’s just go with whatever it says. Also, don’t care either, ’cause I eat whatever I want (which shows, I’m semi-sad to say).

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Dreameling:
        “Also, don’t care either, ’cause I eat whatever I want (which shows, I’m semi-sad to say).”

        Ser Chucky:
        “frankly I don’t care much either way since I’m not on the diet”

        OK I’m getting a strong vibe and I’m going to take the hint, more or less, on this one. Dreameling, you and I are already talking diet choices in our email so I’m sure I’ll get the chance to tell you about wheat more (did some already).

        Chucky, I know you’re incredibly busy with the new baby, the old baby, the writing, the huge set of family and friends who drop by all the time, so totally I’m not going to drop this on you now. Plus, I know you primarily want to enjoy yourself. Plus, I think you already told me you don’t really eat a lot of wheat in a normal day’s diet (correct me if I’m wrong and you wish to correct), so even more so it’s really not a hot item for me to tell you what I *know* about wheat.

        However, I do hope you will hit me up sometime (or tell me when you can listen to what I have to say on this), because this one diet thing IS really important. You know me, I’m not a fanatic, I’m an unbeliever. About nearly everything. So if I tell you there is substantial medical and scientific evidence and theory behind what I want to say about wheat, I hope you will know to trust me. In addition I have first-hand evidence of two very important issues with wheat. Neither of those are the most important as it pertains to most people, but they’re still huge, and they are 100% certain since I lived them.

        K so that’s it for now, I promise. *destroys soap box*

        -Aaron

      • dreameling says:

        Dude, that was totally not a brush-off or anything like that, merely a quick comment about my dietary behavior. 🙂

        I don’t really follow food sciences, but I’m peripherally aware of the issues with wheat and especially gluten. The problem is that there seem to be so many conflicting studies and professional opinions — and accompanying diet choices — about what to eat, when, and how much that I just can’t be bothered. For the sake of my health, I probably should, but yeah, kinda lazy. I do try to avoid saturated fats and excess carbs, and opt for rye or barley over wheat when possible, and generally go for whole grain over refined, so there’s at least that! (Probably more on this in my next email.)

    • dreameling says:

      Mmmmm. Pizza.

      Do anchovies taste like tuna?

      • stchucky says:

        Not really. Far saltier.

        You know what does taste like tuna? Ilves.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Do anchovies taste like tuna?”

        Negative. Tuna tastes delicious. Anchovies, at least hot ones on pizza (cold ones on a salad can be good) taste like the inside of my asshole. Thanks Obama!

        Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkQxHlr2fXM

      • stchucky says:

        Sweet, many of the Finns seem to feel the same way. Which is why I get all the anchovies I want on my pizzas. I just have to add them myself.

      • stchucky says:

        Also, this is a transparent ploy to get me to rim you when you come to Finland. Your plan will fail, sir.

      • dreameling says:

        You know what does taste like tuna? Ilves.

        Isn’t ilves like a protected species [1]? Do you also hunt saimaannorppa, you barbarian?

        [1] Haha. According to Wikipedia, our ilves is “Lynx lynx lynx”. Yes, we get that it’s a lynx!

        Negative. Tuna tastes delicious. Anchovies, at least hot ones on pizza (cold ones on a salad can be good) taste like the inside of my asshole.

        Sweet, many of the Finns seem to feel the same way. Which is why I get all the anchovies I want on my pizzas. I just have to add them myself.

        I don’t want to pre-judge, since I’ve never tasted anchovies, but I’m just gonna go with Aaron on this one (and my fellow Finns). Keep your anchovies.

        Also, this is a transparent ploy to get me to rim you when you come to Finland. Your plan will fail, sir.

        Hands-down the classiest blog I read. Also, thank you for the image.

      • stchucky says:

        Isn’t ilves like a protected species [1]? Do you also hunt saimaannorppa, you barbarian?

        My father-in-law shot and canned it in Estonia, where nothing is protected.

        Hands-down the classiest blog I read.

        You know it.

      • dreameling says:

        My father-in-law shot and canned it in Estonia, where nothing is protected.

        Well, that’s perfectly fine then. When in Rome…

        Also, there’s a topical world news / politics joke there, but I’ll just leave it be for now.

  5. Potatoes are perfectly fine for most people, and you know, you can have a nice millet and flax seed crust for a pizza, at home at least, and it tastes 10x better than a plain white flour crust!

    Ditto seed and nut crackers vs. flour crackers. Ever since I’ve gotten rid of wheat, I’ve been discovering the most amazing, rich flavors in such basic things as seeds and nuts. But definitely go nuts with the potatoes!

  6. “Sweet, many of the Finns seem to feel the same way. Which is why I get all the anchovies I want on my pizzas. I just have to add them myself.”

    You and my dad, Chucky. You’re in noble company.

    “Also, this is a transparent ploy to get me to rim you when you come to Finland. Your plan will fail, sir.”

    I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about. But if I did…I mean don’t you miss a man’s asshole? ;D

  7. aaronthepatrior says:

    Crap one last point, I said it before but it deserves saying again: I do not miss wheat. In fact I love the flavors of the substitutes (which are various forms of “flour” made from nuts, seeds, and starchy vegetables/beans) more than I do wheat. I will never go back, except to occasionally visit a favorite beer or something like that as a rare treat. No reason to. But the options in Finland might not be as broad as they are here.

    I was incredibly skeptical when I started this diet change, that I would ever feel this way, but it did not take long at all to get here. And I feel I gave up nothing whatsoever. Certainly nothing of value.

    • stchucky says:

      Bro.

      Okay, first of all I’m not sure how your ‘last point I’ve got to make’ was different to the first point you made, and which I’d noted with interest. I got it, you enjoy the extra flavours in the seeds and nuts, you don’t miss wheat and that’s all grand. I don’t think you necessarily needed to say it again, and certainly not in such a fanatical-looking hurry that you spelled your own handle wrong, forcing me to come in and moderate and approve all over again, manually, on my phone. But that’s no big deal, don’t worry about it I ain’t even mad.

      But that brings me neatly to the next point, which is that your vibe-sensor is way out of whack this time. Your ability to actually drop the subject in response to said vibe is also not improving, but that doesn’t matter because your vibe-sensor is the problem today. All you’ve gotten here is polite interest from me, along with a statement of my lack of interest in changing my diet, even if I’m willing to hear whatever anyone has to say. I wasn’t making up my positive responses. And I’m pretty sure dreameling is in the same boat.

      Let me explain what I think happened here, based on a little numbered list I like to call “Every Conversation About Diets Ever Held By Anyone Ever”.

      Step 1: Dieter: I’m on this diet.

      Step 3: Dieter: CONVERT THE CHUBBY INFIDEL WITH FIRE!

      Now, you may have noticed there was no Step 2 in that list. This is because it makes absolutely no difference what happens in Step 2, Step 3 is always the same. So any reticence and disclaimers you may have seen here were probably just pre-emptive resistance against the invading horde.

      However, I am interested. I’ve learned that you’re not one to hyperbolise about these things, so if you have something mind-blowing or important to share, there will never be a better time or place, so have at it, chief. I am interested in hearing it, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to do it without being preachy or conversionny, despite my summary above.

      So go for it. Just … keep in mind, as you’ve already noted, that even if your revelation makes us all certain we’re going to die horrible smelly deaths before much longer if we continue our wicked wheat-sucking ways, there’s a good chance we won’t be able to switch to this diet / lifestyle. Because as you say, there’s just not the breadth of choice at shops here. This is a country that requires me to take a special trip into the capital if I want to buy chunky peanut butter, alright? It might just be possible to get ingredients from time to time, and try this stuff at home, and I’m all for that so please do share. But flax seed store-bought pizzas, let alone dial-a-pizza for party purposes?

      Not in this lifetime. Not even if dreameling and I go out and buy ourselves bird-feeders to eat out of tomorrow. So don’t expect more than just a repeat of the same polite interest you’ve gotten already. That’s probably all you’re going to get.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        All excellent points, I suppose I read (and probably always will) “frankly I don’t care much either way” in a very different way than you intend when you write it. But, bygones.

        It is indeed a shame that you don’t have the options we have here, I guess America is good for something =/

        And while your “every diet” critique is spot on, it is important to note that there are some diets that are kooky, some which work for many people, and some that are just rock solid in science/medicine and wise to attend to. By the same token there are some which are ephemeral, and some which have years and years of development and proof behind them. In both cases, the anti-gluten diet (for lack of a better word but I supposed “Paleo” is the closest diet of this sort), is in the latter category of both of those earlier sentences.

        So while my FERVOR may be similar, everything behind it is pretty solid. That’s all.

        One reason my fervor IS so high on this one is I tried pasta (well, Spätzle) after about two weeks gluten free, and I was literally high like I had had 3-4 drinks. I’m not shitting you, it was really strange (or would have been, but I immediately understood it as I will explain).

        This is one of the bits of science, that gluten actually binds similarly to receptors as morphine does, and gluten cravings can be cured in a similar fashion to morphine addiction by using the same drugs used in rehab facilities that kill drug addiction cravings. What these drugs do is knock off the morphine molecules from those receptors and prevent them from binding again. Hence the morphine doesn’t get you high, and the receptors are satisfied by the drug you took instead, and thus no craving.

        Scary stuff? I like to control when I get high, apparently if you’re eating wheat you’re high all the time! LOL

      • stchucky says:

        One reason my fervor IS so high on this one is I tried pasta (well, Spätzle) after about two weeks gluten free, and I was literally high like I had had 3-4 drinks. I’m not shitting you, it was really strange (or would have been, but I immediately understood it as I will explain).

        Very funky! I guess this has just been part of our diets for so long (hence paleo), we’re completely used to it and so going without and then suddenly dosing again had a noticeable impact. Neat.

        Did you experience any related withdrawal symptoms as you stopped chewing Satan’s Straw?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Very funky! I guess this has just been part of our diets for so long (hence paleo), we’re completely used to it and so going without and then suddenly dosing again had a noticeable impact. Neat.”

        Oh actually Paleo is a diet without wheat or any other “advanced” farming foods. Only what could be found foraging etc, nuts, seeds, meat, ground vegetables, fruits. But not wheat, not milk…sort of thing. I would have been more clear but was trying to keep the length down on my comment XD

        So Paleo refers to a more wild sort of diet, before agriculture etc. Which does make sense IMO.

        “Did you experience any related withdrawal symptoms as you stopped chewing Satan’s Straw?”

        LMAO you have officially named it, awesome. Actually, no. I had cravings for about 3 days, and then…nothing. I don’t even want it anymore! Said enough on that front, of course.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh actually Paleo is a diet without wheat or any other “advanced” farming foods. Only what could be found foraging etc, nuts, seeds, meat, ground vegetables, fruits. But not wheat, not milk…sort of thing.

        Sure, sure. The gist of what I was saying, though, was that wheat has been part of our diet for a long time. So we’re pretty acclimatised to it, even if it is bad for us. So going without, then dosing, has an impact.

        Similar to sugar, caffeine, etc. Or, indeed, any other drug.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Sure, sure. The gist of what I was saying, though, was that wheat has been part of our diet for a long time. So we’re pretty acclimatised to it, even if it is bad for us. So going without, then dosing, has an impact.”

        Well actually THIS wheat, usually “dwarf wheat” that is most accessible now has NOT been a part of our diet for very long. I don’t have exact numbers but I want to say only a few decades.

        Before that was emmer (sp?) wheat and then before that was einkorn (sp?) wheat, which are still grown but are really scarce now. Dwarf Wheat has been bred (and now genetically modified) to grow faster and take up less farming space, so as to feed more people for the same crop area.

        However, wheat is the sort of organism where when it cross-breeds, it ADDS to the number of chromosomes (I think it’s chromosomes), instead of a hybrid process where a middle ground is reached, or the original number is preserved (like, 23 for us).

        So, I think einkorn wheat has something like 6-8 chromosomes, but at this point dwarf wheat has 42. And the chemical changes that have resulted are what is causing the problem for our digestive systems.

      • stchucky says:

        Cool, didn’t know that. Very weird.

        What do save-the-planet-and-stop-eating-animals vegan hippies say about this? Surely if we have to eat vegetables because they’re more sustainable than meat, there will need to be some sort of GM optimisation of crops vs. land, in order to feed us all. Hopefully scientists are working on this. Because it’s going to be a tough call to replace these wheat crops with other grains and nuts, isn’t it? Large-scale.

        I have no idea whether this sort of GM wheat is more or less of a thing here in EU-regulated Finland.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Oh and dwarf wheat is considerably easier to bake with for several reasons due to physical properties (mills finer, sticks together better). Baking with emmer or einkorn is far more challenging, hence the shift we’ve made in culture. And baking with non-wheat flours altogether is even a degree MORE challenging. The first few times I made cookies with gluten-free flours, they spread out and were crystallized and chewy. Actually rather tasty, but hardly what you are used to. You have to add xantham gum to fix it, or buy flour made for baking.

      • stchucky says:

        Recently, Mrs. Hatboy has made some cakes and things using alternate ingredients, like chick peas instead of flour. My mother-in-law did one with some sort of ground-up nuts instead of flour. They’re yummo.

        As for me, peanuts and cashews and above all toasted pine nuts are my go-to additive (aside from the roasted onion we’ve talked about elsewhere) for meals, they’re great and I often find myself far more satisfied and full after eating a smaller serving, so I don’t need to go and snack. Nuts are good for that.

        I also prefer rice to spaghetti, although I do love my noodles. Most of them are egg or rice noodles though, different ingredients.

        Bread, at this point, is not leaving our table any time soon but I like to play around with varieties (muesli bread is good, and the rieskas I mentioned). Always happy to get more suggestions, our selection of shops notwithstanding. And Mrs. Hatboy sometimes makes different sorts of breads herself, which are always great. I’m sure we could find the raw ingredients, if only at a special Helsinki hippy shop, and use them to make our own bread – sometimes.

      • stchucky says:

        My larger question about the sustainability and total-population-practicality of this approach and alternate foodstuff, though, probably needs a whole new discussion topic of its own.

        I’m referring to the hunter-gatherer-style diet / lifestyle, and the shift from GM wheat to various more-land-and-nourishment-intensive seeds and nuts that it represents. This strikes me as a diet change that is a good idea, yes – but one that’s really only available to the First World, and the wealthy First World at that. You, for example, have reasonably easy access to these ingredients, and can afford to live this (amusingly prehistoric) dietary lifestyle. So, good. Do it while you can, sure. I’m not trying to guilt-trip you about the poor fuzzy-wuzzies who can’t afford flax seed. Or make excuses for not adopting it (because I don’t need to make excuses).

        It’s not a lifestyle sustainable by a huge population, though, as far as I can see. I was just reading Pratchett and Baxter’s “The Long War”, which had more to say about hunter-gatherer / beachcomber lifestyles and their supportability by a finite set of planetary resources. Interesting stuff. I’d be interested to see where / how the no-wheat diet fits in, and whether these plants are actually a better and more efficient choice. I know vegans have a lot to say about some of the tofu-ey, aglae-y, hippy super-plants that tend to get ignored, but which really are the sensible way to go, in terms of sustainability and efficiency of nourishment-provided-per-square-farming-kilometre.

        But it’s a bigger topic.

  8. aaronthepatriot says:

    “Dude, that was totally not a brush-off or anything like that, merely a quick comment about my dietary behavior. ”

    It’s all good! Well, aside from wheat of course. Everything ELSE is all good ;D

  9. aaronthepatriot says:

    Excellent points again, Chucky! You never fail to fail to disappoint! I think you are quite right that this sort of prehistoric diet is not available to much outside the well-to-do first world, I’m sure we could quibble over specifics of just which places and people could and couldn’t but we’re roughly on the same page there. It’s very important for whoever can, to do this, for reasons I will NOT enter into here, there is no good reason to. Any elaboration I can provide next, and I have tried several sentences, is a bad idea, so let’s move on from that!

    I’m really glad you find joy in the alternatives to wheat flour like nuts etc., as you mentioned. That is precisely what I found as well! Totally agree with you about nuts, etc. Last weekend we had port wine, some amazing sesame-and-other-seed toasted “cracker” (no gluten), and amazing cheeses for dessert 2 nights in a row. And it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, and I felt awesome the next days after it even though I pigged out.

    I think that’s all you can do is substitute as much as works for you, because even with my accessibility to all gluten-free stuff, sometimes I still go to the high-end “wine” shop and grab a little Gulden Draug quadruple-ale. Not often though. Nice double-high I get from that now, LOL.

    And as for pasta, AFAIK egg noodles still use wheat, but perhaps rice does not. Any time I can substitute rice for pasta (or nothing, at this point) I consider it a win. Rice is technically not in the hardcore Paleo diet, nor are legumes, but we allow ourselves those anyway. There is also corn-based pasta which is quite tasty.

    I figure the more you can substitute the better…we’ve started doing it with the girls now, too. And they don’t seem to miss it. So it’s all very exciting!

    • stchucky says:

      Excellent points again, Chucky! You never fail to fail to disappoint!

      Thanks bud. I thought you seemed a little downcast by my original shallow response (as you said, I am busy and I did sort of think the pizzas and allied diet discussion to be something of a tangent to the actual blog post about the celebration … but it turned out to be interesting), so figured you could use a bit extra.

      And ooh, love me a cheese board, and various crackers are definitely superior to (incidentally wheat-based) breads and toasts and stuff. And by weird coincidence, Mrs. Hatboy and I cracked open a bottle of port the other night too, the first in quite a long while as I couldn’t in good conscience drink it while she was on pregnancy-teetotalage. Marvellous stuff.

      My sweet tooth (not to mention indigestion-prone-ness) keeps me from enjoying wine much, and there’s ony a limited number of times and places you can enjoy dessert wines (although I tend to shun convention and drink the sweet stuff whenever and wherever I please, meal-and-party-wise), so port is a lovely alternative.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Nice! I love the coincidence of our port drinking!

        Yeah I have a sweet tooth as well, including for the beers and wines etc. Don’t like bitter beers, they’re the worst.

        Something you might be able to get, perhaps even cheaper than I can, is Ice Wine! It’s much, much sweeter than even ruby port wine. AFAIK, they crush the grapes while still partially frozen, so there is less water and more sugar involved. Of course, it’s more expensive, but this is done more in cold climates so perhaps you would luck out.

        It’s really, REALLY good =D

      • stchucky says:

        Oh yeah, ice wine is awesome. We tend to get it tax-free on the boats to Sweden or Estonia, since it’s damned expensive (all alcohol is damned expensive here). But definitely nice.

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