Lapland autumn 2009 – 12th September

I began the day cooking breakfast and making a batch of pinn bröd dough

making pinn brod (Large)

Teres was keen to help me ;>)

Teres helping make bread

I cooked the breads on the top of my woodburning stove

baking pinn brod

My neighbours were at their cabin for the day and there grandson was collecting blue berries and threading them onto a grass stem.  Apparently many children do this and them eat the berries later.

threading blue berries on grass stem (Small)

We were due to eat food at Anki’s cabin in the afternoon and so we walked there through the forest.

forest view (Small)

I love this view at any time of year

forest view-2 (Small)

Teres’ sister Jenny and her husband Hasse were also there

family (Small)

We cooked sausage and later Anki cooked a meal for us.  Anki used to work as a chef and I always look forward to her cooking!

bbq at Anki's cabin (Small)

We went walking after our evening meal and although we saw no birds or other wildlife the autumn colours at sunset made up for it

evening view (Medium)

Birds seen today; 1 Redpoll, 1 Song Thrush singing, Raven, Redwing, Greenfinch, Siberian Jay, Willow Tit, Crossbill, Brambling, and 1 Willow Warbler.

The following day we drove back to Gallivare for a few days.

Making pinn bröd

There are four basic ingredients in Pinn bröd; flour, salt, baking powder and honey.  I like to add some curry powder for added flavour

Pinn bread-1 (Large)

To each cup of flour I add a pinch of salt and baking powder and some honey to taste.  The honey not only gives taste but helps to preserve the bread, keep it supple and prevent it drying out and cracking while cooking.

Pinn bread-2

Mix the ingredients and add water until you achieve a ball of dough

pinn bread-3 (Large)

Divide the dough into pieces and roll out .  I  roll them very thinly and use as a wrap.

pinn bread-4 (Large)

They need to be cooked for about 20 – 30 seconds on each side and there are a variety of ways of doing this.  On the hob of a woodburning stove

pinn bread (Large)

in a dry frying pan over a fire or on an electric hob

pinn bread-5

or in this case on top of my woodburner

pinn bread-6 (Large)

I use a gauze (used to stop fat spitting from a frying pan) to provide an even heat.

And this is the end result with fried sausage, onion, leek, mushroom and dried tomatoes

pinn bread-7 (Large)

Four days is the longest they have lasted so far but that’s because I eat them before the 5th day ;>)

Lapland Spring 2009 – 3rd June

Sunny and 19 degrees first thing this morning.

I made some traditional Lapland bread called pinn bröd using the simple recipe  (more about that soon) that Anki had shown me.

making Lapland bread (Large)

Lacking a rolling pin to roll them out I improvised with a candle which worked just fine

rolling bread (Medium)

I cooked them on top of the stove for less than a minute and they were done to perfection

pinn bread (Large)

I decided to take the video camera and head out to one of my favourite spots again…..the shooting tower.

After 10 minutes sitting in the tower a Black Woodpecker appeared moving from tree stump to tree stump looking for insects and I managed to get some nice film.  Next a female Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus ) called and landed close to the tower, feeding on insects on the ground.  A Kestrel (a new species for my list) was perched on the top of a dead tree and from an area of forest in front of me a pair of Golden Eagles appeared, circling around to gradually gain height before heading off south (again I managed to get them on video).  Very quickly a strong north easterly wind began to blow and it became very cold.  From the mountains came dark clouds and within the space of a few minutes heavy rain began to fall, the wind became really strong and eventually the rain turned to snow and then to large pieces of hail.  I had no water proofs so just wrapped myself in a piece of material and tried to keep as dry as possible.

tower (Medium)

The storm lasted for about an hour and during that time the temperature dropped to at or below freezing.  Fortunately I had some wool clothing with me and although I was wet, the wool kept me warm.

As the storm eased I decided to make a break for it and head back to the cabin

cabin across lake (Medium)

I was only about 20 metres from the cabin when another storm hit.  Strong wind and very heavy rain again.

rain on window (Large)

By late afternoon I had to light candles to be able to see to work in the cabin


By late evening the storms had passed so I walked over to the marsh.  Bird activity had reduced but the marsh looks much more colourful than two weeks ago.

marsh in june (Small)

Bog Rosemary, Cloudberry, Sphagnum mosses, Cotton Grass and Dwarf Birch adding to the colour

colours of marsh (Small)

The Common Crane has a nest with three eggs.  The Dunlin sized birds I have been seeing and hearing flying over the cabin are a pair of Broad-billed Sandpipers (Limicola falcinellus )which were clearly not happy with me being there and I suspect have a nest.

Primitive skills weekend – Part 1

Last weekend I attended a primitive skills weekend run by Will Lord and John Lord + some of their friends.  Here are John and Will exchanging tips on the hand-drill

Prim skills-16 (Small)

I arrived early on Friday afternoon as food was being prepared for an evening meal

Prim skills-2 (Small)

Once this rabbit had been gutted and skinned we made up a rack to suspend it over the fire to cook (we cooked Pike in the same way).

Prim skills-3 (Small)

People continued to arrive throughout the evening

Prim skills-1 (Small)

I had set up my parachute as a tipi for my shelter for the weekend and it was great to be able to lay in bed on Saturday morning testing out my new trangia stove to make coffee and fried breakfast.

Prim skills-5 (Medium)

I fried salami, mushrooms and spring onions on bannock bread and I must say that the stove performed extremely well.

Prim skills-6 (Medium)

The day started with some of us attempting to produce a coal with the hand-drill……unsuccessfully I might add!

Prim skills-7 (Small)

Will lead the primitive theme for the weekend by dressing in his buckskin and leather clothing (including a really nice pair of Red Deer skin boots he had made)

Prim skills-8 (Medium)

After a chat and a brief about activities for the day around the campfire

Prim skills-4 (Small)

some people started scraping deer skins ready for tanning.

Prim skills-12 (Medium)

As brains were being used for tanning the hides, they needed to be mashed up before they could be applied

Prim skills-13 (Medium)

Nick (a deer manager and stalker by trade) gave a demonstration on skinning a Roe deer with flint tools

Prim skills-10 (Medium)

and also butchering it with flint tools

Prim skills-17 (Small)

and John was running a flintknapping workshop on making flint tools

Prim skills-9 (Medium)

For lunch we experimented with cooking shell fish on a burning log with a few embers on the top

Prim skills-14 (Small)

which worked really well

Prim skills-15 (Medium)

Sausages in bannock

This morning I cooked sausages over the campfire

Once the sausages were cooked I wrapped bannock dough around the sausages and cooked them again.

An interesting observation for natural navigation today was this pond sedge.

The sedge having been regularly blown by the prevailing wind (coming from the south west) was pointing in a north easterly direction.

To answer Treewrights question…..

I clear the embers away to expose bare ground and place the pot on the ground (the ground is very hot having absorbed heat from the fire), then I surround the pot with embers and also place some on the top and this creates an oven.

I find it takes about 30 – 40 minutes to bake an average sized loaf.

This one has cheese and sun dried tomatoes in it

and this one is an oat bread stuffed with chocolate

Reed Mace/Bulrush/Cattail pollen bread

Reed Mace (Typha sp.) are now flowering

The flowers produce large amounts of yellow pollen which can easily be collected as used as flour for bread making.

Bend the flower head into a bag (being careful not to break the flower stem) and give it a good shake to remove some pollen.

From only a few flower heads you can gather a reasonable amount of pollen.

To make a bannock type bread I mix one third pollen to two thirds self-raising flower and a pinch of salt.

Add water and make into a dough

Once cooked, the result is a fantastic yellow bread.