KathyBou’s Blog

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Archive for November 12th, 2008

Children walking around with fire

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For the second evening in a row,on our way home from work, we have seen children walking around downtown with paper lanterns.

When we saw a small boy yesterday, who looked dressed up and was carrying a short pole with a lantern at the end, my first thought was some kind of late Halloween festival.  But children walking around with open flames? – that’s a pretty good sign it’s not a new tradition.

Turns out it’s for St. Martin’s Day, which is celebrated on November 11th.

Who is St. Martin?

Short version:

St. Martin was a knight in Roman times. He was riding his horse when he saw a beggar at the side of the road. The beggar was freezing cold, so St. Martin cut his cloak in two with his sword, and shared it with him.

Slightly longer version, courtesy of BBC:

Martin of Tours was born 316 in Sabarina, Pannonia, Hungary. He joined the Roman army at age 15 and soon became a follower of Christianity.  One very cold day, as the story goes, near the city gate of Amiens, France, Martin saw a beggar who was freezing.  He took his sword and cut his cloak in two, giving one half to the beggar. The next night, he dreamed he had given his cloak to Jesus.

He later became a monk, and eventually a bishop of the city of Tours, and any legends became associated with with his person and deeds. St Martin was the first person to be canonised who was not a martyr.

As it turns out, there is a slight resemblance to Halloween; children with lanterns go from house to house, singing St. Martin’s Day songs and collecting sweets.

St. Martin’s Day is also closely tied to the goose.  Numerous stories/legends abound as to why, but I guess the goose is to St. Martin’s Day what the black cat is to Halloween, except we don’t eat the cat.  Yes, they do eat the goose, with red cabbage and dumplings.

Written by Kat

November 12, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Posted in Life, Travel

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Internet pancakes

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I’ve been trying different recipes for a while now, the internet is a lovely place to go recipe ahunting isn’t it?

Lots have been good, but we reached new highs in pancake-y goodness on Sunday.

Here is the recipe, called Old Fashioned Pancakes, with with minor alterations:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Pour or scoop the batter in pan or griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

One thing I read somewhere, and that I’ve started doing, is to put the pancakes into a warm (not hot) oven.  This is especially good if you want to eat together, as opposed to eating each pancake as it comes off the griddle.

Written by Kat

November 12, 2008 at 12:34 am

Posted in Food

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