Everybody’s Doin’ It

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Irving Berlin was focused on dancing when he wrote his ragtime piece Everybody’s Doin’ It Now in 1911.  However, the title pretty much sums up a current obsession – and it’s not dance.

De-cluttering.  Downsizing.  Organizing.  Tidying-up.  Death-cleaning (yes, the Swedes may have a dark side to them).  Everyone we know seems to be doing it.  When my CC/GPB friends met last September and decided what we hoped to accomplish during the next year, getting rid of “stuff,” seemed to be #1 on many of our lists.

When I asked our Brooklyn Hannah where she kept their new food processor, she responded without hesitation, ” Oh, I’m trying to de-clutter so I keep it put away.”  Yikes.  Hannah will have nightmares when she sees our kitchen clutter when she and our son, Travis, and her mom visit here in April.

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Marie Kondo.

A little background info in case you haven’t kept up:  Marie Kondo, the 34-year-old wunderkind from Japan, wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up when she was about 27.  Her method is entitled KonMari and there’s more about it online than you would ever need or want to know.   Margareta Magnusson from Sweden followed up in 2017 with her own Scandinavian-style approach in “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.”

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Margareta Magnusson

She’s WAY closer to my age than Marie Kondo, so I was amused that amidst her recommendations for städning – or cleaning – she suggests that you should be sure to “save your favorite dildo!”  Ha!

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Baking pans at our house…in serious need of KonMari or Death Cleaning

To honor these two really note-worthy women, we’re providing you with two great recipes – one Japanese and one Swedish.  How cool can we be?  But first we have to “KonMari” our frying pan situation.  Which can stay; which should go?

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Ceramic, carbon steel, stainless steel, and cast iron – they all bring me joy.  They all stay.

That big Lodge carbon steel pan (2nd from left) is great for pancakes.  But we’re fortunate and have a griddle on our Wolf range, so that’s where we normally fry our pancakes.   And, interestingly enough, that’s about all we do with the griddle part of the stove.  Should we KonMari it?

Enjoy the pancake recipes we’re offering up.  They’re different and they’re delicious.  And enjoy Andy’s Corner – where some cleaning up is not going to happen. 🙂

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Okonomiyaki – As You Like It Japanese Pancakes

Okonomiyaki - or As You Like It Japanese Pancakes

These are savory, not sweet, pancakes, and you may want them for lunch/brunch/dinner.  Experimenting with other kinds of finely diced or shredded veggies is fun.  Just be sure to serve them with the sauces; that’s the special touch.  And I make no claim that these are totally authentic.

Batter for pancakes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 3 c finely chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 c shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c finely chopped red onion
  • 1 T minced serrano chili (optional)
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onions, slivered pickled ginger, if you happen to have it – all to garnish

Dipping Sauce #1 (just blend all the ingredients well)

  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 T sake (or vermouth)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Dipping Sauce #2 (blend all the ingredients well)

  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp lime juice

To make the pancakes, whisk the eggs until blended, then gradually whisk in the flour.  Add the soy sauce, salt, and baking powder and whisk again, then stir in the sesame seeds, cabbage, carrots, onion, and chili.

Add the vegetable oil to a pan over medium high heat.  Using about 1/3 c batter for each pancake (the pancakes should be about 3″ across), add the batter to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  If the pancakes aren’t a nice golden brown, flip again a cook a bit longer.

Garnish – and serve with the two dipping sauces.

The pancakes can be frozen – separated by parchment paper or wax paper; to reheat, first defrost and then put 6″ under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until sizzling.  Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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Plattar – Little Swedish Pancakes

Plattar - Little Swedish Pancakes

While my grandmother Annie’s Swedish pancakes are our go-to, we love making these little Swedish pancakes for company.  We’ve tweaked a Mark Bittman recipe, published in the NYTimes in 2004, and serve it with our simple lemon sauce.

Pancake batter

  • 3 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, more for cooking
  • powdered sugar – for serving

Sauce for serving pancakes (stir ingredients until blended well)

  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 T powdered sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 T)

For the pancakes: separate eggs, and beat yolks in a medium bowl with sugar and salt. Add milk and flour alternately, stirring gently after each addition, to form a thin, smooth batter. Stir in melted butter.

Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gently stir them into batter.

Heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Melt some butter in pan, and, using a tablespoon, scoop up a bit of batter and put it in pan. Cook as many pancakes at once as will fit comfortably, turning them when they are golden brown. Total cooking time is less than 3 minutes per batch.

Serve immediately, drizzled with the lemon butter sauce and then sprinkled with powdered sugar (a sieve works well to disperse the sugar).

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.



    Tried the Swedish pancakes Sunday. Favorable results. First batch was a bit thick, but the batter thinned out after a few minutes and the rest of them were thinner and tasty. Seem rather like a version of crepes. Tried them with the sauce… but Gayle preferred to use raspberry jam (she’s out of lingonberry preserves right now, or they’d have been fully Swedish). I tried both the sauce and maple syrup… preferred the maple (guess that makes them Canadian pancakes). Nice recipe. Thin cakes are easy to turn. Used a large rectangular non-stick griddle.


  2. tricia53 says:

    I fear our baking pan and frying pan situation is more abundant than yours! But I’m too lazy to gather them all for a photo shoot. And how many pie pans does one family really need? I often make two pies at once, if company is coming, but that’s about it.


    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: It definitely was a pain to assemble the baking pans and skillets for the photos. Not only that, it was a pain to squeeze them back into their places. Guess the exercise didn’t generate much tidying up around here.



    My “biology 101” T-shirt arrived over the weekend and I wore it to the Y on Monday (apropos of the death cleaning). The message: LIFE: Sexually Transmitted, Always Fatal.

    Scandinavian churches have a “dead spread” after funerals… are there standard menu-driven items worthy of consideration?


    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: Great t-shirt logo. I will have to look up the “dead spread” ritual; not sure what that is, although I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with sandwich kinds of spread.


      • ROBERT CARLETON says:

        It’s the buffet provided by the friends and ladies of the church (mainly the ladies) for the grieving attendees. I’m being a bit tongue in cheek about this… our Jewish friends provide a similar repast, but do it for a week as they Sit Shiva.



    Don’t know about KonMarie, but bought “I’m Dead, Now What” this past winter and am working through all the blanks to fill in. Hear about young couples dead in accidents, leaving little kids, and have to believe that most have no idea who/what/where/howmuch there is of anything to reconstruct lives.

    We also went through old correspondence, including boxes of pix and letters inherited from my mother; filled an entire recycle bin with the shreds. GoodWill and a veteran’s group got our excess, including two unneeded vacuums. The municipal bike workshop got my bike and accessories (they provide training and workshop space to those who need it, and recycle bikes for the needy including kids and commuters). More than a dozen paintings and family pix came off our walls, and there’s more space in the armoire and clothes rod nowadays.

    Will “do” the Swedish pancakes in the near future! They look yummy. The Japanese cakes look like latkes with added veggies… not a bad idea. With applesauce?



    • theRaggedys says:

      Andy here: Thanks for the comments, Bob. It is interesting how different folks react to their mortality. I am not even sure what I feel about the fate of my clutter in the long run. But it is good to entertain those thoughts if for no other reason than to take stock of what is important. I am impressed with your thoughtful discarding behavior – some good ideas. Both of the pancake recipes were big hits in our household and for guests.


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