Tag Archives: Pancakes

Food Monday~ Pancakes

The forty days before Easter (not counting Sundays) is known as Lent.  Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first of day of Lent.  Traditionally, families would use up their luxury foods like milk, sugar, eggs and butter, before the 40 days of fasting began.  The word shrove comes from the ritual of shriving. People would go to church and confess their sins to a priest, who would grant them absolution. The shriven individual would then be in a pure state, ready for the Lenten period of fasting and abstinence.

Did you know Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Tuesday – is known as Fasnacht in Germany (night of the fast) In Italy it is called Carnivale (from the Latin for ‘goodbye to the flesh’) and Mardi Gras (literally ‘Fat Tuesday’) is celebrated in places as diverse as New Orleans, Brazil and Australia.

Now down to business… My pancakes are thin like crêpe and are very versatile.

Pancakes

4ozs plain flour
1 egg
½ pint (10 fl ozs) milk
Pinch salt.

Blend all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter, which should be the consistency of double cream & leave to stand for at least 1 hour.This lets the batter relax and the starch molecules have time to expand.

Melt a little butter or oil in a hot frying/omelette pan then put 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the pan and roll it about to cover the surface.  Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear on the surface, if you don’t want to toss your pancakes, just slip a plate over the pan and upend the pan quickly over the plate. Slide the pancake back in the pan to brown the uncooked side. Ideally the pan should be non stick.

When Elly was little I prepared the mixture and left it to stand overnight then we had pancakes for breakfast.

Good things to put on Pancakes

  1. Traditionalists sprinkle lemon juice and sugar before rolling them into a tube shape.
  2. For a change why not try one of the following: golden syrup, cinnamon, maple syrup, jam, fruit, yoghurt or even Ice cream.

Now on the savoury side the opportunities are endless:

  1. Marmite!
  2. Grilled bacon & maple syrup
  3. Cheese, ham and mushroom
  4. Cream cheese and spinach.
  5. Tomato Salsa
  6. Bacon & Mushroom in a cheese sauce – when filled place the pancakes in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with brown breadcrumbs and grated cheese pop under a heated grill for 5/6 minutes.Serve with a salad.

What is your favourite way to indulge in pancake fever?

I have a very soft spot for…

Pancakes were one of my early attempts at learning to cook. We had no food processor back then so the flour was sieved into a large baking bowl, a well was made in the flour and the eggs dropped in. Slowly the eggs were stirred into the flour, and milk was added a few drops at a time. It was important not to have any lumps in the mixture. When all the milk was added and the batter looked like thick cream the bowl was covered and left to stand for several hours. Sometimes it was prepared at night and left in a cool place for use the next day.

The job of making the pancakes always fell to me. My pancakes were more like crepes, almost as thin as tissue paper. I stood at the gas stove spreading, tossing and when they were cooked, sprinkling with lemon and sugar. I was part of a large family so the whole operation took quite some time. It was one of the few occasions when my siblings came into the kitchen to see how I was progressing. The unusual thing about these visits was that each visitor carried a plate. They left munching on a pancake. By the time I came to pouring the last drops of batter on to the pan all the prepared pancakes had disappeared.
Years later when Elly was at primary school I prepared the batter on the Monday night and we had pancakes for breakfast on Shrove Tuesday. She learned to vary her fillings, cream cheese, stewed fruit, jam or if I was not looking chocolate spread. I remember one occasion in her teen years a group of her peers were coming round to our house to play music, Trivial Pursuit or some such game. I made pancakes and left them plain with dishes of fruit, jam, cream, chopped nuts & ice cream so they had a choice of filling. At one stage the sound of laughter called my attention. There in the middle of the group was my Elly with a pancake filled to overflowing with a full selection of the fillings.
Nowadays I am more likely to prepare them with a savoury filling of stir fried vegetables, chicken and bacon, or to stack them with Maple Syrup and bacon. They make a lovely light supper dish with a side salad. I batch bake the pancakes and when they are cold stack them with layers of non-stick baking paper, wrap them and keep them in the freezer.
Have I made you hungry? If you want some you better come early!