Pancake Day (and what it means to me)

First off, I know I haven’t posted anything on here in about six months, and I apologise (because obviously you were all waiting with baited breath, whatever that means). Second off (?) This isn’t going to be a mega big blog post, so don’t get your hopes up (disappointment after crushing disappointment). But… it is all about food, like my last inebriated post promised, woohoo alright yeehaw etc.

Third off, and they’re off:

When discussing pancake day, I usually bill it as my second favourite day of the year, second only to Christmas day. I am not a Christian, in fact I’m not at all religious, but I love food. Christmas dinner in my house is always an immense banquet, and as a child I looked forward to pancake day almost as much. I completely blame/thank my Dad for my love of food, and my love of chilis (every year at Christmas we have Chili yorkshire puddings!!!), and I’m sure he loves pancake day just as much as I do. Last year I took a week off work to fully appreciate the festival, and this year I am flat broke and I can’t afford the ingredients until tomorrow, so I am having my pancake day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I have always been much more of a savoury person than a sweet one (make of that what you will lol), and pancakes are no exception. When I was a kid my favourite pancake was (and still is) a work of art. A ritual, in which even the way in which you eat it is vitally important. I would have a cheese and tomato ketchup pancake every single time if I were allowed. What you do is generously sprinkle (heap) a line of grated hard cheese (cheddar or whatnot) just below the centre of the pancake, add a droozle of tomato sauce, then roll up with the seam side down. Then cut it into five even pieces, then you have to eat the rightmost one, the leftmost one, the right one,the left one, and then the centre. This way you get the crispy edges first, then it slowly gets more gooey and pancake-y as you get nearer the centre. Call me wierd, I don’t care, but try it, you will be converted I assure you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional lemon and sugar topping as well, or if you can get hold of it:

http://littlemunchkin.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/img_0170.jpg

(picture there nicked off/courtesy of the amazingly talented, and simply amazing in general Little Munchkin)

Once whilst I was on holiday in France with my friend we had a pancake eating competition, cor blimey, it was fun. I can’t really remember how it started, but I think it was me and my friend Tommy arguing over who could consume the most (this seems to happen a lot with me, I do not know why) so I think about six of us joined in, and some people just had a couple. The first people to drop out of the running fell at about 6-8 pancakes (simple lemon and sugar ones to keep things fair), i think after 12 ish pancakes there was just me and Tommy left. Tommy had to say no more at about 20 ish I think, but something took ahold of me and I kept on going. In the end I came to a halt at I think either 31 or 32, and that was because we had run out of ingredients. Suffice to say although I am proud of my achievement (and similar achievements) I do realise that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle, and I am trying very hard to eat as healthily as I can. As a friend of mine said I can have a bikini body by summer if I really want to, I’ve just got to work hard to get it.

For those of you (ie. all of you) wanting to eat some tasty pancakes today, I will post the recipe. Anyone who plans to make pancakes with shop bought “pancake mix”, I will hunt you down, you have been warned lol. I saw a mix once that actually said on the packet “Just add egg and water!” WHAAAAA??? So it was £2 for a tiny box of flour and milk powder and loads of stabilisers and preservatives and anti-caking agents. You should be ashamed.

Anyway, enough blabbering on about crap, enjoy:

  • 4oz (115g) flour
  • 2 eggs (if you want to double the recipe, double everything else but only add one more egg)
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • a pinch of salt (yes, even if you are making sweet pancakes, as a small amount of salt will enhance the flavour of the flour and remove any possible bitter favours, tru dat)

That makes about 4-6

—————————————————————————————

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs.

Stir the eggs round in the well with a whisk, incorporating the flour a bit at a time till it becomes a mad yellow blob, like a thick gooey paste.

Start adding milk a splash at a time and mix it in well with the blob, eventually it will get more and more liquidy and you’ll end up with proper good, ace, thick batter.

IMPORTANT
You HAVE to leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour (there’s science going on*), once you get it out of the fridge it might look like it has separated slightly, don’t worry, just give it a quick whisk around and it will look gooorgeous again.

Get a small/medium frying pan really hot, then turn down the heat to just above half, add a tbsp of vegetable oil. Your first pancake will most likely be sacrificial, as it will soak up more fat than you want from the pan, and it is hard to judge the amount you need on the first go.

Pour about 1/2 a cup or a small ladle bang in the middle of the pan, then tilt the pan all over the place, you are looking for a nice thin even coating along the base of the pan, about 1/2 a cm thick.

Don’t be tempted to jiggle it, poke it, lift it up, or do any other innuendo-laden monstrosity to it, not for at least 30 seconds, we are waiting for the underside to set. After as long as you dare, pick up the pan and swirl it around in a circular motion, so as to free it from its moorings. If it is stuck in places, carefully unstick it with a spatula, making sure not to make a squidgy mess.

Once it is loose, cook it on that side for another 20 seconds or so while you mentally prepare and psych yourself up for tossing the fucker. Tossing the fucker is easier than a lot of hilarious blue peter episodes make it seem. The trick is to have the pan leaning forwards slightly (like 10 degrees) then to just go straight up, not too vigorously, and the lip of the pan will do the work for you. If you don’t want to go through the trauma and stress and horrible horrible panic of tossing the fucker, don’t worry, no one will think bad of you if you simply use a spatula and turn it over with dignity.

It only needs about 10-20 seconds on the flipside (biatch), once it is done, slide it onto a plate and top with your hearts desire.

HAPPY PANCAKE DAY EVERYBODY

*Flour contains about five different amino acids (amino acids are simply put long chains of hydrogen and carbon) and in flours normal state they are all tightly coiled up. When you get them wet and monkey around with them, they unravel, but they eventually relax and go back to their original shape. If you don’t leave your batter to rest then the protein (proteins are long combos of amino acids) wont have chance to relax, and you will find it a lot harder to keep your pancake in one piece in the pan, and it will end up being a bit chewy as you will have to cook it for longer to get it ready to eat.

See you next time folks 😀 xxxx

PS: I’m really sorry about the state of the layout of that recipe, I’ll work on it)

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Pancake Day (and what it means to me)

  1. Andy

    Haha, this made me chuckle. I remember having pancake day a couple of years ago at yours. Boy was it tasty.

    Like I say, flip one or two my way.

  2. A roaring success!! Loved them, ta for the recipe 🙂 (in case you were wondering I had a maple syrup one, a jam one and two lemon & sugars – bloody lovely!)

  3. Never knew why you must leave the batter to rest. Now I do. It’s that amino acid thingy! Thank you.

  4. Tommy

    I would be more worried if the packet just said add water!

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