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basic_pancakesToday is Shrove Tuesday. As tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, today we can officially eat all the rich foods left in the house before the ritual fasting of Lent begins. The French call it Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). In Ireland, it is the custom to have pancakes for supper. This gets rid of all the extra flour and milk before the season of fasting begins.

Do you like pancakes? Not gone on them myself. Do you know how to 'flip' a pancake without messing it up? Never tried it.


I'd forgotten it was Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as we generally call it. This means that we'll have to have our pancakes tomorrow because today is one of my "fast" days and Wednesday is an "eat more or less what you want within reason" day.

I do like pancakes (with sugar and lemon), but they're a pain to make and eat. Because you can only fry one at a time so you seem to spend more time waiting for them than eating them!
Too true - as I have just discovered!
First, you have to know that the first pancake will be a failure no matter what, so toss it out.

Secondly, the pan needs to be hot enough and enough melted butter. Also, roll them up, that way any messy bits don't show.

I like to spread them with a little lemon curd instead of just lemon and sugar and since it's your last moment of hedonism before Lent, put some berries in there as well. Then I serve them with a spicy pork sausage I make myself to offset the sweetness. Europeans first go "ick" when I do it, but they then love the taste and the contrasts of sweet and spicy.
Love your description
I use lard rather than butter - if you get it smoking hot there's no problem with the first pancake. Though, since I use a cast iron pan, while I can flip them, I generally don't - not if I want my wrist to operate the sugar sprinkler afterwards.
Love pancakes and I'll be doing them for supper this evening and yes, I can flip them successfully. :o)

As a good Catholic boy, do you fast in Lent?
Yes. But not in the traditional negative way of "giving up". This year, being the Year of Faith, I will try to deepen my faith during Lent by reflection and prayer.I hope I will experience some little success.
I'm quite fond of both American-style pancakes and crepes (as seen in your userpic). They were my very favorite breakfast when I was a child, and I learned how to make them when I was still so small I had to kneel on a kitchen chair to reach the stove-top. American pancakes aren't at all difficult to turn over, unless you try to flip them before they're cooked enough on the first side. We usually serve them with butter and maple syrup - have you ever tasted American or Canadian maple syrup? It's completely unique, and fabulously expensive outside of North America.

I like crepes too, although they're a completely different dish. Here, they're often used as a foundation for fancy desserts, or even main courses, wrapped around all sorts of fillings. But they're nice when they're served simply, too. (In Quebec, I once ordered "pancakes with maple syrup", or crepes avec sirop d'erable; they turned out to be actual crepes, and the combination was startling but delicious.) Since they're so fiddly to make, there are commercially pre-made packaged crepes available, which are quite good and save a lot of aggravation. (Although I do make them myself once in a while.)

(Of course, since I'm not even remotely Christian, I don't eat crepes/pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as a symbolic indulgence before a symbolic fast begins. I just eat them whenever I want to - although I'm not eating them tonight, because I forgot and made plans for Asian food instead.)

Interesting post. Hope you enjoy your Asian food!
I make very hearty buttermilk pancakes every Sunday morning, often with blueberries. I have a recipe, but add soy flour, ground flax seeds, rolled oats to replace some of the flour. It is very thick and I have a very big frying pan, so I make 3 at a time. Cook them till the top is all bubbles and then turn. Since they are now thick pancakes and not that big, they flip pretty easily with a spatula. I have never flipped with just tossing the pan, but my husband can. I like your idea for Lent. I used to be an Episcopalian (Anglican). Now I's an atheist with a spiritual life.
But that's not a REAL pancake. But nice recipe.
I have a thing I do for lunch sometimes when I have no bread, which is unsweetened American-style (more or less -- my recipe involves sunflower oil and self-raising flour) pancakes with garlic and herbs. Those flip easily enough with a rubber spatula; I don't try to "toss" them. After a couple of years of experimentation I've more or less got the hang of it; I let the pan get hot for the first one, then turn down the heat (electric hotplate) to avoid burning the rest. I eat those straight from the pan without any extra condiments, and a one-egg batch is filling enough that I don't need anything else for lunch but a piece of fruit.
I think that recipe could get me more enthusiastic about pancakes.
It's quite simple, but it's an American-style measuring recipe, not a weighing one.

For one person, combine half a cup of self-raising flour (I measure first, then sieve), half a cup of semi-skimmed milk, one medium egg, two tablespoons of sunflower (or light olive) oil, about half a teaspoon of garlic granules and a teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried basil. I suppose you could add a pinch of salt if you like it, but the flour has enough for my taste. Beat with a fork until smooth. (I find the pancakes are fluffier if I beat everything together rather than doing the egg separately.) Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan; when it's hot, pour in the first quarter-cup of batter. Flip with a spatula when it's acquired enough structural integrity; at this point, turn down the heat. The first pancake soaks up most of the oil, but with a non-stick pan there's no need to add more. Subsequent pancakes will cook quite quickly; it may be necessary to bump the heat up a bit for the last one.
Oh no! I completely forgot!
Bad sign!