Sunday, May 16
Good news! One of our followers has requested that I blog about the pancakes that she had at my place when she visited NC three years ago. I must be doing something right! I must be a good blogger or at least a good pancake maker!
Pancakes are a weekly tradition at our household on Sundays. It is usually preceded by some discussion between my two children (read fighting) about who will help Mamma make the batter. Then there is the routine cracking of the eggs, the measuring, the beating of the mixture and much smiling and washing of little hands. I dread the day that my little children lose interest in this ritual that I treasure so much.
Before you get too excited about the recipe, I have to inform you that my pancake recipe is not American - it is more European by nature. You are not going to have thick, starchy, steamy pancakes, but rather thin, eggy, unevenly golden pancakes. I was first introduced to them by my friend, Lemony, during our first year at Cambridge. She had decided she was going to have a party for Shrove Tuesday, a.k.a Pancake Day, which is the day before Lent begins. I believe Shrove Tuesday is about indulging oneself before giving up a list of things for Lent. Here's a link for those who might be interested in finding out more: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/shrove.html
So, she invited a few friends, all male, to our women's college, not that we were desperate to meet guys or anything, and we all enjoyed an evening of pancakes. The pancakes were delectable - thin, eggy, unevenly golden. She served them with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sugar. And no, prayers were neither said nor thought about. She was an atheist, I Hindu, and the handful of others were more interested in the food and beverage.
I was reminded of those pancakes during a couples-only trip to Amsterdam for a dear friend's wedding. At the boutique hotel we stayed at, we were offered pancakes for breakfast, and lo and behold, they were just like the pancakes that Lemony had made! Upon our return to North Carolina, I was determined to make them for my little family. Some brief internet research was enough to make that first Sunday morning a hit and a tradition was born.
Here is my recipe for my dear friend in San Francisco:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar (more if you like)
1 capful vanilla essence
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbps melted butter
The trick I learnt from my mother is to beat everything but the flour together really well and then to add the flour at the very end. This takes the recipe to the next level. Serve with real maple syrup.