Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tales of Bangor #11 (rhif un deg un) - Making pancakes with panache

Tuesday February 16th: Shrove Tuesday - The day before start of Lent.

While people back home get into their fancy dresses and get a grip on at least one Krapfen before it is too late, the British get out some flour, milk, fat and eggs and make pancakes. After all it is Pancake day, a last day of feasting and celebrating before the supposedly sombre season of Lent commences and brings along many restrictions regarding food, alcohol and other (more modern) luxuries. Pancakes can be found many pubs and cafés as a special offer on that day and, coming back from a morning run, I saw that even the church kindly serves pancakes to any hungry passer-by. And of course pancake day is just another excuse for people to gather and have fun and therefore another tradition I was happy to learn about.

This special day did of course not pass our house unnoticed - on the contrary: It was going to be our second cooking session (this time with self-made batter) and after procuring the right ingredients (an awfully hard task, considering the extravagant nature of pancake batter) the flour was weighed carefully (I would have guessed at the right measure), salt added and the eggs splitted - they left that to me, for whatever reason - milk poured in, slowly and carefully, and the whole mixture stirred hard and long: ta-dah. Ready to be baked.

We took turns using a big pan - later-on two pans simultaneously to keep people from waiting - and with extra care and some suspicion we started: Sam was the first to try. He poured and waited for the mixture to set. That being done it came to turning the floppy disk and he became brave and decided to try to flip it in the air. Everyone watched. There was a tangible moment of suspense. Nobody breathed. The air turned icy cold and... ahem... sorry, I got carried away there... Anyway, the moment of tension was ended by the flying pancake finding its way back into the pan. Round of applause. Of course, elevated by the adrenaline rush, my flatmate now insisted that all the others do it too. The whole business was turned into a pancake-flipping contest on the spot.

My go next. Great. I am not good at doing big shows when cooking and usually something goes wrong when people watch (like too much oil in the pan, vegetables rolling off chopping boards, avocadoes flying through the air... ok, that was a bit of exaggeration...) and so I tried to wind my way out of the situation, but it was hopeless: They urged me on and would not quit until finally, I had gathered enough courage and pride to give it a go. Nervously, I let the pancake slide to and fro in the pan, took a deep breath, and.... quickly moved my hand: flip.

Despite all my fears and foreboding the pancake took a nice turn in the air and landed in its original place, on the right side, ready to get browned evenly. Happiness was back for me. And so was breathing. That had felt really good!
Emboldened by my success I managed to do the next couple without fear, but with equal style (All the others' flippings went well too, but half a pancake didn't make it and landed first on the floor and consecutively in the bin).
Perfectly flipped pancakes drizzled with success taste extremely nice. Moreover, I had been able to find "Quark" of surprisingly dependable quality in Morrisons, mixed it with raspberry jam and thus produced the most delicious filling. (It was undeservedly scorned by the others who stuck to fake maple syrup (i.e. golden syrup), Nutella, Jam and ice cream.)

We decided that the amount intended to serve four people hardly catered for three and started the whole procedure all over again. The result were four (temporarily) full stomachs and lots of dishes to clean. But it was fun and I am happy to be able to now list pancake-flipping amongst my cooking/baking skills.

Unfortunately there are no pictures to commemorate the pancake event BUT my new camera arrived today and I will therefore, hopefully, soon be able to supply you with visuals again.

1 comment:

David said...

Na bei euch ist ja voll die Action angesagt XD

Also das mit dem Palatschinken-Wenden in der Luft trau ich mich nicht *g* das ist mir physikalisch zu instabil :-P