Explaining pancake day (or Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) to someone who has not been raised with any kind of religion is complicated. So when I had to skip my church’s regular Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in order to be at home for H, I decided that we would make pancakes ourselves (they really aren’t that difficult). When the Boy got home and we would be ready to eat soon, we were all standing in the kitchen and H asked, “So what is pancake day? Why do people eat them?” Their father is non-religious, and I am…kind of the opposite, so it fell on me to explain. And that involved a convoluted tale of the Catholic church, and all the celebrations that take place between Epiphany (and what that is), and the beginning of Lent (and what that is), and why in the past it might have been a good idea to use up all the ingredients that are generally used in baking.
So that was interesting. Having to dumb down your beliefs and traditions for someone who has no knowledge is always a challenge, and a good one if you are to remain steady in your beliefs and be an informed believer instead of on who takes everything on the words of their superiors in the church.
In any case – pancakes. We made them. The recipe is super simple. It’s really difficult to mess up, though my number one tip would be don’t mix anything hot with cold milk, because it will only curdle the milk. I made this mistake when I thought it would be a good time saver to pour the cold milk into the (hot) melted butter. Big mistake. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Don’t make my mistake. Either let the butter cool a little bit, or else add it to the eggs first, and THEN add the butter.
The best way to eat pancakes is with butter, (real) maple syrup and bacon. The fastest and easiest way to make bacon is in the microwave, and it gives you really crispy bacon as well, which is what all the cool kids are eating. If you want to know how to make that happen, here’s a step-by-step recipe from the Kitchn.
Yield: 18 small pancakes, or about 12 normal sized pancakes
3⁄4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon honey or molasses)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Beat egg until fluffy. Add milk and melted butter. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Heat a heavy griddle or fry pan which is greased with a little butter. The pan is hot enough when a drop of water breaks into several smaller balls which ‘dance’ around the pan.
Pour a small amount of batter (approx 1/4 cup) into pan and tip to spread out or spread with spoon.
When bubbles appear on surface and begin to break (and the edges begin to firm up and look golden), turn over and cook the other side.