Tuesday was pancake day in the UK and Ireland (and also Australia, New Zealand and Canada, it seems).
This is one of the few English traditions that Jan and I keep alive. He’s not a fan of the German carnival – which mostly involves people dressing up, getting drunk and acting like idiots – so when I mentioned that our Shrove Tuesday tradition consisted of stuffing yourself with pancakes (supposedly to get rid of all the fatty/sweet/unhealthy things in your cupboards before giving up everything for Lent) he was all for it.
Pancakes may be the easiest thing in the world to make. My batter consists of 200 g flour, a pinch of salt, 2 eggs and 500 ml of milk. That is it. Really, I could make pancakes any day of the year – I always have those ingredients in the house!
Some people choose to eat pancakes for breakfast on pancake day. Not me! That’s waaaay too much effort first thing in the morning. (I have to leave the house at 10 past 7. Sticking some bread in the toaster is the most you’ll get out of me at that time!). Instead, we have pancakes for tea – and by that I mean the entire meal consists of pancakes, not just dessert. This year, I decided on a chicken, bacon and leek mixture for the savoury filling.
Of course, we had sweet fillings, too – including the classic sugar and lemon juice. As a child, it would never have occurred to me to put anything else on a sweet pancake! I also put out some chocolate hazelnut spread, some vanilla extract and some caramel flavoured syrup.
English pancakes aren’t like American ones. They’re close to crêpes, although not as thin. They do need to be thin enough to roll up though! In the UK, we refer to the thicker, smaller type of pancakes as drop scones or Scotch pancakes.
Here’s one of my pancakes with filling on, waiting to be rolled up:
The mixture made a total of 9 pancakes, so I had 4 and Jan had 5. Quite restrained for pancake day – usually I would make many, many more. After all, it’s tradition!