Today is Shrove Tuesday. It’s reasonably well known that, historically, households would eat up all their ‘fun foods’ (my words, not the social history books’) before a lenten fast begins on Ash Wednesday.
What I found out today, thanks to the BBC, is that the families feasted on the eggs and milk (and the meat and fish) because they are the foods that would go off during the 40 days to Easter.
A few dots have just been joined together by a sticky line of marmalade. I had always thought it was like smokers on New Years Eve - desperately inhaling enough nicotine to at least get them through their crashing hangover the following morning - getting that one last hit of sweet delight, before beginning their supersrs fast.
My recipe for newly enlightened pancakes:
- 115g of wholemeal flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 sizeable eggs
- 200ml of semi-skimmed milk
- 80ml water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Sift the flour from about 30cm above the mixing bowl - I like to use wholemeal flour, because it’s just as tasty as white - though, a pain in the backside to sift properly. Mix in the salt.
- In a jug, add the milk with the water and the vanilla essence.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour, and crack the eggs into it. Break the yolk with a balloon whisk.
- Gradually pour the milky mixture into the well and whisk in the flour - leaving you with a light, creamy and runny batter.
- Pour a 10p-size drop of sunflower oil in a hot griddle and coat the pan in the warming fat.
- Grab a soup ladle… and I’ll leave you do the rest. Serve with as many wondrous combinations of fridge-plunder as you can stomach before you suffer angina-by-way-of-pancakes.
My preference is to use organic ingredients, not least the eggs, because when you crack them into a well of sifted flour, are a gorgeous deep golden yellow.
This evening, I had a huge amount of fun throwing together the contents of my fridge’s condiments shelf (I’m not the only one that has a shelf dedicated solely for jams and chutneys - right?)
Particular favourites of 2013:
Mature (and heart-stoppingly blue) Stilton and Abel & Cole’s Orange Seville Marmelade
Brie and Halzephron Plum Chilli Chutney
Cheddar and Sweet Chilli Sauce.