March 8, 2011 in Random Thoughts
No, I don’t mean your job. I’m talking about Pancake day/”Shrove Tuesday”, 8th March 2011. That’s today! But don’t panicake. In an unusual move which I will probably be demoted to blog-toilet-cleaner for, I’m going to spread my pancake knowledge onto the next generation.
_what in tarnation is “Pancake day”?
In most of the world’s English-speaking countries, the day before Lent is known as “Shrove Tuesday” AKA “Pancake Day”. Lent is when one traditionally gave up tasty food, so pancake day was the last big gorge before eating salad for 40 days (with Easter and its associated chocolateyness following).
Heck, do you need a reason to eat pancakes?? No! Go make some!
If you don’t know how to make pancakes, you’re lucky. You’re in the presence of a pancake master. If you do know… well, scroll down to “advanced pancakery” or maybe just skip this entire post.
So you’ll be needing:
Oil (sunflower, olive, etc)…
… And a pinch of salt. A literal one. Not just a metaphoric one for this entire guide, if you’re thinking of making me clean toilets.
Plus, you’ll need sugar, lemon juice, syrup, jam and/or fruit to add as a topping.
Or, cheese and cooked meat if you like a savoury pancake! (I do ;D)
Then, you’ll need to make sure your kitchen has some stuff I’d highly recommend in it:
A bowl and a ladle, OR a jug
An electric mixer/beater, OR a whisk, OR a fork and an energy drink
A frying pan with a Teflon coating unless you like stuff sticking to stuff
A plate and knife and fork
***A SPATULA*** <— especially this.
_bring on le method!
For best results, read every instruction before you start.
I didn’t give any quantities for the ingredients. This is partly because we are mature people who know how much syrup we want on our pancakes (2 litres each), but also because I have my own formula for quantities.
For every 2 people you need to feed, grab yourself:
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of oil
Salt varies by taste, and milk varies by circumstance, so it’s good to have lots of milk at the ready. It builds strong bones, yo!
If you want a savoury pancake, you will also need to have your meat/cheese/etc at the ready before you start.
- Mix a little bit of milk, like, a few spoonfuls (noooo honestly, don’t measure it out – guesstimation, people!) into your flour and salt, within the confines of the bowl or jug (I can’t stress this enough. Otherwise, your food will end up probably down the back of the kitchen units). You’ll get a gruel. It doesn’t look too nice, does it?
- Mix in your egg/s and oil. Mixing them in thoroughly will either take elbow grease – grab that energy drink – or an electric mixer.
- Once that’s done, you have your basic batter, AKA pancake juice. It will be thick though. You need to gradually mix in milk until it’s more like plaster of paris/poster paint/cream soup.
- Pour a little oil (remember, the less oil, the less horrendously unhealthy this meal’s gonna be) to coat the bottom of the pan. You can use your ***SPATULA*** to spread the oil. Now, put it on the hob. Don’t ask me how high the hob needs to be. It’s a hob. Have it on high if you trust yourself not to burn everything and have it on medium if you don’t mind a slightly less pretty pancake.
- Pour batter from the jug, or ladle it from the bowl into the pan. How much depends on your pan. 1 ladle-full does well for a tiny pan, 1.5 will do a big one. You don’t want too much batter! Too much is here defined as “my pan looks like a poorly-maintained tiny swimming pool”.
- As soon as that batter touches the pan, you will hear a satisfying sizzle noise. Be quick in spreading the batter around the pan by picking the pan up by the handle and rolling your wrist. (Please, no barrel rolls – keep the pan facing up!)
- Once it’s spread, use the spatula to fold over the edges of the pancake. This is so they do not burn or get crispier than the rest of the pancake.
- The pancake will change in appearance on the top as it gets cooked underneath. Watch it. When it’s all changed, you need to flip! Prepare for a flip by shuffling the pan around and checking if the pancake moves… if it doesn’t, give it some pushes with your ***SPATULA***, which you may wish to lever underneath as well.
- RULE ONE OF PANCAKE DAY: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT PANCAKE DAY. RULE TWO OF PANCAKE DAY: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT PANCAKE DAY. Rule three: You must attempt, at least once, to flip. This may be hard if you are very young or weak, but otherwise you’ll be wowing your friends with your movez. Once you’re sure that your pancake will move around the pan, hold the handle and make a looping motion. You need to put some strength into this or the pancake will just fold over and/or skate out of the pan.
- If you’re a proper chickenwuss, you can pick up the pancake with your ***SPATULA*** and turn it over in a far less impressive way.
- As soon as it is turned over, you will need to put any cheese or cooked meat (no raw!!) onto the pancake. This is so it gets warmed up and/or melted. Make a line in the middle of toppings.
- You can check the bottom of the pancake by lifting up the top with your ***SPATULA*** to see if it’s cooked or not. Sweet: Slide the pancake onto a plate. Or Savoury: When it is, use the ***SPATULA*** to fold over the pancake on either side to keep the toppings warm. Then slide onto a plate.
- If you have a sweet pancake, decorate with sugar and fruit/lemon juice, jam or syrup, then roll up your pancake to eat!
Man, this blog is way too long.
Your first pancake of any batch is never quite up to standard. But if you’re consistently making awful pancakes, it’s important to have the grasp of some basic chemistry here.
Flour: Makes batter and pancake thicker, more will make it cook slower
Milk: Makes batter runnyer and helps it to cook properly, more will make the pancake thinner/cook faster
Eggs: Makes the pancake gel. More will stop it from falling apart in the pan.
Oil: Makes the pancake cook faster. More will… make it cook faster.
Salt: Improves flavour and reduces your life expectancy. A little bit can help improve those bites of pancake where there’s no topping contained within.
Cooking slower will make the pancake thicker. Being thicker makes a pancake harder to flip, but more filling.
The worst worker blames his tools, but if your pancake is impossible to remove from the pan, you may need more oil on it, or possibly a Teflon non-stick pan. If your pancake has lumps or inconsistencies, use an electric mixer to get it smoother.
For those who know how to make a pancake, some more things to consider.
- Can’t decide on sweet or savoury? Try both! Apple and cheese, bacon and syrup…
- Add extra flavours to your batter by mixing in a ground chicken stock cube, pepper, cinnamon/mixed spice, or cocoa.
- Things which melt are especially nice in pancakes. Like maybe… chocolate? Careful not to burn it, or yourself!
- Is your pancake an entire meal? Beef it up by using self-raising flour. The slower you cook self-raising, the thicker and more filling the pancake will be.
- If you don’t care at all about your arteries, the likelihood of you getting diabetes, or obesity, eat COLD ice cream with HOT jam-filled pancakes.
- If you can’t eat eggs, pancakes may be hard for you. But if you can’t have dairy, you may use water instead of milk for stage 3. You will still need some milk for the first step, and this will change the quality of the pancake, but maybe this will make it easier for you.
- I don’t recommend you keep batter – it separates in the fridge. But if you have leftovers, make them into plain pancakes, wrap them in plastic and stick them in the freezer! You can then defrost these in the microwave at a later date.
- In honour of pancake day, deadsocks is getting a little (more) off-topic and big-headed.
- There is a basic pancake recipe, and some tips of stuff that basically everyone knows or could figure out anyway.
On a final note I’d like some more things to happen in-game, wink wink nudge nudge. I’m thinking, Jayrud vs. Everyone (I know where my money is there, and it’s not “Everyone”).
Otherwise, I’ll have to resort to interview posts. Sure, you’ll all be happy when I’m revealing the inner workings of Kriid, but with only 4 players left in-game, sooner or later I’ll end up scraping the barrel with a Walt’s theories on reptile supremacy interview.
I await your burning bricks… so here’s a calming picture of some cute little pancakes frolicking in the field.