I woke up this morning, after a glorious and much-needed sleep-in, to the sight of the full, ivory moon slipping behind some pink clouds against a mauve sky. I didn't rush to take a photo or anything so I could show you here, but I did lie in bed enjoying the prettiness of it all, and then I noticed how cool it was and I thought it might be time to make some pancakes.
I'm talking here about those thin creations sometimes called crepes. But I call them pancakes because that's what I grew up calling them, and that's what the recipe is called in The Golden Wattle Cookery Book. Whatever Golden Wattle says is alright by me. Besides, I don't like those thick things. Too...um...cakey.
Pancakes were such a treat when I was a kid. Looking back, I realise what a labour of love making them must have been for Ern as he patiently stirred all the lumps out of the batter with a fork. Though whether the love was directed at me or at the pancakes I will, fortunately, never have to know. Pancake mix was always made in this jug of Dyzie's:
This little jug has long been a source of jokes between Bezley and I, as it resided in the Ern-Bezley household for many a year before being passed on to me.
"hazelblackberry, you might want to have a look at what's on the table." "Oh I see you're using my jug." None of us realise how fortunate we are that Bezley has such a great sense of humour.
I don't make pancakes in this jug. I use a bigger bowl that will take my electric beaters - no patient fork-stirring for me!
So we start with flour and eggs. You know, with a well in the middle. I always make the well in the middle, but it never seems to make any difference that I can tell.
I've had a lifelong paranoia of off eggs, so I always break them into another container first. It may mean extra washing up, but what price peace of mind? You will note that these eggs are okay. Phew.
Then we add the milk and some salt and whiz it all together.
Before you can cook pancakes, you have to let the batter rest for half an hour or so. Pancake batter is so precious! Not like hardy little pikelets which take a vicious beating and then jump straight into the pan to be cooked!
While the batter is resting you do two things. First, you get the lemon and sugar ready. I really never have anything but lemon and sugar with my pancakes. I've tried other toppings, but I always come back to lemon and sugar, with the pancake rolled up like a cigar.
So you've got your lemon and sugar sorted. Now it's time to think about what you're going to drink with your pancakes. I make this little mess:
It's Milo, powdered milk, milk and ice all blended together. It's delicious!
(This was all only cooked for myself. I just used two cups for effect. Or something.)
By the time you've piddled around doing that, it's time to get out the right size frying pan and make those pancakes. In my house, in my life, the first cake of the pan is a dud. I don't know why this is - sometimes it's because I don't let the pan get hot enough first, but that doesn't explain it every time. It's a kind of exercise in patience and forbearance, knowing the first pancake will be a dud. Or do I simply create the reality of the dud first pancake with my negative expectations? Frankly, who cares.
Once you've turfed that mucky first creation, you get some more batter back in the pan and now you've got it all happening.
You have two choices on how to proceed from here. You can cook all the pancakes at once, rolling them up and placing them in a dish in the oven to keep warm as you go. Or you cook one pancake, get it sprinkled with sugar and lemon, rolled and stuffed in your gob while you cook the next one. I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out which method I prefer.