Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Domestic Goddess Pancakes

"When can we have pancakes for breakfast again, Mum?"
Once long ago, when I had just got Nigella's "Feast", I tried out her recipe for banana and buttermilk pancakes, one Saturday morning, deviating from our usual cereal and toast routine. Ever since the cry periodically goes out "Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes".

So I've promised them for tomorrow. We have a mid-week public holiday. South Africa celebrates its public holidays on the actual date, rather than moving them to Friday or Monday as in Britain to make a convenient long weekend. This results in the charming custom, if the holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, of taking the intervening single day off as well and declaring it a school holiday, so lucking out in a four day long weekend! We've had two of those this year so far,, but tomorrow - Women's Day, falls on its own in the middle of the week. I'm not sure why we get a holiday for ourselves, there isn't a Men's Day but I'm not complaining, the men get to have a holiday tomorrow too, fair shares.

Anyway these promised pancakes: I went back to "Feast" to look up the recipe and was reminded again why Nigella Lawson is my favourite food writer. She writes:

"Whenever I'm trying to be Nice Mummy, rather than normal Bad-tempered Impatient Mummy, I make pancakes. Unfortunately, it can often be counter-productive, but the sad truth about parenting is that it's virtually impossible to learn from your mistakes. The whole thing is a Dantesque punishment: you're trapped in the cycle, knowing what you're doing, but seemingly unable to stop."

So here I am, about to prove the truth of that by getting up bleary eyed tomorrow morning to cook pancakes, instead of having a lie-in, and hopefully not getting cranky with the children, as youngest decides I have to take her to the loo, just as I've put a perfect blob of batter in the pan and everyone is eating faster than I can cook and hang on a minute, I want one too!

Here is her recipe:

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

1 very ripe banana
150g/5oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
250 ml/1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon caster sugar
30g/1oz butter melted

Put all the ingredients except for the melted butter in to a blender and liquidise to a smooth batter. It can now wait till you're ready to cook. Stir in the melted butter just before you start cooking. On a heated smooth griddle or thick-based frying pan, dollop tablespoons of batter to form 7-8cm/2-3inch pancakes, flipping them over once the underside is set, a minute if that, by which time it will have turned a deep golden brown. Half a minute or so on the other side should do it, then transfer on to warm plates while you continue to cook the rest.

My kids like them with cinnamon and sugar, but inspired by the picure in the book, my middle daughter disappeared off this afternoon and came back with a bowlful of early strawberries, gleaned from our established plants, which don't call a south African winter 'winter' and insist on flowering through it, so we'll have one or two each alongside our pancakes tomorrow, hopefully not too early in the morning!

This limerick from my Easter post seems appropriate here to finish off.

1 comment:

  1. oooh, yum. I think I'll make those for the relatives here. They've never had 'proper pancakes' and after they learned about Pancake Day in their English class, they've been dying to try them! But, they want me to make them for dinner and that just seems so very wrong!
    I love the quote, it is the sad truth!
    Happy Women's Day (in Hungary, it's March 8),I hope you enjoyed your pancake morning, despite the statistical likelihood!


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