In perusing the UK’sTelegraph(no recipe just a discussion about the auld pancake of yore) and the Guardian this fine Shrove Tuesday, I made a shocking discovery for an American in love with fluffy pancakes topped with butter and syrup: My Great Grandmother enjoyed thin pancakes (like the French) topped with lemon and sugar. Brits wax very sentimental about these.
The Guardian provides an overview of the development of the British pancake going back to 1594. That seems far enough when most humans can’t trace their lineage back more than a few generations.
…[M]odern pancakes are descended from those specifically designed to use up fat before the beginning of Lent, which means they tend to be heavier on the eggs and butter than, say, the fluffy American stack, or the squat Russian blini.
Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Don’t look to these for any dietary benefit only taste.
Here is a website that will help you convert metric measurements. Learn to do this because we are going global.
As for the pancakes, the key to remember is this. The first pancake is always a mess. That’s just how it is for all of us. So let the cook eat the first one. Looks bad; tastes good. From the Guardian:
Makes about 8
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
225ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
Small knob of butter
1. Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, and pour the egg and the yolk into it. Mix the milk with 2 tbsp water and then pour a little in with the egg and beat together.
2. Whisk the flour into the liquid ingredients, drawing it gradually into the middle until you have a smooth paste the consistency of double cream. Whisk the rest of the milk in until the batter is more like single cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
3. Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium-high heat – you only need enough fat to just grease the bottom of the pan. It should be hot enough that the batter sizzles when it hits it.
4. Spread a small ladleful of batter across the bottom of the pan, quickly swirling to coat. Tip any excess away. When it begins to set, loosen the edges with a thin spatula or palette knife, and when it begins to colour on the bottom, flip it over with the same instrument and cook for another 30 seconds. (If you’re feeling cocky, you can also toss the pancake after loosening it: grasp the handle firmly with both hands, then jerk the pan up and slightly towards you.)
5. Pancakes are best eaten as soon as possible, before they go rubbery, but if you’re cooking for a crowd, keep them separate until you’re ready to serve by layering them up between pieces of kitchen roll [could be parchment paper – I wouldn’t use waxed].
This hand-written recipe from my Mom was dated Xmas 1952. I remember that my Aunt loved this Christmas Salad recipe & she always served it at her Christmas dinners. On the lower corner of the index card, my Mom scribbled the word “delish!” Hope you enjoy.
Merry Christmas to all from Mountain Republic!
1 box Lime Jello
1 box Cherry Jello
1 can crushed pineapple
1 jar Bing salad cherries, pitted
1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)
whipped cream or Cool Whip etc.
red or green Maraschino cherries
Prepare Lime Jello according to directions on package, except use the pineapple juice in place of part of the water.
Add the pineapple (& nuts if desired) to the Lime Jello.
Prepare Cherry Jello according to directions on package, except use the Bing cherry juice in place of part of the water.
We used to have big old-fashioned family gatherings at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas at Grandma’s house. Helping Grandma and Grandpa, it was as if everyone were in a flotilla. Deep in conversation, we all floated in family formation from the kitchen to the dining room and back again to set the table and to help make sure everything was ready.
Ah but then something came out that ended the togetherness: a smaller table. We little cousins knew what THAT was: the children’s table – our table. Face it, we loved playing together but we did not want to eat together. We wanted to be with the adults. The adult’s table was only a matter of feet from us but it seemed as if we were on an island off the coast.
After dinner, the adults would sit around the table for hours talking in the residual glow of another good meal at Grandma’s. We children carried plates to the kitchen as they talked. I hurried through this so that I could stand by my parents at their table and listen to the stories. There was a living room filled with comfortable furniture but that table was the center of the universe at holiday time. To move to another room would have broken some kind of spell.
The sad fact about a table for children and another for adults is that it gets the children thinking about what it would take for them to get to the big table. If there were room enough for everyone, we would all have been together. So you think and you imagine a way and then it hits you: death. Someone at that table would have to die before you could have a place. Oh my God did you felt guilty for having such a thought as if the thought itself were a murder weapon. Kids are ripe for tragedy. They despair of a way out. It’s the drama of childhood!
When we all became adults with little people of our own, the reasonable solution finally arrived: dinner out. It was never as cozy or warm or as good as holiday dinner at Grandma’s house but then in this milieu, I usually got to sit next to Grandma herself. That was worth the wait. That’s one of the wonderful moments when you realize it isn’t about a place – it’s about the people in it. Grandma’s table can be anywhere as long as Grandma is sitting at it with us.
Ever since I was a little kid (and that was a while back), we had always eaten canned cranberries with our holiday meals. I remember always looking forward to eating that jello-like substance with my annual turkey dinner.
But over the years, my taste for that cranberry gel seems to have diminished. And lately, my wife & I have enjoyed cooking several birds throughout the year. We cook (or sometimes smoke) the bird, have a nice meal & then freeze the rest for turkey sandwiches.
A few years ago, I ran across this recipe for homemade Holiday Cranberry Relish. It’s supposed to be from a chef in San Francisco and it is absolutely delicious! It makes me want to cook more turkey so I can make more of this relish! It’s so good, I find myself eating it all by itself! And it’s really easy to make. This relish is now a regular part our holiday meals. If you enjoy this recipe, you may want to freeze a bag or two of cranberries for use later in the year.
2 cups washed raw cranberries
2 skinned and cored tart apples
1 large, whole (peel ON) seedless orange, cut into sections
1 to 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want your relish to be)
This recipe calls for the use of an old fashioned hand turn grinder. If you don’t have a grinder, you can use a food processor instead.
Make sure to cut the orange and apples into small chunks before chopping. Use short pulses when using the food processor or your relish will turn out mushy. After chopping the orange, apples & cranberries, pick out any oversize chunks for re-chopping.
Add sugar to taste. I like my relish a little tart, so I use about one and a half cups of sugar. After adding the sugar, make sure to let the relish stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour to let the sugar dissolve.
This relish keeps in the fridge for about a week and also freezes well. It’s really great on turkey sandwiches!!