Hello friends! How are you doing? Here in Two Crafty Brownieland, we have been doing our best to keep our spirits up in these long, winter days. Having grown up in Malawi, where there are essentially two seasons, hot and wet or cold and dry, I am beguiled by the seasonal changes here in the UK. Summer is my favourite, but I am quite happy when the days start to draw in, the lights come on early and the preparations for Christmas start. I love the scent of woodsmoke in the air as I get home, and the planning of warming, hearty casseroles and puddings. By February though, I am starting to flag. Christmas is over, and Spring seems far away. So I try to get through these months with simple rituals that bring light and cheer to these dark days.
In January, we always celebrate Burn’s night, the birthday of Scotland's most famous poet. My husband is Scottish, and his dad throws himself wholeheartedly into the reading (and singing) of Robbie’s poems. Much whisky is drunk, and the evening feels like a warm, bright beacon in January.
And in February, we make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (9th February this year). We make pancakes a lot in our house, but on Pancake Tuesday I feel it's totally acceptable to have them for breakfast and pudding!
I have two ‘go to’ pancake recipes, one for the small, fluffy American style pancakes, and one for the larger, thinner crepes. I love these recipes because they are easy to remember, and I can rustle them up from my head, even when we are away. There’s nothing like hot, thick pancakes with bacon and syrup to brighten a cold, wet morning on camping holidays! (I'm not sure Lucy would agree.....)
My first recipe is from Rachel Allen, http://www.rachelallen.com This makes 6 pancakes, which many years ago was just enough for breakfast for two small boys. It's easily doubled or tripled.
What you need is
100g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
125 mls (½ cup) milk
What you do is
Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk.
Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk.
Heat a couple of tbsp oil in a frying pan on a low heat (otherwise they will cook too fast and the outside will burn before the middle is cooked.
Drop tablespoons of the mixture into the oil. They are ready to turn when bubbles have formed on the top.
Serve with bacon, maple syrup, golden syrup, or any other toppings of your choice!
Crêpes à là règle du trois (pancakes of the rule of three)
It took me ages to settle on a recipe for large pancakes. This is a common recipe used in France, so it must be good! It's a well known ratio of ingredients so I can't attribute it to any particular person. I usually do the rule of two, that makes 12-15 pancakes depending on your pan.
What you need is
300g plain flour
3 cups milk (750mls)
3 tbsp oil
What you do is
Whisk the ingredients together well.
Wipe your (preferably non stick) frying pan with some kitchen towel dipped in oil and put on a medium heat.
Put a small amount of batter into the pan, turning the pan so the batter coats the base. It takes a few goes to get the amount right, and I always tell anyone nearby that the first pancake never works! About half a cup works for my pan.
When the top is dry, toss into the air and catch…….. Just kidding, I absolutely can't do this! Turn the pancake carefully with a spatula!
Serve with lemon and sugar, maple syrup, or ice cream and blackberry sauce!
Will you be making pancakes with me on Tuesday?
And just in case you are wondering whether we have given up being crafters and started a food blog, Lucy and I will be sewing again over the next few weeks, showing you how many things you can make out of an old shirt and jumper. And behind the scenes we are busy designing for our shop, opening in the next few months! Very exciting, we can't wait to show you what we are planning.
Take care, my lovelies, I hope you find many things to treat and soothe your souls.....