Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pancakes

As Pancake Day approaches, I thought I should take the opportunity to post this. I always used to make Scotch pancakes (smaller and fatter than crepes). However, my kids have started insisting on the big, flat variety which can then be rolled up. Sammy and Carmela like them with honey and chocolate - just melt the chocolate in a bain marie and heat the honey a little to make it go runny.



Ingredients

2 cups of plain flour
2 eggs
20 fl oz of milk
vegetable oil for frying

Method
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl, beat the eggs and add the eggs and milk to the flour. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. If it looks a bit thick, then add a little milk. Transfer the batter into a jug.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little oil in it. Pour off any excess oil, then pour some of the pancake batter into the pan and swirl around until the bottom of the pan is thinly but evenly coated. Once it has cooked on the bottom (30 seconds or so), turn it over (or flip it if you feel like showing off), cook the other side, and serve with the topping of your choice - traditional lemon and sugar, or a spider's web of honey and chocolate.


Time
The biggest change in my family's life since I started this blog has been our decision to start homeschooling our kids in September last year (2008). One of the things that many of our friends wondered about - and that we ourselves were obviously a little unsure of - was where we would find the time to do everything: schooling, work, domestic chores, socialising, blogging (!) etc. However, one of the benefits of homeschooling for us (and there have been many), has been that it has completely changed the way we think about our time. Without wanting to sound too pretentious about the whole thing, our society commoditises time: we measure it, allocate it out to the different tasks we have to perform, classify it depending on whether we control it (leisure) or somebody else controls it (work/school), jealously guard the distinction between the two (to the extent of classifying most of the things we do as either 'leisure' or 'work'), and are often resentful when 'work' infringes on 'leisure'. Now that we have done away with this distinction (or at least pushed it into the background a bit), we have found that we have more time than we realised. Yes, this does involve working late in the evening, but it also involves enjoying the privilege of spending time with your kids when society says they should be at school and you should be at work. And it has helped me to realise that cooking is not a household chore (most of the time!), but is a source of pleasure and an opportunity for self-expression.

What does all this have to do with pancakes? Well, the last time I wrote about pancakes (over a year ago and before we had started homeschooling), I began my entry with the words "I make these for breakfast at the weekends. (And sometimes during the week too, if I'm feeling extra nice.)" The reason they were a weekend treat was very simple: by the time we were ready for breakfast, the clock was already ticking, and if we were to avoid being late for school then there was no time for making pancakes. Nowadays, breakfast is a much more leisurely affair, and includes time for making pancakes and even scones. And so, I dedicate these pancakes to our homeschooling friends, Laila and Aisha in London:


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