Pancake day, potatoes and potting on

Pancake day, potatoes and potting on

Pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, is embedded in UK cultural and culinary tradition. For me it’s an interesting blend of my Canadian and English roots – the pancakes I make are definitely more in the North American style, always served alongside a bottle of real maple syrup (no, helpful shop assistant, golden syrup will NOT do!) If you don’t already have a preferred pancake recipe, or want to try mine, I’ve posted it below.

All my potatoes are finally in their egg box chitting contraptions. I love this time of year, seeing knobbly potatoes sprouting on every surface. I always laugh to myself at what aliens would think if they arrived during the chitting months and visited the home of a vegetable gardener!

There are also 21 British Queen potatoes chitting in the porch!

This weekend I need to sow my sweet peas – yes, I’m definitely cutting it fine. But I am also very excited because my aubergine, chillies, peppers and early-sown tomatoes have germinated so well that they need potting on now before they run out of space. At the moment they look a bit leggy, but I will plant them with their stems a bit buried almost up to their seed leaves, where they will then root down and continue to grow strongly.

My onions have also done well, but I’m not really sure what to do with them now. They look a bit long and gangly to transplant but I may lift each whole module of five or so seedlings and pot them up until they’re a bit bigger and can go outside into the veg patch.

And onto the main event – pancakes. This is the recipe my mum has always used and the one I now use. She always did it in a frying pan, I do it on the simmer plate of the Everhot because it saves on washing up!

American-style Fluffy Pancakes

Serves 2-3 (I always double the recipe and keep the leftover pancakes or batter for breakfast)

4 oz self-raising flour

1/2 – 1 oz caster sugar

1 egg

1/4 pint of milk

Oil or butter to cook

Toppings to serve: maple syrup; lemon and sugar; jam; chocolate spread; fresh fruit and yoghurt/cream

Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the eggs. Gradually add the milk, whisking well, until the batter is fairly smooth and bubbly (I’ve never found it mattered too much if there are a few lumps but you could sift the flour at the start if you wish).

Add oil or butter to a frying pan over a medium heat.

Pour pancake batter to make small discs (around 10 cm diameter) or if using a small frying pan, you can make fewer, larger pancakes with each one filling the base of the pan.

When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, use a spatula to flip the pancake (this is easier with smaller pancakes) and cook on the other side for 30 secs-1 min.

Lift the edge gently to see if the underside is cooked, then turn out onto a plate. I keep a plate warm in a low oven and add a knob of butter to the top of the stack after every few pancakes.

Continue until the batter is gone or you have enough pancakes. You may need to add more oil/butter to the pan if they begin to stick.

Serve with your favourite toppings, and enjoy!

Mmmm yum!

1 Comment

  1. February 22, 2023 / 11:25 am

    Your pancakes look delicious, Heather! It looks like you are going to have a fabulous crop of potatoes too. Thank you so much for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul Community!