February 9, 2005

crepe or pancake?

It was Shrove Tuesday yesterday, a day to eat pancakes, so they say. Personally, I have never celebrated it by eating pancakes on this day, but this year I saw a lot of bloggers doing it, including my friend Naoko (her blog in Japanese) in Sheffield, UK, and she pointed me to an easy pancake recipe. It somehow didn't seem like a bad idea to celebrate some kind of seasonal event when I just missed Setsubun or traditional Japanese end-of-winter bean-throwing day (refer to this for further information), and it was also interesting to me that the thin and large pancakes they make are actually more like crepes. So I decided that it wouldn't hurt if I try.

Actually, I could hurt because I am so bad at making sweets in a pan/skillet. Pancakes and crepes have been among the things I would least want to try, as I have wasted a lot of eggs, sugar and flour in attempting to making them as a kid.

And this time, although the recipe was pretty straightforward and well-detailed, it didn't help me much when it comes to cooking a pancake; first, I might probably be really bad pancake maker by nature, and second, the skillet I have is basically as bad as I am at baking delicate things like thin pancakes. I followed the process with my every attention, but I ended up throwing away my first pancake, and the rest didn't even come out round-shaped; the batter of the first batch got burned and stacked right on the center of the bottom of skillet and wouldn't peel off, so I just used one half of the skillet, avoiding the burned part in the middle.

Even if they were semicircle instead of full-circle, my pancakes managed to survive as a decent nosh. It appears that sugar & lemon is what they traditionally have in the UK, I had mine with a bit different fillings.

One turned into a butter & marmalade pancake. I used June Taylor's Blood Orange marmalade, which was sweet and full-bodied, perfect to subtly sweeten the plain, unsweetened pancake.

Another one was dressed up with a simple delight of butter, sugar, and salt. Crystal-like cassonade and fleur de sel did a great job here, both in taste and as a visual effect.

I had five small semicircles in total, and other three were munched up with the marmalade, butter & cinnamon sugar, and nutella. All in all, it was a fun experiment making pancakes, but I'm not sure if I want do this very often... if I ever do, I should note that I should better add some vanilla extract to the batter (I didn't like the egginess of it), and I really should get better equipment.


Anonymous said...

wish i had a big dish of those right now; they look like great comfort food, YUM 

Posted by mindy

Anonymous said...

Oh - I love pancakes and it is difficult not to run to the kitchen after seeing your pictures - YUM! 

Posted by Marina

Anonymous said...

Hi Chika - I don't believe you're not very good at making pancakes, they look beautiful! I had forgotten about Setsubun (and didn't make pancakes either)... 

Posted by keiko

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

mindy - it really would be a great comfort food, I agree - as long as I have someone else to make one for me :)

Marina - did you make some?

Keiko - sure you can believe it, I just put the most decent-looking part in those picture :P

Posted by chika

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