Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tell Me About Pancakes, Grandmother

Cakes cooked in a pan go back to ancient times. Made of varying proportions of milk, egg, flour and spices, they did and do range from paper-thin to thick custard. They can be made with shredded potato or with cornmeal, but I'm talking about ones made of wheat flour. 

Pancakes have been a treasured part of the cook's resources in all places and all classes. They can be mixed up with the barest or the richest spices, and need only a fire and a flat surface for cooking. 

They can be eaten plain or topped, or filled with savory or sweet ingredients. 

Pancakes are a traditional dish in Catholic areas on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, when the pious are encouraged to use up their fat and eggs before the forty days' fast preceding Easter. 

Paradoxically, they're also a good fall-back on days of abstinence from meat. Me, I love pancakes for supper, all fluffy and warm.

My favorite pancake additive is blueberry and pecans. I say "is" because what I like is both together. Another favorite is chocolate chips, topped with powdered sugar instead of syrup. Or sometimes we have plain pancakes and top them with jelly, preserves, or even canned fruit. 

Oh, the deprivations of Lent!

Marian Allen

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