Wednesday, February 06, 2008


So eager was I to eat my pancakes last night, that I completely forgot to take any photographs before wolfing them all down (with help from Mr M of course), so this account of our Shrove Tuesday conconctions will unfortunately be illustrated in words only. My history of pancake-making is a mixed affair, which has sometimes ended in disaster and disappointment, but I am pleased to report that this year's batch was particularly successful, no doubt due to the inspired addition of beer to the batter mix. Apparently this is a traditional method, and results in a lighter, and, I can now confirm, tastier, pancake. We usually make a whole batch and keep them warm in the oven before digging in, otherwise the poor chef has to stand at the cooker while the other person does all the eating - not my idea of fun (me being the chef). Fillings are then applied ad-hoc from a pre-assembled collection of sauces, toppings and appropriate accoutrements - the pinnacle of which this year was the winning combination of Ice Cream (vanilla Swedish Glace to be precise), advocaat and chocolate sauce. For years I had always dismissed advocaat as the kitsch tipple of 70s housewives, but have become a complete convert since a recent visit to Belgium, where it is generously added to all manner of desserts and drinks. The 'Snowball' cocktail (a mixture of advocaat, lemonade and lime) was a surprise hit at our Christmas party last year, when Tim described it as "like fizzy white chocolate" before knocking back several glasses of the stuff.

Now that I have seemingly mastered the art of the perfect crêpe, I intend not to limit their consumption to a once a year ritual, but to celebrate this simple yet versatile meal on a regular basis. I also think some ongoing research into further uses for advocaat would be more than justified.
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