That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

The night of 5,000 pancakes

Can you feel the excitement of the pancake? An excitement so gooey, yet at the same time, so crispy? A flat, warm kind of excitement?

It is, after all, Mardi Gras. Otherwise known as Fat Tuesday. Or Shrove Tuesday. Or, as they tend to say in the UK, Pancake Day.

Sadly, I am otherwise engaged on Tuesday nights,* so we had to do the pancake social on Sunday. It was a good chance for me to learn the difference between English pancakes and Scotch pancakes.

Scotch pancakes are (the Canadian in me would say) real pancakes. Thicker, fluffier, spongier, and good with syrup, butter, and blueberries, and that’s it. English pancakes, though, are basically crèpes. Very thin, using a super milky batter, and then used as a sweetish kind of wrap, within which you may stuff sugar and lemon juice, raspberries, nutella, bananas, ham, mustard, green chillies, dill pickles, marshmallows, crumbled bacon, cabbage, mince meat, tripes, boiled yams, Rochefort, cherry tomatoes, almond butter, pickled eggs, kiwis, anchovies, or Korean beondegi.

We were doing it English style, which I realised a little late was remarkably hard. The line between raw and carbonised is nearly as thin as the crèpe itself. It was a fun night – but, on balance, perhaps one should practice the fine art of English pancake making before one hosts a crowd of friends to eat them. They are a very forgiving crew. I chiselled off a good few blackened strips of prospective pancake from the pan, but was soon rescued by my better half who actually knows how to do it, and she did it rather well. So what if we inhaled lots of carbon smoke along the way? All part of the experience!

Anyhow, the photo above is one of my efforts in situ, and the posting of dinner photos on Polygonic usually indicates a milestone of some sort. 5,000 hits as of today – that’s nearly as exciting as the sweet icky deliciousness of the pancake itself.

Happy Mardi Gras, and stay out of trouble.

* I can’t say what I do on Tuesdays. I wish I could offer up a hint, but it’s just against the rules. Let’s just say it involves helicopters, laser beams, and night goggles. It’s not impossible that I might be called upon once in a while to pilot a robot spy-fish into the murk of Lake Ladoga. But I really couldn’t say.

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March 2011
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