Pancake Day

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Ok, so I know it’s not for a few days yet, but it pays to be prepared. Here are a few of my favourite batter recipes. (All serve 2, generous portions)

Basic Pancake Batter (also great for Toad-in-the-Hole)

4 oz plain flour

1 egg

1/2 pt liquid (2/3 milk, 1/3 water)

Put the flour in a bowl, break in the egg and begin to mix, slowly adding the milk/water until it forms a smooth batter. Keep adding the liquid until it’s all used up, beating well all the time. You can use it straight away, or let it stand for a while, it’s up to you!

Eggless Pancake Batter

I discovered this one the other day, when I wanted to make toad-in-the-hole but had no eggs. This is often considered the vegan alternative, as you are supposed to use soy milk. I think this works just as well as the basic recipe above. I found the original recipe here and have converted it to imperial, and halved it. I orginally made the full recipe, realised I had way too much, and left half in the fridge. I made pancakes with the left-over batter the next day and it worked really well. I have since made pancakes with fresh batter and found it didn’t work so well. So the moral of the story is, it keeps fine for 24-48 hours, and it’s probably best to let it stand if you’re making pancakes!

1.5 oz melted butter

5 oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 pt milk

Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add the butter and a little milk until it forms a smooth batter, then slowly add the rest of the milk, beating well.

Cornmeal Pancakes

My cousin introduced me to this recipe, and I LOVE it for making drop pancakes. In fact, I love it so much I have the recipe stuck to my jar of cornmeal. In the UK, this is called polenta, and can be found in the supermarket with the lentils and pulses. I’m afraid the recipe I have is in cups, if anyone has a problem with this, let me know and I’ll try and convert it for you!

2/3 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

1/8 cup oil

As previous recipes, put the dry ingredients in a bowl, and slowly add the liquid, mixing well the whole time. Beat thoroughly before cooking.

Happy flipping!!

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Friday the 13th

So I am not superstitious, but today has really been one of those days. And please don’t point out that we are only half-way through the day! It started early this morning. I get up, go downstairs and let the dog out, make a brew, then go back upstairs to get dressed for work. Today, I unlocked the back door to let the dog out, and the handle came off in my hand. Being a logical sort of person, I stared at the handle for a moment, then opened the window, reached out and opened the door from the outside. Problem solved, at least temporarily. Only thing now was, the window wouldn’t shut. They are modern UPVC windows with metal hinge/brackets and some of the screws that hold the bracket to the frame had sheared off, leaving one screw behind which meant the whole bracket was pivoting. I stuffed a £2 coin in the window frame to hold the bracket in place, and managed to shut the window. We worked out that the handle will open the door, you have to fit it on the spindle, open the door, then put the handle back on the window sill until you have need of it again.

I went about my day as usual, things have quietened down a lot now in the lambing shed. This week I have been getting one or two ewes lamb a day, so easy enough to deal with. I’ve had other jobs on however, which has meant that so far this week, I have been putting in a lot of hours. I had a few hours to spare yesterday, but I really needed to go to town and do some shopping, so my day was full. Today, I planned to get my work done in an hour or so, then spend a few hours at home catching up with housework. (I hate to have to admit it, but I have run out of clean saucepans.)

It was not to be. An automatic milk feeder decided that despite having been fixed once, it didn’t want to be automatic any more. You have to kick it when you walk past to get it started again. I left a tap running to fill a water butt, then got distracted, and came back to the sheep shed awash with water. I had to start scraping and sweeping away sludge and water, trying to get as much of it cleaned up as I could before it soaked the sheep pens. I have, up to this point, had 8 sheep lamb today. That’s a 400% increase on yesterday. I think they’re making a final push, trying to get done before my weekend off. Then I set to burning a load of waste, as the bin was overflowing. It started to rain.

So as things stand, I still have no clean saucepans. I still have jobs to get done at work, as I didn’t have time this morning. Tomorrow is my day off, and the plan is to stay in bed until at least 7am, then I get to spend it doing housework. But right now, I am going to get a sandwich and watch another episode from the box set of Arrow that my sweetheart gave me for my birthday. Happy Friday the 13th!!

Birthday Thoughts

So this morning, after a few hours milking in the cold, I’m in the process of lambing a ewe. I had already removed 2 lambs from her, and was fishing about for the third. It was way, way deep inside, kind of laying on it’s back, with it’s head flopping back towards the ewe’s head. Every time I grabbed a hold of a nose or hoof, it would jerk it back like it was quite happy in there thank you very much, don’t want to come out of my nice, warm, floaty bed. Just like me several hours earlier. I was shoulder deep in the ewe, with my head resting perilously close to her back end, so close in fact, that I could clearly hear her pelvis creaking and cracking in my ear. One of her already born lambs flapped it’s ears like a dog, splattering my face with slime. At this point I thought to myself, ‘Happy Birthday!’ with not just a little sarcasm.