Sunday, 6 December 2009

On Weekend Pancakes

Yesterday morning we had pancakes for breakfast. They were delicious, warm, and drizzled with maple syrup.

This morning we also had pancakes for breakfast. Since I’m currently not in possession of any Bonne Maman Cherry Compote, I had good old-fashioned sugar and lemon on them.

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that this weekend pancake ritual is a regular occurrence. I tweet regularly about the Wonderspouse cooking pancakes on weekend mornings, so I thought I’d explain how it all started and why we do it!

Before I do, I’ll tell you a little about weekday breakfasts. On weekdays we get up quite early – the alarm goes at 5.30, and once the Wonderspouse has lured me into the land of the living with a cup of tea (I don’t actually exist in the mornings until I’ve had tea), I get dressed, make the bed and head downstairs where I just about manage to consume a bowl of cereal or instant porridge washed down with a glass of smoothie. The Wonderspouse generally eats toast, often with cheese and Marmite, and sometimes has cereal too. Whatever the case, it’s a quick snatched meal, before we depart for the commute to work – no time to linger over a weekday breakfast, and never, sadly, time for a second cup of tea.

The weekends are entirely different though.

Since the Wonderspouse left the world of retail, neither of us has to work regularly at weekends, so unless there is anything special going on, there is no alarm clock. The morning cup of tea is sometimes followed by more dozing, then we have plenty of time for a relaxed breakfast. These days it’s almost always pancakes, followed by the much desired second cup of tea.

We worked out yesterday that this pancake tradition started in summer 2004, so it’s now over half a decade old. Maybe bizarrely it actually began with an excess of strawberries. The Wonderspouse used to work in a small carpet shop and, owing to a miscalculation of scale on the part of his boss (who was catering for a small drinks reception), he arrived home from work one Saturday with about 10 punnets of strawberries.

Obviously, we couldn’t manage to eat that many with cream, so we set about doing creative things with strawberries (don’t smirk, not THAT creative), and one of the things we did was chop them up into little bits, put them into pancake batter, and have the pancakes for breakfast. I was instantly reminded of how much I like pancakes (I really really like pancakes), and so we decided to repeat the experience the following weekend, having had multiple discussions along the lines of “Pancakes are too good to be restricted to Shrove Tuesday” and so on. And a tradition was born.

Initially, the pancake tradition was confined to Sundays. I had, for many years (since my college days in fact) become accustomed to cooking myself porridge or having an egg on toast for Saturday breakfasts and the porridge/egg debate continued for some time. However, as time went on, the occasional Saturday pancake breakfast turned into a regular feature, so now we have pancakes for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

We don’t actually have strawberry pancakes any more. I’ve developed a fondness for Bonne Maman Cherry Compote as a filling, although I don’t always get it because it’s rather hard to get hold of these days. Maple syrup and sugar and lemon are also popular options, and in the summer we quite often have a scoop of ice cream as well.

We’ve also introduced pancakes into our evening meal menu – my favourite filling is “burnt” mince and cheese, with a little Reggae Reggae Sauce and some extra cheese sprinkled on top. A very delicious supper indeed!!

People often ask if it’s less of a treat because we do it so regularly. Well, in over 5 years of weekend breakfast pancakes the “treat” factor has not subsided. Maybe the weekends are just far enough apart that we don’t become accustomed too strongly to the pancake breakfasts. Maybe the association with the relaxed getting up times, second cups of tea etc. means that it remains a treat. Maybe I’m just very very fond of pancakes!!!

A few pictures from this morning’s pancake making follow! Please excuse the terrible state of the cooker - the Wonderspouse is not a particularly clean and tidy cook! He does make great pancakes though!