Crispy pancakes – a blast from the past!

4 Sep

I can remember buying these for the kids in the 70’s.  They loved them and we would have them once a week with chips.  Really healthy I can hear you say.  You bought them in packs of four and I think the choices were chicken and mushroom or minced beef.  The recipe today is based on the principal of these pancakes but the result is nothing like them.  For a start they are twice as big and secondly the filling is rich and creamy and lots of it.  I still served them with chips although, nowadays, I go for the healthy version in my dry fryer.

This is the first time I have ever made my own savoury pancakes.  I love pancakes but tend to stick to the sweet variety and then only on Pancake Day.  My absolute favourite is a pancake sprinkled with sugar and drowned in the juice of a lemon. Mmmmm!  When my son’s family came to visit us in Fuerteventura in February  I made loads of pancakes on Pancake Day.  Some simple with lemon juice and some elaborate with marinated strawberries and fresh cream, but all delicious.  Clean plates all round!

Pancake Day ( also known as Shrove Tuesday) is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent. It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes.  Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.  Other religions and Countries observe Lent in a similar way.  For example, in Greece they abstain from eating meat for the whole of Lent then celebrate Easter by spit roast a whole goat. 

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

Every Pancake Day, windows in Atherstone are boarded up and shoppers dive for cover.  Why? Its time for the famous ball game! It’s possibly the most extroadinary sight you will ever see in Warwickshire – perhaps even through the Midlands and beyond. Hundreds of people gathering to knock seven bells out of one another in an attempt to grab hold of a heavy leather ball – and run the risk of being dismembered in the process.  

The Atherstone Ball Game is one of the oldest traditions in the country – the game has taken place every single Shrove Tuesday for 805 years.  Not even wars could stop it going ahead!  Although the current recession may be it’s downfall.  No one knows exactly where the tradition comes from – whether it came from border disputes or as a challenge between young men from different areas – but it remains and is only one of two such events that survive today, the other being in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. (As reported by the BBC).   

The recipe is from the March Edition of Delicious.  Here is a link to it on their website.  I made the pancakes by using 125g plain flour, an egg, pinch of salt and 250 ml of milk, beaten together to make a smooth mix.  I layered the left over pancakes and the filling in an ovenproof dish, finishing with a pancake and then scattered fresh breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top before freezing.  I’ll have that with salad on another day, thawed then reheated for 25 minutes in a moderate oven.  Can’t wait!


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