Friday, December 31, 2010

Midnight pancakes...

Someone at work asked me what I do to celebrate New Year's Eve. For many years, when I had teenagers at home, they and their friends seemed to gather at our small but welcoming house. I learned to love the sound of happy chatter, competitive games and twenty people calling me Mom at the same time. For some reason, it became a tradition that at the stroke of midnight, I started cooking a huge batch of pancakes, smothered with real butter and luscious streams of maple syrup. Nobody ever objected. I started out with small ones, about the size of a silver dollar, so everybody could get a first taste. Then I made regular ones until everybody was stuffed. Fun memories.

In honor of those memories, here are a few things maybe you didn't know about pancakes:

"Names for pancakes:
Silver dollars, flapjacks, hubcaps, Johnny cakes, platters, Saturday morning specials, griddlebacks, panky-doos, berry patches, 2-ds, flipills, circles of life, hotcakes, butter gutters, griddlecakes, and Chuck Norris crepes.

German Pancakes or Dutch baby pancakes served in American pancake houses are bowl-shaped. They are eaten with lemons and powdered sugar, jam, or caramelized apples, as well as fritters.

Pancake Day is widely celebrated in Australia: in a "pancake race" each participant carries a pancake in a frying pan. All runners must toss their pancakes as they run and catch them in the frying pan. This event is said to have originated in Olney, England in 1444 when a housewife was still busy frying pancakes to eat before the Lenten fast when she heard the bells of St Peter and St Paul's Church calling her to the Shriving Service. Eager to get to church, she ran out of her house still holding the frying pan complete with pancake, and still wearing her apron and headscarf.

A crêpe is a French variety of thin pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special crepe pan to achieve a network of fine bubbles often compared to lace - a savory variety made from buckwheat is usually known as a galette. In Germany, pancakes can be made from potatoes. In Italy they can be fried and stuffed with ricotta and chocolate into what are known as cannoli."

Sounds pretty good to me.

Oh, and have a safe New Year's Eve.

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