A full version with recipes can be found at the Slow Travel Berlin website. more...
Full version with recipes can be found at Slow Travel Berlin. more...
I've been a big fan of Felicity Cloake's Perfect column for the Guardian ever since it started. more...
I should start with a brief explanation for natives of non-English-speaking countries: in the UK, America, Canada, and Australia, Shrove Tuesday (the last day before Lent) is Pancake Day. Supposedly, the reason for this is to use up all the perishable goodies that you're not allowed during Lent.
Yep, that's right. The rest of the world has decadent and hedonistic carnivals, we eat pancakes. It's probably a measure of how old I'm getting that the pancakes are seeming the better option these days.
It's looking likely that I'm going to get involved in a big translation project over the next few months that will take up a lot of time - and consequently, there will be less time available for kitchen-pottering.
So although I'm not usually one to abide by traditions and indeed, pancake day has gone unmarked in our house for many years - I decided to potter whilst I still have time and experiment with some new recipes.
Tobias and I have both been going crazy for sweet potatoes recently, so I decided to make some pancakes with mashed sweet potato. I'm talking about American style pancakes with a raising agent - I'm more tempted to call them drop scones.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, writing in the Guardian last Saturday had had exactly the same idea, saving me having to search for a basic recipe. All kudos to him as well for the suggestion of including walnuts, which I wouldn't have thought of, but were undoubtedly a great addition. I included crispy bacon and thyme as well, and spread my pancakes with a little goats' cheese. (Tobias, as a stinky-cheese-hater just had butter.)
That was breakfast, and a very fine breakfast it was too.
Sticking with the pancake theme, I made quesadillas with guacamole for lunch. I won't bother to give the recipe for that, as I didn't make the tortillas myself, and anyone can stick a tortilla in a pan and slap some cheese on it.
I got a bit more experimental with dinner. I'd previously read somewhere that beer could be used in place (or part place) of milk in a batter. We had a opened, but sealed bottle of prosecco left over from Friday evening and I wondered what the effect would be using prosecco. It's just another fizzy, fermented product, after all.
I used buckwheat flour and this, the slight sourness from the wine and the many holes in the pancakes (presumably as a result of the fizziness?) gave an effect that reminded me more of the Ethiopean injera than a European crêpe. They were very fragile pancakes - I destroyed several whilst trying to turn them - but very good. We ate them with ham, melted cheese, thinly sliced onions and a plain salad.
Recipes as follows: