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The Genial Hearth
I’ve just put the kettle on, join me for a cuppa and a chat.

Archive for February, 2006

Pancakes cooked

So, eight batches was probably about right.

Except I forgot to allow for the dairy free folk, so there was another batch made.

And someone needed an everything free batch (dairy and egg, not wheat—although for everything free that would have been appropriate).

And we have about a batch and a half left.

So if I’d made just the six as I started, we would have been right. Actually, I could probably have done more of the self raising flour (maybe done four of that, but only two of the plain flour).

The toppings were great, the company pleasant. It was rather warm in the kitchen though, but it was far less stressful cooking the pancakes when all you had to do was pour them out of the bottle. All the cleaning up from preparation was already done and so it was very easy.

A good evening.

How to make Pancakes: A lesson

Today is Shrove or Pancake Tuesday.

We’re having people by to eat pancakes. We provide the mix, they provide the toppings.

Pad mentioned the other day that all the pre-made mixes were on special at the moment, which got me thinking (I don’t see the point of them for the most part, but if you’re camping and don’t want to take all your baking things, or bowls… maybe) that their method of delivery was actually worth while.

I can’t remember how many batches we made last year, but I thought that half a dozen would not be too many for starters. And I had two (empty) 2-litre milk bottles. How about I make my own ‘mix’—then it can be done ahead of time and will fit in the fridge more easily, and they’re already designed for pouring… It’s all good.

First of all, ensure your two milk bottles are clean. Rinse them out and leave to drain (first mistake… I should have done this much earlier so they were actually dry!)

Next, get your flour (I do half the batches plain, and half self raising). Into one bottle put 345 grams of plain flour, the same weight of self raising in the other. This sound simple… I have yet to work out a good method of doing this. My funnel is fine for liquids, but the flour got so stuck that I gave up quite quickly and spooned it in using my other hand as a kind of funnel.

Lable the bottles, so you know which will be crépe like and which will be thick style.

Next, beat three eggs in a measuring jug, just so that the yolks are well mixed. Add 300 mls of milk and beat a little more. Pour into the first milk bottle. Shake well. Shake some more to try and get all the flour off the bottom. Ponder over the sound not being quite right, and that it hasn’t made as much as you thought it would.

Repeat for the other bottle.

Realise that of course it didn’t sound right! 300 mls is the milk needed for one batch! And you have three. Add another 300 mls to each bottle and mix, then a further 300 mls and mix.

Much better. Shake well to try and get all the flour off the bottom.

Realise that you don’t actually have room in the fridge to put them. And given the current weather (just a touch hot:-( ), they really need to be in the fridge or the milk will go off (although, pikelets use sour milk, and they taste great!). Well, there’s room for one bottle, and the bottle of milk in the door looks to have about 600 mls in it—enough for another two batches.

Add and extra 114 grams of flour to each bottle (be sure to get the right flour in the right bottle!). Shake to mix well.

Mix one egg with 300 mls of milk in the measuring jug and add to one bottle. Shake.

Mix another egg with almost 300 mls of milk in the measuring jug. Decide that opening another bottle of milk (which will then need to stand up, meaning the pancake batter would need to lie down) is probably not necessary for about 10 mls worth. Add to second bottle and shake.

Put both in the fridge.

Not bad. 8 batches. Taking not that much space. And at the other end I can just rinse the bottles and throw them out. Fewer utensils, and probably not the same need to wash and re-use bowls through the evening.

Now I just have to clean up the kitchen—there’s a bit of flour thrown about.

I like the idea… I just have to work out a better way of getting the flour in, and make sure the milk bottles are cleaned ahead of time so they can dry properly.


My version of the knitting olympics (crocheting two dishcloths) was very successful! I actually had four unpatterned ones (I just did half treble repeatedly), and about 2 centimetres worth of a patterned one by the time I went to bed (because I couldn’t handle staying up later just so I could see the flame go out).

I’ve decided I like crochet:-) My year three self would be horrified:-)

More on the Olympics (kind of)

Although I haven’t actually signed up for the Knitting Olympics (unlike 4000 others!), I have decided to set myself a crochet challenge instead:-) So if you’re coming this evening, please feel free to bring craft work of some sort to do while you’re watching.

I’m planning to crochet 2 dishcloths over the 16 days of the olypmics. I haven’t picked a pattern, the first I’ll just do as a block of unpatterned stitching, (I’m doing some swatching now to see how many stitches I need to cast on). I’ll see how long that takes me, and then either do the same for the second, or attempt to follow a pattern (simple, because I’m not so sure about how to read them:-( ) for it.

Related only by craftiness, I saw this today, which I thought would appeal to the Gynaecon crowd:-) Hat tip to Poppins.

Winter Olympics

This is once again not a real post… I’ll get around to it sometime soon.

This Saturday is the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. I believe it’s showing from 8.30. We plan to watch it, and watch and vote on the following ‘fashion parade’. If anyone feels like coming by and joining us, you’re more than welcome.

Hope to see some of you:-)

BTW Sorry about the multiple posts:-( The aerial on my machine is somewhat intermittant, so my connection keeps dropping and it appeared that blogger wasn’t loading the post—so I tried again, and again…

Winter Olympics

This is once again not a real post… I’ll get around to it sometime soon.

This Saturday evening is the Opening Ceremony. It’s showing from 8.30pm. We’re planning on watching the fashion parade, so if anyone feels like coming by and joining us, you’re more than welcome:-)

Hope to see some of you:-)

Castles in the Air

Listen to a midi version here. We have barely listened to this.

The bonnie, bonnie bairn, wha sits poking in the ase,
Glow’ring in the fire wi’ his wee round face;
Laughing at the fuffin’ lowe, what see he there?
Ha! the young dreamers’ biggin castles in the air.
His wee chubby face, and his touzie eurly pow,
Are laughing and nodding to the dancing lowe;
He’ll brown his rosy cheeks, and singe his sunny hair,
Glo’ring at the imps wi’ their castles in the air.

He sees muckle castles towering to the moon!
He sees little sodgers pu’ing them a’ doun!
Worlds whombling up and doun, bleezing wi’ a flare,
See how he loups! as they glimmer in the air.
For a’ sae sage he looks, what can the laddie ken?
He’s thinking upon naething, like mony mighty men;
A wee thing mak’s us think, a sma thing mak’s us stare,
There are mair folk than him bigging castles in the air.

Sic a night in winter may weel mak’ him cauld:
His chin upon his buffy hand will soon mak’ him auld;
His brow is brent sae braid, O pray that daddy Care,
Would let the wean alane wi’ his castles in the air!
He’ll glower at the fire! and keek at the light!
But mony sparkling stars are swallow’d up by Night;
Aulder een than his are glamoured by a glare,
Hearts are broken, heads are turn’d, wi’ castles in the air!