Everyone has their first cookbook. Mine arrived in the post, courtesy of a scheme Ngonu signed me up to where books arrived in the post as if by magic. Mostly they were fiction but occasionally they included reference books. My first cookbook was It’s Fun to Cook. I take as testament to my destiny in desserts that the only part of this book that has been heavily used is the baking section. Some of the pages are stuck together, never to be undone. This book has lasted as a reference for many years and I still use it for some things, these pancakes are one. You can tell it was printed in the 1980’s not only because of the bizarre illustrations but also because the recipes call for margarine and not butter. Anyone who grew up in the 80’s should know about the butter-fear phenomenon that characterized our diets. Butter was evil. It would give you heart attacks and high cholesterol and thus ultimately result in your (untimely) death. Up until I was about 12 butter was really a rarity.Thankfully such times have passed and butter in moderation is now allowed. When I use this book now I most often substitute the margarine for butter and haven’t had any problems to date.
The other thing that occurred as a result of this book was the princess’ ability to flip pancakes and my inability to do so. I guess it is just a representation of our roles in the family but I cannot flip pancakes at all. I have a mental block. As such I never make pancakes unless the princess is here to flip them. I’m sure I could learn but I think of it as a fair trade. I make the batter and she flips the pancakes. We both get breakfast. If only life could be this simple.
Adapted from It’s Fun to Cook
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil (one that doesn’t overpower everything else so canola or sunflower)
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
Whisk the egg and sugar together until well blended. Add in the milk and oil followed by the dry ingredients. Whisk well. I like to let the mix stand for half an hour. Then give it another whisk. Heat a non-stick pan. Pour some oil onto a sheet of kitchen towel folded twice. Wipe the pan with this. Drop the batter into the pan and allow bubbles to appear on the surface before turning. Keep warm in the oven until eating… The recipe makes about 12 pancakes, depending on size. It feeds 3-4 comfortably.
Oh by the by, when I say pancakes I mean American-style pancakes (although we make them a more reasonable size). Sometimes these are called crumpets. They are NOT crepes.
If you want to make blueberry ones, drop the batter into the pan before placing blueberries on the individual pancakes. Flip as normal.