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  • Writer's pictureHannah

Social distancing in Suzhou

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Somewhere along the line, a family tradition of pancakes on a Sunday evening sprouted. Occasionally it's the smaller, chubbier Canadian/Scotch/American (if you can tease them apart, please advise me, they are essentially the same to me), but usually it's the larger, thin, French 'crepe' type. I'm really fond of Shrove Tuesday, and so I wonder if the Sunday evening tradition is a kind of subliminal reaction that moving away from the European calendar into an Eastern Asian one has brought. Perhaps I'm inwardly paranoid I'll forget all about Shrove Tuesday. Actually, this year I did forget it but being stranded as a crisis migrant in Penang might have had something to do with it.

This evening we had Mancakes because Mike prepared them. In our team, I tell him the ingredients as its one of the few recipes I can recall from memory. I have a feeling that the recipe I follow should probably be attributed to Delia Smith somewhere along another line. It is as follows:

225 g plain flour

pinch of salt

4 eggs

400 mls milk

200 mls luke warm water, (who's Luke?)

3-4 Tbsp melted butter

Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the flour and break in the eggs. Beat it all up into a smooth consistency. Start to melt the butter in a separate saucepan. Meanwhile, slowly add the milk and water mixture to the batter whilst beating. Finally, add the melted butter, leaving a little in the frying pan for frying the pancakes. Pour approximately 2 tbsps of batter into the frying pan and quickly swirl it around the pan to cover the base, and start frying! Don't forget to flip them over. It might make sense to make up a batch first and keep them warm in a low oven until they're all ready. Sit- down meal time conversations and pancake flipping don't really go hand in hand. And if they do, then you've probably missed the pan.

Pancakes go well with a variety of fillings. Simple savoury beans and cheese or salad can make a decent child-friendly kick off, followed by many different, tasty, sweet varieties. I would suggest that a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup is yum. Or why not try Greek yogurt, chopped banana, honey and some sprinkled chopped nuts?

Family Gates favourite fillings:

Emily: 'strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce'

Gideon: 'chopped mango, whipped cream and maple syrup'

Dad: 'blue cheese' (?) or mango, cream and chocolate sauce'

Mum: 'lemon juice and sugar'

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