How To Make Pancakes. Or: why I can’t follow instructions

I like to think I can make tasty dinner. That given a set of ingredients I can make something good. That I know my food, and that on any Masterchef taste test that I would come out on top. I like recipes, I like watching food programs on TV, I like flicking through recipe books and browsing recipes online.

However, I suck at following recipes. One of my favourite dinners of last year was a balsamic-soaked, oven-cooked lamb dish with mmmmcrispy fat, unctious cherry tomatoes, garlic, aubergine and (usually) rosemary & chilli. Maybe one day I will post the recipe. However, the loose recipe that I now use was originally based on a Jamie Oliver dish. A Jamie Oliver sausage bake.

Anyway. Last week I posted a recipe (of sorts) for pancake soup. I worked out/imagined/made up how to make this dish after having eaten it in a restaurant (there are basically three ingredients, it wasn’t hard!) What I neglected to mention is that I don’t know how to make pancakes.

Well, clearly I DO know how to make pancakes, insofar as that you form some kind of relationship between a frying pan, some hot butter and some batter,  then take the result and add something like lemon and sugar, or nutella, or onion and spinach, or whatever floats your boat. What I really mean is that every single time I have to be reminded of the ingredients and proportions for the batter.

So. For prosperity. This is how you make batter.


1 pint milk
4 eggs
8 ounces plain flour


Whizz until thoroughly whizzed. Try to be patient and leave it a while, because the pancakes are always better if you have left the batter for an hour or so. Probably something to do with the milk soaking into the flour granules or something.

I have to either consult a post-it note if I’m lucky enough to have not lost it since the last time I made batter, or call my mum every time. I’m yet to find a way to get such a simple thing to stick in my head, despite how neat it is.

So, apparently, three simple ingredients in particularly nicely neat proportions are clearly too complex to stay in my little mind.

Incidentally, an ounce of flour is EXACTLY equivalent to a heaped tablespoon. It is. I subjected my mum’s assertion to rigorous scientific testing and can confirm that each tablespoon of flour I added to the bowl incremented the readout on the scales by precisely 1.0 oz. I found this slightly disturbing, until Neal pointed out that an ounce is probably defined as “the weight of a tablespoon of flour.”

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One Response to How To Make Pancakes. Or: why I can’t follow instructions

  1. Pingback: Staple Dinner from 2009 |

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