Saturday, September 01, 2007

Morning, Noon and Night

When I woke up this morning I really felt as if I was coming down with something serious. I felt lousy. As tired as when I went to bed last night, headache-y, run down, yucky, cold sweat, shaky, you name it. BLAH. I kept it to myself. What's the worst that could have happened? I could have felt even worse, in which case I'd have had to 'fess-up and gone to take a nap, or I'd eventually feel better.

Ate my usual two slices of toast, but without the apple jelly. I was saving my sweet intake for later. Downed a cup of coffee, black. Squirt showed up for walnuts so I fed him. He takes the half shells up on to a lounger to eat. Squirt is not nearly as pushy as Squeaky. He just looks in the window pleadingly. Yah, I know.

I walked to Rite-Aid (formerly Brooks - formerly Sandy Bay Apothecary, anybody else remember those days?) and bought the morning paper. A waste of 50 cents.

Got home and took the recyclables to the dump. Amanda went with me for the ride. We checked out the Swap Shop but there weren't any good finds. Rummaging in the scrap metal pile is no longer allowed. NOT FAIR. What if I see something that I can use? Ran into a former newspaper customer of Amanda's and he asked "how's my sweetheart?" I think he and his wife would adopt her! Where were they 10 years ago when that would have sounded ideal?

After the dump Amanda had to tackle a massive bedroom cleanup. It's amazing how she can accumulate so much crud. Oh sorry, I guess the stuff is valuable to her. I went downstairs to the workshop to pick up and clean there. I was interrupted only three times by my Mom who wanted to stain the front of the house. She has "her" projects but they require the assistance of others, namely me. So got the ladder up for her, found the gallon of stain she bought, trimmed the shrub that was in the way of the ladder (it has died and needs to be dug out....another day.....sigh).

The workshop is looking really good. I should get around to posting some pictures of it!

Oh yeah, while I was hauling stuff up the bulkhead stairs for my Mom, I decided I might as well get some other heavy work done, just to make myself feel really rotten. I carried up the pump unit to the Smith American reed organ and got it installed. Phew.

By then it was lunchtime. Amanda had decided to sit out on the deck in the sun. The end of summer comes around and she panics about looking too pale. I made a peanut butter sandwich and grabbed a handful of potato chips (crisps far east) and joined her on the deck. I sat under the umbrella. Sunshine and peanut butter aren't a favorite combo. After finishing lunch, it sounded soothing to have the hot sun on my aching back and shoulders so I sprawled on the lounger for about 15 minutes. Break time was over too soon. Back to work.

I was hoping to get Amanda's room primed and painted before putting up all the stained trimwork. No such luck. I've been storing all the finished trimwork down in the workshop and worrying that extended storage in the work area would result in it getting damaged. I made a goal of each time that I went upstairs, I would measure for at least one section of trim in Amanda's room. This afternoon I made a huge dent in the job and have cut and installed about half the trim. When it comes to time to prime and paint I'll have to mask all the woodwork, but, oh well.

So there I was at 3 p.m. feeling much better. I don't know why. Maybe it was the peanut butter LOL. It's a good thing I felt better as I had made a big promise to my Mom and Amanda about what I'd cook for dinner.

When I was growing up, my Dad always called them English Pancakes. Now that they are popular, most of the world refers to them as Crepes. Sometimes my Dad called them Crepes Suzettes, but I think he was just trying to be fancy. When I was a kid, all my friends wanted to have dinner at our house if my Dad was making English Pancakes. What kid wouldn't want paper-thin pancakes rolled up with butter and sugar inside for dinner??

This was Dad's specialty and he had learned to make them from his mother. He said that they never rolled them up when he was a kid. His mother would layer them on a plate, with butter and sugar, and keep the stack warm in the oven until she had made enough. Then she would cut the stack into servings like you would a cake. Anyway, my Mom NEVER tried to make them. It was only my Dad at the skillet.

But I watched. And every once in a while I'd ask a question. My Dad asked if I wanted him to teach me how to do it. I declined his offer. As an adult, the only time my Dad would make them is if I asked. And later, as he got older and less patient, he'd only make them for my birthday.

Little did he know.....

I had learned.

About 10 years ago I started trying to make them. There is a definite knack to it. It took me a few tries before I had a method down. First the batter has to be just right. It has to flow through fork tines at the correct rate and with the correct look. Then there's the skillet temperature - fairly hot. And finally the quick swirl of the batter in the skillet and the "pour-off" to achieve the perfect round shape and the exact thinness.

So, tonight, after a 5 year lapse in practice, I made English Pancakes. Yummy.

But after 3 or 4 you feel like you've swallowed a cannonball.


dickiebo said...

Strikes me that 'tis Mandy who should have been doin' the cookin'!
Your Dad's Mum must have been very strict. When my dear old Mum used to make these (also Welsh Cakes), we would devour them before they hit the plate. She never did seem to have any left for the mealtime.
PS. Had to look-up 'skillet'. Small frying pan.
Sgd. Far East.

deb said...

Ok, sometime I'll have to do a few "ancestor" stories. I think by stacking the pancakes on a plate in the oven she kept the family out of her way while she was cooking! When we make them, we line up waiting our turn for the next one. Annoying having someone watch over you constantly as you cook.

My skillet - medium sized, round, and very flat.

5 days per week (mostly) we all make our own dinners because of conflicting schedules. One day per week (or more lol) we eat out. One day we either all cook a meal together or one of us does the cooking.