The dizzying heights of colour-coordinated prop house shelves were our backdrop on sunny Monday as we scoured for Salad Club-style crockery, cutlery and napiery for our first book shoot. Tempted by just about everything, and with no idea on how to scale back on the unnecessaries, we ended up whiling away a whole afternoon amongst rows of retro, vintage, ethnic, plastic, glass, wooden and enamel kitchen goods. It was like being in car boot heaven but without the crap.
The first Shrove Tuesday the two of us spent together was at university when a 40-strong mob of us took up arms with our ingredients. Rather than make any batter, we had an enormous food fight around campus that left us–and our dingy residences–caked in flour, eggs and Jif lemons. We do like to honour this tradition at Salad Club but there was no time for food fights yesterday as we were up at dawn to start shooting. We’re not allowed to let you in on any details but we can say that it’s looking bloody lovely and we’re very excited! Out of our long prop house search came images and tables that look just like they belong to us–a testament to all the clever people helping us to put each photograph together. And now that we’re edging out of winter, we’re looking forward to writing spring. We’ll keep you posted with our progress.
Because of our distractions, the business of batter had to wait until this morning. No groundbreaking new territory here: just a thin crispy pancake with freshly squeezed lemon and caster sugar. If I ever stray from this recipe things go wrong:
Makes about 8 pancakes:
4oz plain flour
half a pint of milk
pinch of salt
pinch of baking powder
lemons and caster sugar to serve
Measure the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt and baking powder, make a well in the middle and crack in the egg. Add a dash of milk and, using a wooden spoon (or a whisk for a less dense pancake), start stirring in small circles from the centre of the bowl outwards, gradually pulling in more flour from the edges until you have a smooth, thick batter. Slowly add the rest of the milk and keep stirring. Pour the batter into a jug and leave it to sit for a bit if you have time.
Melt a knob of butter in a shallow sided pan until bubbling, pour in roughly a ladle full of batter and tilt the pan around to spread it to the edges. When the pancake has crisped and browned on one side, toss, brown the other side and serve immediately . The first one of the batch is always a bit of a scrawny runt but if given enough love is usually perfectly edible. Keep going until you’ve had enough or there’s no more batter.
Things have changed a bit since those hedonistic days of Jif lemon fights. Not only do we use real lemons but we’re incredibly lucky to be working together at something we love. So, thank you all once again for the support and encouragement and Happy (belated) Pancake Day!
Rosie & Ellie