For the love of pancakes
Updated: Mar 1
When it comes to desserts, you can bet I'm all ears. Yes, I have a soft spot for good home made sweets and never miss an opportunity to try out any sweet something, someone has to offer.
When my friend Bernard (fondly called Bernie), told me about a Pancake making event he was planning to host in Sharjah, I quickly signed up. Here was something unique. A way to teach my children how pancakes are made and there was an additional perk -- we were allowed to eat what we made! Now that sounds like a tempting treat if ever there was one.
As with all things, a Whatsapp group was quickly formed with enthusiastic members sharing ideas and anecdotes. We finally met up on 25th February, a.k.a Pancake Tuesday and it was soon evident that this was going to be a lot of fun.
Our host, Bernie had set up work stations at Golden Tulip Restaurant in the hotel of the same name. After everyone got to the venue, we got to work. Martha got us the batter from home and food colours (pink and green) were added to two portions. The pancake batter is a mix of flour, milk or water, one egg, a little salt and some sugar.
The batter is scooped in to a hot frying pan with very little oil. May be just a drop or two. The pan is then whirled around brought back to the heat and then turned on the other side.
Each of us took a shot, trying our hand at making green and pink pancakes. It was nice to see the husbands also partake in pancake making.
Bernie ensured we had the melodious voice of the sweet and nostalgia-evoking Lorna playing in the background. I must say it added just the right touch as I was immediately transported to the shores of Goa.
Pancake Tuesday is a tradition followed in most Catholic households and especially in Goa. Many enthusiastic Goans will spend Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday in their kitchens. The day marks a day before the beginning of Lent, a month of fasting for Christians. The pancakes are filled with Goa jaggery and very often mixed with fresh coconut.
In our case, Melissa prepared the filing. She added diced cashew nuts to the filling which we excitedly filled our pancakes with. I was delighted to see my children learning the art of pancake rolling as they sang a pancake making song to the delight of the group present.
After dinner and tasting what the group prepared, a few members began to dance to the 'Masala.' For the uninitiated this is a medley of Konkani, Portuguese and English songs which generally helps you melt your cares away. It is hard to resist and I found myself swaying to the music as well.
Soon it was time to depart. Not before we took a few images for posterity. The event still makes me smile. It is what we all need to kick-off the mid week blues. A little sweetness, a lot of shaking and some good laughter.