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My personal (but public) notes about my homebrewing, knitting and other random stuff

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Not dancing for pancakes

Scottish dancing tonight was cancelled due to the snow. Instead, I stayed in and finished off yesterday's carrot and chile soup, accompanied by homemade garlic bread (ok, I cheated with the bread and used a partially baked baguette from the supermarket, but the garlic and herb butter was homemade - at least in so far as mixing the garlic and herbs with the butter). After that I had a go at making Scotch pancakes, aka. drop scones. This was largely inspired by a conversation I had with some friends while making (ordinary) pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (a couple of days back, in case you missed it), when we were talking about the consistency of batter. The main differences between Scotch and non-Scotch pancakes are that the former have a higher flour/liquid ratio (6oz flour to 1/4 pint milk and one egg in the recipe I used (from Philip Harben's Grammar of Cookery) as opposed to 3oz flour for one egg and 5 fl. oz. milk (roughly 1/4 pint, IIRC) for the standard pancake batter from the same book), the flour used is self-raising (or in my case, plain with baking powder added, for lack of SR flour), and there's a small amount of sugar in the batter (1 dessertspoon). That makes for a rather thicker batter that stays put more-or-less where you pour it out, rather than running to cover the base of the pan. I found they went very nicely eaten fresh (and piping hot) with butter, sugar and cinnamon. I think my housemates agreed with me.

I've also taken the opportunity to do a bit more knitting. My tote bag is now well underway, with about an inch and a half of stocking stitch completed for the front panel (which is roughly 15" wide, so not too bad for about an hour of work). I'm also progressing quite well with my ribbed scarf, although I do wish it were ready to wear for the current snowy weather (I also wish we still had a subjunctive mood in English!). Here's a picture of it, so that you can see the general effect of the pattern:

What the picture doesn't show is the length of the scarf, which is currently about 38" (and nearing the end of the third skein). In the background you can just make out my knitting bag - this one is the maths conference one I mentioned yesterday (courtesy of Springer Verlag publishers) and far nicer than the carrier bags my other projects and knitting stuff are currently housed in. You can also see one of my first (and probably still favourite) pair of knitting needles (5mm diameter, 14" long) - not that they are that exciting.

Incidentally, the name of this post was inspired partly by tonight's cooking activities (instead of dancing) and largely by my favourite album title by Steve Lawson - Not Dancing for Chicken. I'm not sure it's necessarily my favourite of his albums but it's easily the coolest title.
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