Sunday, October 30, 2011

fancy pancakes

When the children come home from school, full of subtraction and the urgent need for a multi-compartment fairy pencil case such as their second-best friend Aisling has, they like to eat fancy pancakes. These are very easy to make and are a good Friday treat.

To make them, whizz up your usual pancake batter - I use 250 ml milk, 4 oz white or wholemeal flour and 1 egg.

Good fillings are raisins, chocolate chips or chopped glacĂ© cherries (rinse off the syrup).  Get these ready in little bowls in advance.  It's best to sprinkle the fillings individually onto the pancakes as they cook rather than mix them into the batter; otherwise they tend to distribute unevenly.

[glimpse of the wonderful KitchenAid Blender, perfect for pancake-making]

Pour small pancakes (saucer-sized) into your pan. Once the first side is nearly cooked, sprinkle a little of your chosen filling on top. Give it another 30 seconds, flip over, cook lightly and flip onto a plate.

Children will clamour for all three fillings in one pancake; that works well too, as do Smarties. The panel of tasters here has demanded experimentation with hundreds & thousands or chocolate vermicelli during the mid-term break, so they have been added to the shopping list.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

giveaway: a classic enamel sign CLOSED

The kind people at Ramsign in Denmark got in touch to ask whether I'd like to offer a Pretty Far West reader one of their traditional enamel house number plaques. "Ah sure, why not?" I said to myself in my engagingly upbeat way, hoping that a little giveaway would bring some joy to Number 68 Cakestand Boulevard or wherever you live yourself.

The winner will get to select one of five different styles, up to a value of $99, and Ramsign will manufacture a number plaque of his or her choice.

The giveaway is open to readers anywhere: just leave a comment expressing interest.

For a second entry, post a link to the giveaway on your own blog or website and comment again, and put yourself down for a third entry if you've never quite got used to not living next door to Alice. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

one important thing

If I have learned one important thing during my time on Earth,
 it is this:

that smallish objects on surfaces should be grouped together 
on trays or other receptacles

so that they are not forlorn.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

no platform

Karen has pointed out that a blogger should have a platform.  How true, and how wise, and how speedily I rushed to write a conspicuously placed little sentence explaining what Pretty Far West is all about so that the busy reader knows what's what before she clicks briskly away.

It's all a sham, of course, as I don't have a platform, and merely want to talk about myself. Today, for instance, exhibit A is the pink ring Scottish Husband gave me to celebrate 10 years together, and exhibit B is a few of the many bracelets Pink Daughter has crocheted for me to match every possible outfit.

The sorry truth of the matter is, I suppose, that I am not even waiting for a train.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

cheese & spinach puffs

If you add some baby spinach leaves to the blender while making these delicious and easy cheese puffs, you get green cheese puffs.

They are very tasty indeed, and if you place them beside the most reserved person at your stylish drinks party, he or she will soon be deep in conversation with everyone who happens by about what they could be and whether it is safe to try one.

Indeed, by the end of the evening, he or she will probably be engaged to be married, and all because of you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

the sliding shelf

I never was able for hearty people. I met such a person lately, and after she had told me hearty things in a hearty way I had to go home and seek reassurance in the sliding shelf of my bedside cabinet, so useless yet so beguiling.

[I thought it would be handy for cups of tea]

Days later, I still don't feel quite right. I worry that we'll just have to keep being cheerful, that I will be assigned a role, that it is a good cause and that everything will be for the best.  

[but it isn't]

I live in fear that someone will tweet at me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welsh Cakes

Warm welsh cakes are the sort of food to serve when your jolly house party returns from its bracing walk along the seashore, exclaiming that they think they saw a seal and also possibly Jeremy Irons only they aren't sure because he was wearing a trapper hat.  While they tread seaweed into your rugs, you can bustle authentically about the kitchen, having the occasional cherry soaked in sloe gin as you make these.

  • Make up your regular fruit scone mixture (I use 8 oz flour, some baking powder, 1 oz each of sugar and butter, an egg, and a splash of milk, along with some sultanas and glacĂ© cherries)
  • Pat it down to 1 cm thick and cut into rounds

  • Fry on a heavy pan or directly on the hotplate of the range until both sides are golden and cooked. It is best to cook them slowly on a low heat so that their centres are fluffy and light.
From start to plate, they only take about fifteen minutes.
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