Pancake Week 2017, Day 4

Still eating yesterday’s stack …

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Pancake Week 2017, Day 2

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I LOVE starting new traditions and I take almost any reason to do it. Pancake Week is no exception. Couple years ago I started a tradition of eating pancakes out somewhere. Last year the gathering was a little disaster and not because the pancakes were bad – they were delicious! – but because Little Love was way too little to party after 7pm on a weekday.

This year we went to Blueberry Hill Restaurant to taste their pancakes, advertised as original family recipe of pancakes with buttermilk. Can’t say anything bad about the pancakes, but with my eyes shut I would not be able to tell the difference between a Blueberry Hill, a Denny’s, an IHOP or a McDonald’s pancake to save my life.

But there was one thing that impressed everyone at our table. The SIZE of pancakes. Here, a picture is worth a thousand words (mainly because we laughed hysterically for 15 minutes, unable to say anything coherent, when the order was brought):

upload_-1-3Yes, the plate is WIDER than my torso.

Well, at least no-one left hungry 🙂

What’s your favorite pancake place?

 

Pancake Week 2017 p.1

Hello-Hello! Welcome to Pancake Week 2017! Because I have a not-so-secret addiction to pancakes, everyone who I can get my hands on during this week shall eat pancakes!

Maslenitsa – aka the Pancake Week / Butter Week / Crepe Week – is a folk and religious holiday for the Orthodox Christians, celebrated during the last week before the Great Lent. A whole week to eat pancakes!!! To gain some fat before long and exhausting fasting, basically.

Maslenitsa is probably the oldest Slavic holiday with origins deep in the Pagan festival of the Sun, a celebration of the end of winter. Personally I think that Pagan tradition makes much more sense than this appropriated Orthodox Christian.

You can read more about Maslenitsa in Wiki or simply Google it and scroll through dozens of images – it will give you a pretty solid idea of what the hype is about. For me, it’s about family to gather around a tasty festive meal. Pancakes just happen to be the perfect reason!

Pancake week 2017. Day 1: Done! And consumed 🙂 Oladyi* with apples.

SAMSUNG CSC *oladyi are palm sized pancakes made with eggs, flour and buttermilk. Traditionally, oladyi are Ukrainian pancakes. Mine are thinly sliced apple rounds dipped in /covered with pancake dough and fried.

Stay tuned for more pancakes from around the world  throughout the week!

P.S. Here are my posts on Maslenitsa from the previous years:

  1. Pancake Week! 2014

  2. Pancake Week 2015

  3. Pancakes Around the World, part 1

  4. Pancakes Around the World, part 2

 

 

 

Pancake Week – You Have Not Tasted This One Before

Home That We Built - msemmen

Home That We Built – msemmen

Not pancakes, not even crepes, though sometimes referred as such, MSEMMEN are a favorite Moroccan treat. These fried envelopes of puff dough are to die for! Traditionally served all deep-dipped in honey-butter sauce with Moroccan mint tea, they are the best for afternoon tea (or my all time favorite late night late night ceremony).

   They are also frequently stuffed with ground meat, sauteed veggies or fruit. (My personal “thing” is banana, cut into circles and sprinkled with cinnamon).

   To celebrate the Pancake Week, I decided to do msemmen justice and treat Love on such a Morocco-UN-related occasion 🙂

Home That We Built

Home That We Built

   Stage 1: Oil the work surface. That’s right, fight that instinctive motion to sprinkle flour!

  Stage 2: Use your hands to flatten the dough ball into a very thin circle. Forget the dough roller – Moroccans are magicians when it comes to using hands in the kitchen! 20150218_210152

   Stage 3:  Put a table spoon full of filling in the middle. I used chicken liver, cut into tiny pieces, sauteed with onions, tomatoes, spices and cilantro. Love suggested sprinkling it with fresh onions – surely he is the Highest Authority here.

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   Stage 4: Fold it like an envelope.. Sprinkle some semolina flour on each fold.

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Fold to top over the filling. Sprinkle semolina.

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Fold to bottom like so. Sprinkle semolina.

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Flip it over and fold the edges onto the back side of the envelope (the side it was lying on a minute ago), one by one. Step back and admire your cute envelope.

   Stage 5. This is the funny part. Flatten the envelope. It will get messy. There will be holes and the filling will try to escape. That is why you needed to fold the edges backwards – to provide extra support to the base on this stage. Keep your calm and gently but persistently press your palm over the envelope to flatten it as reasonably possible. The idea here is to flatten and spread the folds of the dough so it is is nice and light when fried. Like so:

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   Stage 6.  Melt couple table spoon fulls of butter. Use your fingers to sprinkle couple drops of melted butter onto a pre-heated frying pan.  Turn the heat to low. Fry msemmen on both sides until the dough is cooked. It’ll be easy to tell, honest. Like so:

20150218_211036   Stage 7. This one is just for lucky count 🙂 Eat the msemmen!

Have a tasty Pancake Week, guys!

Pancake Week – Hand-Written Recipe

In response to the “Write Now… Yes, Right Now!” challenge from PhoTrabloggeer and inspired by Amy from The World is a Book.

Home That We Built - old recipe book

Home That We Built – old recipe book

Home That We Built - recipe book

Home That We Built – recipe book

One of my most valued possessions is a very old recipe book. It’s an old notebook, a calendar diary of 1966, to be exact, with yellow pages and torn cover. It’s filled with recipes, most of which are pre-1917 recipes of marvelous cakes, French pastries, various types of dough and jams. The bulk of the recipes, however, are not written on the pages of the notebook, but tucked in- between. The recipes from before the Revolution of 1917 are my great-grandmother’s and those that “native” to the 1966 notebook are my grandmother’s. Today I have added one of my own.

Pancake Week on my mind, I added a favorite recipe for pancakes, Russian style, but with no yeast.

Home That We Built - Pancake recipe

Home That We Built – Pancake recipe

    And here are two recipes of pancakes written by my grandmother. Both are Russian style pancakes, i.e. the size of the frying pan, soft, flexible, easy to wrap around any kind of stuffing, be it mushrooms, ground meat or cherries. The difference between the two recipes is that the first is the traditional kind, “sour” as my gran used to say, made with yeast, while the second, at the bottom, is the easier, modern way to cook the same pancakes substituting yeast with baking soda.

Home That We Built - pancakes by my grandmother

Home That We Built – pancakes by my grandmother

The language is Russian throughout the notebook.