Pancake day has been and gone for another year. It’s that day of the year when people find themselves saying “why do we only have pancakes once a year? I really like pancakes”, before resolutely not making them again for another 12 months.
This year, with the Devon A-Z challenge in full swing, it seemed only right to try to make use of some local produce when making the pancakes. I headed down to Darts Farm and bought some milk from Ashclyst Farm Dairy and eggs from Orchard Farm. There is probably something slightly wrong in going out to buy milk and eggs specifically for pancake day, considering the original aim of Shrove Tuesday, but you don’t see many people giving up eggs and milk for lent these days; chocolate, twitter, alcohol and swearing seem to be the most popular choices according to a quick Google search.
We made both savoury and sweet pancakes for dinner on Tuesday: cheese and mushroom to start and sugar and lemon for dessert. And yes, we did find ourselves saying that we should do this more often. So we did. On Thursday.
However, for the first time since starting the Devon A-Z challenge, I set out to buy a particular thing and couldn’t find it. With the eggs and milk covered, I had turned my attention to the toppings and went in search of something delicious to drizzle over the top of my pancakes; perhaps a syrup or a dessert sauce. But I couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill. Darts Farm stocked several delicious-looking options, some from not too far away, but I couldn’t find anything that was made in Devon.
I also took to the internet and was similarly unsuccessful in finding anything online.
I asked twitter and drew a blank there as well (although our friend Emma did suggest topping our pancakes with clotted cream; you can’t argue with the Devon-ness of that suggestion).
So, to all you Devon food producers out there, I think that there may be a gap in the market. Or, if you already produce something that I have missed then please let me know and we will be happy to whip up another batch of batter and try your toppings.
As for lent itself, I can confirm that I have not given up milk, eggs, flour and sugar; in fact, I don’t usually give up anything for lent. This year, however, my colleagues have all decided to abstain from their favourite vices, with monetary penalties going to charity for any transgressions. To combat the risk of coming across as the office Scrooge, I have bowed to peer pressure and have given up chocolate for the next six weeks. This is not a completely empty gesture, but chocolate is far from my biggest weakness: that would be coffee. I did briefly consider giving up coffee but I like it too much, and giving up your luxuries is surely not the point of lent [note to self: check that giving up luxuries isn’t actually the point of lent].
It has made me think, however, that I should probably revisit my relationship with coffee. Perhaps I can get to a point next year where I could actually give up coffee for lent.
Now that does sound like a challenge.