As we know, Pancake Day falls in February and although it is observed as a Christian Festival known as Shrove Tuesday, pancakes - or crepes - have been around for a very long time before that. Pancakes remind me of my childhood – my mum cooking them one after the other - for the insatiable appetite of 3 eager mouths – sprinkled in lemon juice and sugar, rolled up and demolished in a few forkfuls before asking for another. It was a once-a-year treat, but these days I think they are delicious any time of the year and with various toppings too!
I decided to make some pancakes as they have connections for this month:
Eggs for new beginnings
Wheat flour for rebirth and
Milk for Imbolc
Cherries you may be wondering? Isn't that a little early for February here in the UK?
Cherry Blossom and Cherries both correspond with new beginnings and fertility.
The following is from Rachel Patterson's book - A Kitchen Witches World of Magical Food:
Cherry (Prunus avium/cerasus)
This is a deciduous tree with absolutely beautiful blossom in spring followed by delicious cherries – P. avium is the sweet or wild cherry and P. cerasus is the sour cherry sometimes used in cooking.
The cherry has always seemed very feminine to me with the stone held inside the ‘womb’ of the actual fruit so it makes sense to me that it is a good fruit to use not only for love magic, but also for fertility.
Use the wood of the cherry tree, stones or the dried blossoms in love incense blends. The stones have long been used for divination purposes. I can remember as a child doing the ‘tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief’ rhyme with my cherry stones to see who I was going to marry… I don’t recall any of the stones ever saying ‘drummer’…
You can also use cherry juice as a substitute for blood in rituals or workings. I also like to use cherry blossom or stones in magical workings for new beginnings drawing on the spring energy.
Cherry Magical Properties: Love, fertility, divination, beginnings.
Ruling planet – Venus
Element – Water, Air
Gender – Feminine
135g/4¾oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml/4½fl oz milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
Sift the flour into a large bowl and add your baking powder, salt and caster sugar.
Measure out your milk into a jug, then add your egg, give it a quick whisk with a fork then add the melted butter or olive oil. (I used olive oil) and give it another whisk.
Pour the whisked milk mixture into your flour mixture and beat with your fork until you have a smooth batter. If you have any lumps, these will soon disappear. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
Meanwhile heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of your batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and they have risen to about 1cm/ ½ inch thick.
Repeat until all your batter is used up. They can be kept warm in a low oven while you are doing this but they are best served straight away! I served mine with cooked fresh cherries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. Delicious!
Recipe for pancakes from bbc.uk/food/recipes