Written on Ash Wednesday but posted on Friday!
Pancakes in Uganda!
I always try to introduce my friends to something typically English during my visits varying from scrambled eggs or omelette with Ryvita on the side(!) to mince pies & custard when I stayed for Christmas! They are amazed by cuppa soup!!
As yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, I had taken a pack of dried pancake mix to Uganda to make up on Shrove Tuesday but there was no cooking oil left so I just told the family I would cook them on Wednesday night instead. They always smile and look at me that warily way wondering what weird food I am going to produce! So far everything has been enjoyed, only complaint there being not enough of it!
Of course with the storm and flood, supper was delayed by several hours, it was getting on for 10 pm, so I didn’t mention the pancakes. The cooking was being done inside rather than outside for obvious reasons, over two charcoal stoves in the room that is the bedroom for Betty & Baby Norman, Mama Judith and fourteen year old Alex. The room also stores my big metal school trunk full of craft materials, a big hand of matoke (savoury banana), sacks of grain, buckets and bowls and various other items. Innocent sleeps behind a curtain in the living room and Madam Gerry, well she gets a whole room to herself! They wouldn’t have it any other way and, if I’m honest, nor would I! I need my ‘me’ space.
Anyway, back to pancakes! Alex came and told me in his very limited English that the charcoal stove was ready for me. OK so pancakes were expected after all! I’d already made up the mix which I had kept chilled by keeping a wet tea towel over it, the old fashion way! I put my small pan in to heat with a little oil, waited a while and poured in some mixture. Nothing happened. The charcoal was not hot enough. So Alex built up the fire and ten minutes later, to my surprise and all watching, I was producing ten perfect pancakes. And, as tradition demands, every one was tossed and safely caught! This was a miracle in itself because, as many of you know, I have a very dodgy right hand and I am due an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome when I return to UK!
The pancakes were kept warm over the dying coals while we had our meal then with oranges and lemons bought locally, I demonstrated how to eat a pancake! Result – three happy sticky faces with the request for more!! Even baby Norman joined in sat on my knee sucking the juice out of an orange!
Happy 😃 days!!