In her first guest post, Hertford-based food consultant and maker of our delicious fruit cakes, Jan Fullwood, talks food, lockdown and shares a fab recipe for Mother’s Day pancakes
Lockdown has been a testing time for us all, but the one constant we have in our lives is food: as daily fuel, for marking celebrations, or simply for comfort.
We’ve all had to rethink how we shop and eat over the last year, but despite the challenges we’ve faced, there are upsides too: time to slow down, experiment and try new things, and make food the focus of the day with the family.
How do you view food and cooking? As an essential chore or a pleasure and a means of escape?
Perhaps, like me, you have embraced the comfort of the kitchen, finding solace in sourdough successes or bingeing on banana bread. Or maybe you’re tired of being bound to the cooker, pandering to the family’s constant demands.
Whichever camp you fall into, I hope to inspire you with fresh ideas through the rest of lockdown and beyond.
There’s so much to celebrate in and around Herts. The food and hospitality industry has been hit hard, but necessity is the master of invention. It’s fantastic to see how innovative local businesses have been and how they’ve adapted to survive. We’ve seen an upturn in home deliveries, takeaway services and veg box deliveries, even village shops operating out of local pubs.
I plan to seek out some of our local food heroes and provide recipe inspiration along the way. Simple and achievable food for seasonal eating, buying local, how to make your food go further, and all important tips to avoid waste where possible, now the council will no longer accept food waste in our brown bins. And yes, there will be plenty of comfort food along the way too.
But for now, Spring is on its way and the future is already looking brighter. Snowdrops are peeking through, daffs blowing their trumpets to herald the longer lighter days, and bluebells waiting in the wings, ready to carpet the woods. Just what we all need to help us through the final push of the long dark winter of Lockdown 3.
And all this in time to celebrate Mothers everywhere this Sunday. Food is bound to be on the agenda. But if you want to take the plunge, let’s kick off with an easy recipe for an impressive breakfast that even the kids can cook for well deserving (and long-suffering) Mums. It counts towards your five a day and there’s no added sugar, so Mum will thank you.
Mother’s Day Banana Pancakes with Chocolate and Fruit
To make 12 pancakes you will need:
2 ripe bananas (the blacker the better)
2 large eggs
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2-3 tbsp natural or Greek style yoghurt, or milk
Oil for frying
Milk or dark chocolate chips or buttons
Fresh fruit to serve (pears, blueberries, kiwi fruit – you choose!)
First, peel and mash your bananas in a large bowl, then stir in your eggs and beat well together.
Now whisk in the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda until smooth.
Finally, stir in enough Greek yoghurt or milk to give a spoonable thick batter that just drops from the spoon, you want it to hold its shape.
Heat a frying pan or flat griddle until hot and pour a drizzle of oil to grease the pan (children – ask an adult to help you if necessary)
Spoon the batter onto the hot pan to make a round pancake about 10cm diameter, then repeat to make another 2 or 3.
Leave to sizzle and set, and wait for bubbles to appear on the surface – that’s when you know that they are ready to flip. It should take around 2-3 minutes.
Using a flat spatula, carefully turn them over, and cook for another minute or so until they are golden brown and cooked through.
Transfer to a large plate, and immediately top with some of your chocolate drops or buttons, they should start to melt in the heat of the pancakes.
Repeat until you have used all your batter, spread the melted chocolate over the top and finish with fruit. Serve on a tray with some of those lovely Spring flowers. Mum will be over the moon!