Monday, 21 November 2011

Whisk The Batter In A Bowl, Add A Few Tears.

What you do is, you take a spoonful of batter - please don't ask me how to prepare the batter, I have no idea - and drop it onto a really hot flat piece of metal. Perhaps the bottom of an upside down frying pan. What you get when you do this is a scotch pancake. If you then spread butter on it and add a dollop of jam, mmmm..delicious!

That's not what I did today. What I did was, I went to the local shop. I should really say, one of the local shops. I've been told that the one I referred to in another post is not the local shop. Bilsham Stores is the original local shop in this village.

The other, larger shop is the Co-op. I always, if possible, give my custom to Bilsham Stores. I believe it is important to support small shops. Besides which I fancy one of the women who works there. Very attractive she is. Her name is..... Oh, would you listen to me, getting away from the subject matter again.

Anyway, to get back to what I was saying. I went to the local shop and there on the shelf, I saw a packet of scotch pancakes. Immediately I saw them, memories came flooding back to me. I bought a packet. I should just mention at this point that I bought them in the Co-op. Bilsham Stores don't stock them. What is a man to do? I have to eat!

Mum used to make scotch pancakes, although I think she called them drop scones. Which is the same thing. They tasted best when she cooked them over a camp fire, beside a bender tent in the woods. Me and Fergie were both very fond of them.

Years later, when she had married Jimmy, and lived in a real house with a kitchen. She had a proper griddle to cook them on. She didn't call it a griddle though. She called it a girdle. They were still tasty, even though they were cooked indoors. Jimmy would always spoil the eating of them for me though, by insisting that I could have butter, or jam, on them, but not both at the same time. Some people are strange!

Mum solved this minor problem by cooking some when Jimmy was not around. It was nice to get one over on him. It was nice to be in cahoots with Mum. I remember once, in a moment of rampant overindulgence, I spread one so thick with butter and jam, that when I bit into it, most of it fell on the floor, and got snaffled by Scampi the little sheepdog. Jimmy would have had a blue fit if he'd seen that happen.

But back to today. I got home with my packet of scotch pancakes, and put the kettle on to make a nice cup of tea to have with them. I buttered them quite thickly. Unfortunately, what I thought was a jar of jam in the fridge, turned out to be a jar of pickle. So I ate them, all of them, with just butter. Jimmy would have been pleased! That jar of pickle has been in the fridge for months. I could have sworn it was jam! Someone needs to sort that fridge out.

The upshot of all this is that I didn't really enjoy today's scotch pancakes. They tasted nothing like my Mum's. Also it wasn't the same sitting here eating them on my own. Sadness overcame me. I am an emotional person. I cried today. In a manly way, obviously.

Mum died when she was eighty four. If I was to work it out, she was probably only a part of my childhood, on and off, for maybe three years, if that. I got to see more of her as I grew older of course. But those fleeting childhood memories of her are so precious.

She could be a cantankerous old so and so at times, but I loved her. She was my Mother, even when she wasn't there. I never forgot that.

Enough of this maudlin introspection! Off you go now, and dry those tears, and if you are thinking of buying scotch pancakes from the shop, don't bother. They are rubbish. Make your own! The way my Mum did.  


  1. How are Scotch pancakes different from other pancakes. Are they thin, or thick like the ones in the picture? To stay on your topic though, nothing ever tastes as good as Mom's. (Now that I'm an adult female who has had to cook thousands of meals I can verify that it's because Mom made it, brought it to me, cleaned up afterwords and I only had to eat it!)

  2. My Dad was a chef...his crepes were fab...if I make them they are less fab... more like cr@p.
    Jane x

  3. John, as I reading this post I too wondered what the difference was between pancakes and scotch pancakes, except that scotch ones seemed thicker as shown. And even though we may not always like our mother or father, we love them regardless because of who they are. And I have dried my tears now.

  4. I can make pancakes and crepes. My father in law used to put butter, peanut butter AND jam on his pancakes. I like my crepes with powdered sugar, or filled with pie filling, like cherry pie filling. Flapjacks is an old historical word for pancakes, as I am sure you know.Never heard them called Scotch Pancakes. The difference from American ones???? Please share.

  5. Sweet story John and even sweeter memories for a mother who was not always a mom.

  6. I can share your sentiments about my own mum. She also had her moments and quite a lot of them. Even though she was hard work often I still appreciate that she cared for me deeply. She was always there when I needed someone to confide in.

  7. Isn't it sad when you try to recapture a memory and it doesn't turn out right? The Scotch pancakes may not have tasted the same but your pleasant memories of your mother are maybe even better. That is because you have the ability to look back with adult eyes.

  8. I've gone quite maudlin now 'cause I can't remember my mom cooking anything other than rabbit stew and tripe and onions. I hated both. I was only happy when dad did the cooking. So the upshot is that I never tasted scotch pancakes, only french ones.

    I love your painting, especially the man's face. It's so lifelike. You are a talented guy.

  9. Thanks for all your lovely comments. It's nice to get up in the morning and see them. I'm becoming very fond of you lot.
    Sharkbytes: the photo shows scotch pancakes as my Mum made. About half inch thick and maybe three inch diameter.
    Clair: I think the only difference is the thickness. There must be an added ingredient to make them rise and not spread out. Here in England flapjacks are not like pancakes at all.
    Valerie: Glad you like the painting. It isn't the one I intended to use. I am changing it to show Bonnie's reaction to it. She sat and stared at it for ages.

  10. I love Scotch pancakes, I have mine with butter, I must try some with both butter and jam. I don't think anything tastes the same as when our mums made them. Love your new header, the puss looks intrigued.

  11. I'm now hungry for pancakes...those look Good!
    Wish things had been SO different for you...(((HUG)))

  12. The things you loved best as a child someone never taste quite as good as an adult, especially if it's been ages since you've had it.

  13. hmmmm now i wonder who the lucky lady in question could be??