I'm determined to drown the "Politics" here in... in... PANCAKES! IRISH PANCAKES!
Take a cup of plain flour, a large pinch of salt, and sift, and sift again. Pile in the center of a large bowl, preferably old and faded baby blue, and fist down the center of the pile. Crack one large egg into the fistula, and start gently stirring the egg, drawing flour spirally in, until a fairly firm yellow blob forms. There will be a lot of unegged flour left. Crack a second large egg on top of the blob, and repeat the gentle stir. There may still be a little flour left, but that's eggs for you. No matter. (There is a whole lot of gluten and albumen science going on here- trust me. And don't forget that pinch of salt.)
Now start gently stirring in enough milk. The precise Irish definition of the quantity of Enough is beyond the scope of this discussion, let's just say that it's the quantity just below too much. You want the consistency of the batter somewhere between heavy cream and extra heavy cream, with absolutely no lumps whatsoever. If you keep a quart of milk handy, there should be more than enough leftover for tea.
Let sit twenty minutes, while making a pot of tea, and drinking a cuppa.
(French Canadians may suspect something is up, but notice the consistency mentioned above. French Canadian pancake batter is much lighter, for making their wimpy Crepes.)
Drinking a cuppa takes about five minutes, which is just the time your ~13" godawfulheavy cast iron Pancake skillet has been heating up on the stove. It's ready when a goodly pat of butter sizzles when dumped in the center, and quickly melts as it is swirled around, coating the bottom completely, and turning a slightly contented tan. Note that the next step is critical:
Between the time the batter is added, until the time that the pancake is slid off, the skillet _never_ goes back on the stove. All the cooking is done by the residual heat of the handheld godawfulheavy heavy skillet.
So the Pancake Race has begun, from Prep, to Stove, to Cook, to Second Prep.
I hope that you've prepared properly.
Lift the skillet with your left hand, gloved if necessary, and start shaking and swirling while you quickly pour in precisely a quarter cup of batter with the right hand. By the time the last drop has dropped, the bottom of the skillet should be evenly covered. Depending on the size, weight, and heat of the skillet, and precision of the pour, after between a minute and a bit more than that, the batter will have cooked enough to bubble in places, and hold together enough to be flipped.
Flip the pancake. If you can't flip, yes, you may use a spatula. I'm a lousy flip, so on occasion I have used two spatulas, which is an interesting problem in logistics if you only have two hands.
Notice to Mariners- Because of limited headroom on smaller boats, flipping is best done from under an open hatch, or this could happen to you:
Now the Finishing Cook begins, as the edges and deflated bubbles brown. Just as the edges start lifting away, slide the pancake onto a sugared plate, and finally place the skillet back on the stove for a much needed reheating, with another pat of butter for company.
For the Calorie Counters, note that my Skillet weighs around 10 pounds, and is older than I am. Do these Pancakes often enough, and not only will you burn off calories, but you'll end up with forearms like Popeye, and will be a Contender for Pancake Races Worldwide.
(There will be no further mention of either ketchup or maple syrup, or Cuba for that matter. If that is what you seek, seek elsewhere.)
While skillet struggles back towards thermal equilibrium, take a stick of butter and smear the hell out of the freshly deposited pancake, sprinkle generously with sugar, and sprinkle generously again with fresh lemon juice. _Roll_ up the pancake, and place in a warming tray, covered with a reasonably clean kitchen towel.
Take a well deserved breath, and start anew. Somewhere between 8 and 12 pancakes later, you will have run out of batter, and can safely turn the stove off, dump the skillet into a water filled sink, and take a break. (On the subject of skillets: You need two. One for Eggs, Omelets, and Pancakes, and one for everything else. If you know your Skillets, you already know that they should never be Cleaned, just soaked until cool, and then wiped dry. Seasoning is a separate subject.)
Good Cooks can do all the cooking bits in less than 20 minutes. If you are too leisurely, and take more than 30 minutes, the first pancakes will begin to take a "set", that is, toughen up. If unrolled, the edges will crack. This where the Binary Batter System comes in- Two people are needed, one to Cook, and one to Eat, turn and turn about.
Take a Roll from the warming dish, slice diagonally into manageable bites, take one bite, and squeeze between tongue and roof, and with head held high, suck the juice out, and finally chew down on the remainder. Rinse with tea, and repeat.
(Now, without mentioning either ketchup or maple syrup, or Cuba...)
Homemade Preserves may be substituted for the Lemon and Sugar Prep. They will need to be made far in advance, which is why they are called Preserves. Commercial Jams and Preserves vary widely in quality, so that with the possible exception of Robertson's, I really can't recommend any. Anything with unfermented Grape in it is to be avoided at all costs.
One can also reduce down some Orange Juice in a pan with some sugar and a pinch of Cornstarch. What the hell, add a dollop of Cointreau at the end. There is no set recipe, since Orange Juice varies widely in concentration, sugar, and taste.
Rum Butter. So as not to be Political, source the Rum from just about anywhere south of Toronto. As with Orange Juice, Rums vary a lot, so there is no set recipe.
Fruit Butters and Curds. Apple Butter and Lemon Curd are the most common, but with discretion, just about any Fruit can be substituted. Except Grapes.
I should now mention "The Magic Pan":
This started out in San Francisco by a Hungarian Inventor. He was bought out and a Chain was started, using one of his early designs. He didn't stop designing until he had perfected his Crepe Machine: Six pans upside down on a kind of Lazy Susan, with flames.
There was this doohicky that dipped a pan bottom first into batter, flipped the pan, set the pan over a flame, cooked the Crepe, flipped the Crepe onto a stack, dipped the bottom of the pan into oil, and proceeded to the batter again. Other than filling the Batter bin, and taking away stacks of Crepes as needed, there was no Human Intervention.
When it went wrong, which it usually did, Batter, Oil, and even Flames spiraled out of control. It was a wonderful thing to watch, from a safe distance.
I can go on for pages more; if there is any more Politics, I just may. Next up will be the only Pound Cake Recipe that you will ever need to know, and from there comes the only Fruit Cake Recipe that you will ever need to know, which is basically the same recipe, but with some Fruit. (No Grapes! Except for the Raisins...) Then, before the 14th, will come Soda Bread and Barm Brack. Then a break for Kids: Kid's Recipes when at Sea. Jam Tarts for Beginners. Apple and Banana Fritters. Ham Scramble.
Back to Pound Cake and Chelmsford Pudding, and my Sister's Recipe for Christmas Pudding. Back to Ireland for Colcannon, Potato Pancakes, Boxty, Irish Bacon and Cabbage,
Then a Geographical interlude- Chicken Maryland, Apples Melbourne, Tomales Bay Clam Chowder, Staten Island Pizza, San Francisco Crab Crepes. (Yes, Crepes, not Pancakes.) Other than sharing use of Skillets, these are all _Coastal_ recipes as well.