Friday, 22 August 2014

looking for cream of tartar

What do you have for breakfast at the weekend?

Around here, our favourite breakfast is scotch pancakes.  We have a go to recipe scribbled in the front of a cook book.  If you fancy giving it a go, here's the recipe. This quantity is for a one egg mixture, I generally make twice as much for our whole family:

Scotch pancakes

120g self raising flour
1/2tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
30g caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 pint of milk

What you do is: 

  1. sift the dry stuff, and then mix it up.
  2. Slowly add the wet stuff and combine well (I use an electric whisk).
  3. Heat a frying pan or two (or a griddle if you've got one), and pop some oil on.
  4. When hot enough tip excess oil out (I keep it in a ramekin), and spoon desertspoonfuls of the pancake mixture in.  I can usually fit 3 or 4 in a pan.
  5. When you see bubbles form in the pancake mixture turn them over with a fish slice.
  6. When browned on both sides pile them up on a plate (see above).
  7. Eat them!  You can spread them with all sorts of things.  Family favourites for us include chocolate spread, butter and Rose's marmalade, and butter and maple syrup.
  8. If you have any left over wrap them in a bit of kitchen towel and pop in the bread bin.  When they're cold they're delicious with butter.

Sadly, we've not been eating Scotch pancakes of late, we've been using our American pancake recipe instead (they're yummy too, but one does feel one is letting the side down).  Why?  Because we've run out of cream of tartar and we want to buy some more.  We want a box of it, like the ones we have of Bicarb and Baking Powder, but all we can find are little over-priced satchets.  We keep thinking we'll see some somewhere but we haven't.  

What has happened to the Cream of Tartar?

I wondered if there had been a national shortage of cream of tartar, so I had a look on t'internet to see where it comes from.  You'll be glad to know that it is a bi-product of wine-making, so it's not likely that it'll run out anytime soon (I know I'm doing my bit).  So, I can only assume that people aren't buying it.

I asked my friend Mary, who makes cakes, and she has no idea why I can't find cream of tartar.  She did say though, that she doesn't actually use it in her cakes. 

Apparently its main uses are in making icing smoother, and making meringues.

I'm still looking for a proper container of cream of tartar, so if you do see any on your travels please let me know.*  So far, I've ruled out Tescos and Morrisons.  Meanwhile, we'll eat American pancakes.

Other posts you might like:

*Update on cream of tartar: Massive thanks to my readers Wendy and John Dixon who were kind enough to send me cream of tartar supplies from the Isle of Man. Loving your work people.

Also, this is the recipe I recently had published in The Guardian, and I'm chuffed to bits about that. Here's the link for that article.

Sooo excited about going back to nursery today :-)
Update on the little girl's arm: We went to hospital for a follow up appointment on Thursday.  She has broken both bones in her lower arm.  The thinner bone just bent a bit (this is a break only kids can get), while the thicker bone snapped through and was not aligned.  She had an operation to manipulate it straight, but it has gone back to being a little unaligned.  We have another appointment next week to see if it's getting worse.  If it is she'll need another two operations.  If it stays as it is now then it will straighten over time as she grows and they'll leave it.  The little girl went back to nursery today.  She was delighted to catch up with her friends.  She was a grumpy monkey afterwards.  This evening however, we chilled out with family and drew lots of cutie marks on her cast.  She's running out of room!