Today is Sunday, and that is a special day. A few reasons:
- It’s only a top of 23 today
- It’s not a work day
- I have nothing that must be done (no chores!)
- It’s morning tea day
Morning tea is a big thing in our family, or it was. I have mentioned my grandmother a few times in my blogs and she was a true matriarch. Not one of those demanding horrible ones in mob stories, she was tough and tiny but so loving and always there for everyone. She had a sense of humour like few other grannies and I am sure this is what made all of her daughters (my aunts) so fun loving.
Granny could bake so many things but there were regulars which were eaten eagerly for hundreds of Sundays across decades. Among those pikelets were my favourite – although admittedly I think I preferred licking the bowl. Usually the pikelets were made before our arrival but for me, a little batter would always be saved and I hungrily scoffed it. You knew this was something special as there would be easily a pikelet worth of batter left in the bowl.
After Granny’s funeral last year my aunt and I were talking and I was reminiscing about how as I got older she stopped doing this. I would get more and more frustrated at showing up with now bowl just for me – for whatever reason, not feeling comfortable to say anything. By the time Beer Knickers sold her house and moved into a self contained unit, I had stopped expecting it at all and then years later the baking was topped up by bakery bought items and eventually she didn’t bake at all. It is only now, that I can reflect on this and notice the subtle difference in my Granny during this time, as her Alzheimer’s set in. She became more particular, less playful and always had to have everything in its place. Perhaps this disease and her age were the driver for the end our little special thing, the saving of an extra tablespoon of batter. Perhaps she just thought past the age of 10 (or 20) I didn’t need to lick the bowl. Hard to say but a fond memory regardless.
It is so easy to forget all of these little things, and let go of simple traditions. So many holidays growing up I would spend at least 1 day at her little old house. Catching bees in jars, playing Fish (god, she must have had serious patience – which on the by, she taught me to play as well), playing Mouse Trap or Pick Up Sticks, ironing hankies, baking anything, watching television or just chilling in the lounge under the brown checked floral blanket I am sitting on as I type this. How about the fresh bakery bread sandwiches for lunch – usually tomato and cheese… with a glass of water out of the white jug with cows on the side. The rissoles she would make in the pots with copper lids in the corner on the three tear stand… the cherrie tomato’s picked from her vege patch… where do I stop.
Today I decided I would remember through a battle of pikelets. Mum had sent me both Gran’s and Aunty Sue’s recipes and explained to me that she (Mum) had always used Aunty Sue’s after going for a visit before my brother and I were born as it is ‘foolproof’. As usual, I am here to prove her wrong. Here is the battle.
1. Making the batter
Aunty Sue’s has double the sugar and double the milk. I thought that was odd, so much milk, but thought perhaps the extra sugar makes a big difference. Gran’s batter is in the left and Aunty Sue’s in the right. Head’s up; neither are right. Gran’s is clearly solid – Aunty Sue’s was runnier than I thought it should be.
2. Fixing the Batter
Being a self proclaimed failure at cooking on the fly, I didn’t want to change anything I didn’t have to. I added a bit of milk to Gran’s to make it more like the consistency I remember licking from the bottom of a bowl for so many years. It still seemed a little thick but I didn’t want to over compensate.
3. Cooking the Pikelets
Moderate heat, a bit of spray oil. Pan needs to be heated before a tablespoon of batter goes in. Now, cooking doesn’t come naturally but cooking PIKELETS does. I’ve cooked (or assisted in cooking) hundreds if not thousands of pikelets (ok, that’s how it feels). Always, always wait for the bubbles – and not just bubbles but popped bubbles. What I’m not 100% used to is the thin pan combined with a gas stove, but they came out ok. My expectations of thick/thin batters however were confirmed. Aunty Sue’s were flat and lifeless. Gran’s batter was thick resulting in yummy miniature pancakes rather than pikelets – a slightly off texture for a pikelet but mainly the noticeably thicker size.
4. Choose your filling
Yeah, I could have whacked them on a plate with a a few jars of optional spreads to the side, but where is the fun in that? Nope, on Aunty Sue’s we had sweet cinnamon apple and on Granny’s a “Peanut-Butter Jelly” stack.
5. Double the Yummy
Add chocolate sauce and icing sugar so it looks pretty and doubles the yummy. So far, both were a fail but with the added milk, Gran’s was an easy winner.
6. Check the recipe
So after all that, the pikelet-off was a fail. Steve and I however, still had a yummy Sunday breakfast and I enjoyed reminiscing over all the good times. Now all I need is a double check on the recipes so Mum – over to you to confirm the measurements because one, if not both, are not working!!