pancakes and people

I love our flat. It is big and light and we’ve been able to furnish it with some amazing furniture due to the incredibly generosity of our friends and family when we got married. I know that if we lived in any other big capital city (London, Paris, Tokyo, DC…) we would probably be living in something just slightly better than a shoebox. But we don’t, we live here in this amazing flat and I am determined not to take it for granted for a single minute.

One of my favourite things to do here (aside from drink whisky on the sofa with my husband while eating popcorn and watching Friends) is to fill the place with people. Which is exactly what we did last night.

Last year I missed pancake day. I don’t know how it happened, but I suddenly realised we were three days into lent and I hadn’t eaten any pancakes. I was devastated and swore never to let such a sad thing happen again.

So this year I came armed a plan: a plan to ensure that not only did we eat pancakes, but that all our friends did too. We sent out the invite email, stocked up on milk and eggs (not quite in the spirit of using things up before lent but what the heck) and tried to ignore the fact the flat reeeeally needed a clean.

I mixed three lots of pancake batter in advance – two lots of crepe batter and one of American-style batter. We were cooking the savoury fillings as the first pancake-hungry people arrived (beef chilli and a leek&bacon creamy sauce). Then suddenly the flat was filled and I realised all twenty-something guests were going to see me make a mess of the first pancake (because it’s always a mess, right?) and got a bit panicky. And then the second one also went a wee bit wrong and I pleaded with someone to take over from me. And Reka and Christine, dear sweet wonderful ladies that they are, came to my rescue and proceeded to deliver crepe after perfect crepe.

Marissa arrived with her pancake griddle machine thing which can do six at a time, which speeded things up to such a rate that I spent the next half hour mixing up more batches of pancake mix. I ran out of plain flour and had to let Rasmus persuade me that using strong bread flour would most likely not end in disaster. Somewhere in all the chaos I got a banana choc-chip pancake from Marissa which made me sublimely happy. And someone kept topping up my wine glass which also helped.

It was a crazy and wonderful evening. I have no idea how many pancakes were produced but over twenty people went home full and we have more left over in the fridge…

We sat on the sofa at the end of the evening with the seven or so people who’d held out so late (on a school night!) laughing and telling stories and I felt so superbly happy that we get to throw these parties, to have the company of so many funny, clever, kind people to spend our evening and eat pancakes with.