The quick guide to making pikelets for the modern family
I am proudly un-wifey. I don’t cook or clean (hello cleaning lady and Lite n Easy) but I do my best to give my kids some of those mandatory childhood memories. Pikelets. They’re that childhood staple that are so quintessential mum and nanna. I tried outsourcing this childhood memory to Nanna but it turns out they’re needed at every school bake sale, fete and mother’s group event – they’re compulsory. So, here’s a little guide to making pikelets the modern-mother way.
Top Tip: For your nanna, this produced about 25 tasty, golden pikelets. To product the same number of presentable snacks, consider quadrupling the measures.
1 cup self raising flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk*
1. First, realise that although you bought 4 litres of milk yesterday, there’s now a tiny dribble that’s probably 99% thirteen year old’s backwash. Improvise. Find a 2 year old tetra pack of soy milk deep in the back of the cupboard – 18 days to expiry – JUST IN TIME. Add more sugar to cover up the vomitrocious soy flavour.
2. Next flash back to your own nanna’s fabulously kitch, never to be remodelled 70s brown and orange kitchen and those famous words “get out the HEAVY PAN”. This was the serious pan. There was no mucking around with this pan. Fond memories of so many movies of Nanna’s time where this puppy was the housewife’s hilarious weapon-de-jour. Dig through your dust and cobweb covered camping stuff to find a rusty cast iron pan. Scrub it within an inch of its life.
3. Put the stove on mark 5 – this will either burn the bejeebus out of your pikelets or leave them a soggy, unflippable mush – or both – more on this later. Spray the HEAVY PAN with oil and place on stove. As the oil smokes, turn off the various smoke alarms now alerting you to the readiness of your HEAVY PAN. Take pan off stove for now.
4. Dump all ingredients unceremoniously into the biggest bowl you can find that isn’t the dog bucket. Pick out stray egg shells. Stir with vigour and then mentally note you’ve done your workout for today – tick, one more thing achieved.
5. Lay some paper towels down next to the stove to catch the tide of gooey batter you’re about to spill.
6. Spoon the blobs of batter into the pan. Stand and watch as nothing happens for ages. Nothing. Nada. The batter sort of spills out into random shapes and joins up at the edges (make a mental note you’re due for a mammogram) and then sits there, staring up at you.
7. Wait for bubbles to form. Note that the HEAVY PAN is delivering heat to the centre only (nice tip Nanna) and suddenly the bubbles appear – meanwhile the outside of the pikelet is still runny mush. Try to flip it. Fail. Carefully mush the burnt to a crisp part of the pikelet into the sloppy bit.
8. Feed first set to dog. Try again.
9. Spend the next ten minutes moving the HEAVY PAN around on your stove top until bubbles slowly form across the whole pikelet. Flip it. Note the pale, limp form of the pikelet and turn the stove up a tiny, tiny fraction. In approximately four seconds the underside of your pikelet will be charred black.
10. Turn the stove back down and keep trying.
11. As you progress, you may find that your pikelets get bigger and bigger. This is because you’re so over this crap that you want them done and out of your hair. This is a normal reaction to making pikelets.
12. Soon, your moderate “five” stove setting will go from pale and pasty to golden delicious. You’ve found the heating sweet spot. GO. GO NOW. Make as many pikelets as you can manage because you’re heading towards the “no matter what you do, charcoal” phase of pikelet making.
13. Note that your pikelets will offer a rainbow of shades, form “Ghost Girl” white to “burned in the bowels of hell black”. Sometimes on the same pikelet. This is completely normal.
14. Once you’ve completed your pikelet project, select the most presentable ones tastefully on a plate with jam and cream. These are the ones that other people will see and eat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge ready for the school fete or other torturous event you must attend.
15. With the remaining 22 or so pikelets, pick off the black bits and feed to dog or smother in cream and jam until they are no longer visible or detectable to your tastebuds.
16. Fun Fact: Dried pikelet batter can be used to grout your bathroom tiles. Don’t forget to wash your mixing bowl right away!
About the Author: Dana Flannery is a successful businesswoman, an influential marketer and a crappy housewife. Find more about her at www. danaflannery.com.au