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Happy Curious Pancake Day!

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Ah... so you don't sell odd shaped pancakes then? 

Er, no. Sorry. 

To be fair, it's not a question I get from many customers. It's usually quite clear to those visiting our site that we don't actually sell pancakes at The Curious Pancake. Just hundreds of quirky illustrated greetings cards and assorted stationery goodies. So why the name? And do we have any tips for Pancake Day anyway? Those of you interested in the name, read on, everyone else might want to skip to the end!

It's all in the name, right?

When I was contemplating a name for my business I read no end of articles that told me that the business name should reflect the product I was selling. Which was a really creativity-destroying thing to read. I mean, how do you make 'greetings cards' in any business name sound cool or exciting?! Thankfully this archaic advice, based on some now defunct SEO 'logic' no doubt, seems to have fallen out of favour, and articles on start-up business names generally give much more sound advice these days. Not that I listened back in 2011 anyway! Although the online card companies that I had already heard of, such as Moonpig and Funky Pigeon were not the business models I was looking to emulate, I knew from their success that the public was generally open to weird sounding names, especially so from arty farty, creative types!

To say all the products that I had curated for the store's opening day nearly 6 years ago were on the "quirky side" was probably an understatement! Taking this as my base, I began playing around with words like "quirky", "curious", "odd", "strange" and so on. I really loved the phrase "down the rabbit hole" from Alice in Wonderland, but thought it was a little too whimsical at the time (and would you believe, the domain name had been snapped up anyway!). Around the time that I was searching for the right name, I was reading a book entitled The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (pseudonym of author Brian O'Nolan). It is a bizarre little tale that definitely defies a pithy synopsis, suffice it to say that if you like meandering stories, bizarre characters and not knowing what the flip is going on, it could well be for you! It was also alluded to in the hit series Lost, if that piques your interest further, and is about twice as convoluted as a typical episode! 

Anyhoo, the titular character of the book has quote flowery phraseology, and uses the word 'pancake' several times to describe various objects/feelings throughout the book. As such, we have phrases like "an inexorable pancake" "a contrary pancake" a "difficult pancake" and, my favourite "a most curious pancake". And there was my Eureka moment! The quirky curiousness of the things I was intending to fill the store with really seemed to fit the phrase "a most curious pancake" and thus we were born! It certainly helped to cement the decision that pancakes are my favourite round food (perhaps joint favourite with pizza!).

And so seamlessly onto pancakes! For the purpose of this post, we are going to assume that there's no such thing as savoury pancakes on pancake day. My favourite pancakes are blueberry, with Green and Black's vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, and on Pancake Day this year I shall be trying out the following recipe (mainly because for the first time ever I actually found some buttermilk in our local Tesco). I shall post pictures of the efforts later. If you try these out too, let me know how they go (I got this recipe from All Recipes):

375g plain flour

3 tablespoons caster sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

725ml buttermilk

125ml milk

3 eggs

75g butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over-stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan in small batches. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


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