Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Welcome to the First Annual CafeAnonsBall!

Here we are - it's Shrove Tuesday. We have the beads and the tinfoil hats (haven't donned any masks - we'll leave that to Mr. Dylan) and the kettle's on the boil while the pancakes are flying high!

What we need is a little bit of music! You can click here or here (the earlier preview) to get started (two hours of music all together!). You can also subscribe to BabyBlueOnline's podcast at iTunes and download to your iPod.

PS - As a sign of goodwill, the first song of the evening here is dedicated to Jim Naughton - we discovered that, whatever else may happen, we will always have Harry Potter in common (not sure which "houses" we belong to though!).

The second song is dedicated to, well - who do you think after this weekend? Who knew BabyBlue had this song in the repertoire? In fact, Jenny up at the ACN office and I used to sing it at church coffeehouses years ago - but we were so much younger then, we're older than that now.

More dedications coming! Sorry about Song #3 - but it ends with the audience booing Dylan - kind of know what that feels like these days. See how he handles all the booing - and take note!

First up, we have an excellent recipe for pancakes - from Bill (thanks, Bill)!

Here it is:

English Pancakes

1 3/4 cups of flour, sifted with good pinch of salt and 2 tsp. sugar. ---> all into a bowl.

Beat a mix of 2 eggs plus 1 egg yoke and add slowly to flour in bowl (obviously), stirring strenuously.

Rest a little to prepare for next step, then beat with fork while you slowly add a mixture of 1 cup milk & 1 cup water. Beat until batter is bubbly on top. Stir in the grated rind of 1/2 lemon. Take a nap or have a drink while the batter stands in a cool place for at least an hour. (A little good quality brandy can replace an equal volume of water (strongly recommended).

When ready to make pancakes, stir 3 teaspoons of melted butter into the mix.

Heat a little oil in a medium sized pan. Swish oil around (half-way up sides), then pour excess hot oil into heat-proof bowl. Roll up sleeves, add small amount of batter and tilt pan around to spread the batter thin, VERY thin .... BUT no holes in sspread batter!

Cook and shake pan to loosen as batter solidifies.

Flip once (twice if you are trying to impress .... more and varied flips for the experienced such as the famous 'over the shoulder flip' or the 'between the legs flip' or 'the forward hurl, then run and make a diving catch' (this one always impresses!

As soon as the pancake is cooked, removed and you can either:
1. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and
sugar then roll.
2. Spread with strawberry jam (NOT JELLY)
and roll

Serves 6, double or triple recipe for more.

N.B. Stove at about medium, start a little higher, then reduce to medium if it's too high. Pancake quality improves with experience. Add some of the reserved oil as needed to relubricate and then always pour off excess.

Batter improves with time (at least overnight in the fridge)


We also have a suprise coming (which, when it's ready, should appear below). It should please all on both sides of the aisle, as it were.

We hear then folks (again, on both sides of the aisle) might be feeling rather cranky and so we just ask that tonight, on Shrove Tuesday, we just pull up chair, grab a mug of Butterbeer or BabyBlue's Chai Latte's, stack a pile of pancakes on the plate, sing along with the tunes, get up and dance (the wonders of the BabyBlueCafe is no one will see you - so go for it!), or chat about what ever is on your mind by clicking on the "post a comment" on this posting.

But whether you'd like to just find a little corner to yourself or be the life of the party - you are all welcome here tonight!

Let the festivites begin!

LATER: See below this posting for the on-air interview of Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina, and Susan Russell, President of Integrity. It's an excellent interview all around - both Kendall and Susan articulate the division very well. We apologize that BabyBlue forgot she was recording and offers an unplanned verbal editorial at one point - sorry about that.

We suggest that you huddle over your tables, order another round of Butterbeers and discuss - but please keep the furniture tossing to a minimum. ;-)

MORE: Ever wonder how Shrove Tuesday got started? Here's a short history:

For centuries, the English have celebratd Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, with merriment and antics and, especially, great quantities of pancakes. In fact, the fried flat cakes became so important to the holiday that is has also been called Pancake Day, or Pancake Tuesday.

Long ago, strict Christian Lenten rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products, so keen housewives made pancakes to use up their supplies of eggs, milk, butter and other fats. They could be easily made and cooked in a skillet or on a griddle. Families ate stacks of them, and pancakes were popular with all classes.

The rich Shrovetide pancakes were eaten as a ritual or symbol of self-indulgence before the fast. Early English recipes called for wheaten flour, eggs, butter or lard, a liquid (water, milk, ale or wine) and flavorings such as white or brown sugar, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger), orange flower water, scented sugars or liqueurs.

The pancakes were fried in butter or fat and served flat or rolled and sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with preserves or doused with alcohol. A special pancake, called a quire or pancake of paper, was made very thin and usually stacked. It was likened to a quire of "wafers" or writing paper.

Even the church bells that rang early on Shrove Tuesday morning summoning everyone to confession and to be "shriven" became known as Pancake Bells. They also reminded all to use up the "forbidden foods" before Lent. An old London rhyme went "Pancakes and fritters, say the bells on St. Peter's."

EVEN MORE: Wonder what's happening right now in New Orleans? Click here and see (this version is using Real Player).

Oops Looks like we cut off a bit of U2's "With or Without You" (ironic) from the CafeAnonBall music selections. Not sure if it's the "with" or the "without." Alas. We'd say, "so, sue me," but we'd really rather you didn't.

FINAL HOUR Want to really clear a room - and not because you're talking about the Anglican Communion Crisis. Well, here you go - the REAL DEBATE of the YEAR:

LONG DISTANCE DEDICATION This is about the time of evening when we all start singing, the pancakes are all tossed and consumed and the butterbeer and tea are getting low. We lift up our mugs in final toasts when an old song from high school starts playing and we forget just how tired we were of this song. In fact, we here at the cafe can remember a stationwagon full of fifteen-year-olds in the Pearl Ridge Shopping Center singing along with the radio so loud it could be heard all way to Waipahu. So crank up the speakers and thanks for the memories - to all who dropped in tonight, well, this one's for you:

THE LAST SONG FOR THE NIGHT: Here it is - just a few minutes to go before Ash Wednesday and so we offer one final song, a final dance, for the night. Of course, this being the "BabyBlue" Cafe, it just had to be a song from You Know Who.

This is off his most recent album, the first one to go to #1 on the Billboard Charts in over 25 years, Modern Times. Rolling Stone Magazine named it the Album of the Year and it received the Grammy last week for the Best Americana/Folk Album (though it's really the blues). What's it about? Only Dylan knows for sure. But when we heard it here we could think of only one person who is with us at that moment "when the deal goes down." There really is only person with us at that moment and the truth that He is with us, even at that moment, is extraordinary.

Notice how Dylan doesn't say "you'll be with me when the deal goes down" ( which is what I think we often actually say) like in the 23rd Psalm - "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me." Dylan - being Dylan - turns it around and says "I'll be with You when the deal goes down." And that is true.

Here are the lyrics:

In the still of the night, in the world's ancient light
Where wisdom grows up in strife
My bewildered brain, toils in vain
Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air
Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why
But I'll be with you when the deal goes down

We eat and we drink, we feel and we think
Far down the street we stray
I laugh and I cry and I'm haunted by
Things I never meant nor wished to say
The midnight rain follows the train
We all wear the same thorny crown
Soul to soul, our shadows roll
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

Well, the moon gives light and it shines by night
When I scarcely feel the glow
We learn to live and then we forgive
O'r the road we're bound to go
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours
That keep us so tightly bound
You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

Well, I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed the winding stream
I heard the deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they're not what they seem
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You'll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that's sayin' it true
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

Words and music by Bob Dylan 2006

So here you are - last dance, last song, and we call it night. Thanks again from dropping in. We know that the coming months may be tough, they are uncertain and known only to God. But the prayer here tonight is that we will know for certain that He will be with us when the deal goes down. God bless you all - Happy Shrove Tuesday. Good night.


Anonymous said...

Laissez les bon temps rollez!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Have you had your pancakes tonite? I hope you are relaxing and not multi-tasking tonite. you need a breather

Anonymous said...

Whew, you're still here. I made pancakes from scratch using the Joy of Cooking recipe. I like your recipe better- maybe on Saturday. Though my pancakes were very good :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary -
glad to see you're there --
I last checked in @ 9:00 and nobody was here :(
(and yes, I hit "refresh"!)
Didn't get any pancakes tonight. I was invited to a pancake supper in Springfield, but after traipsing all over FFX & Centreville all day, just couldn't get up the energy to go back into the traffic! No pancake batter here . . . so I had "Shrove Tues eggs" instead ;)

even with all the news releases, seems a bit quiet after all the past weeks tension, doesn't it?


Closing Down said...

As a former "anon", just dropped in to say hi and thanks for all that you do. And that you remain in our prayers. Here's hoping TEC listens to drop the lawsuits!


Anonymous said...

The lion sleeps tonight?
I hope Archbishop Akinola is getting some well deserved rest. God bless him!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!

I had pancakes this evening up at Anglican Vicar's church. They were GOOD! Thanks for the party, Mary. We're all ready for one!

Blessed Lent to all.

Miss Sippi

Unknown said...

Yes, I was multi-tasking - got the pancakes flipping, the phone ringing, and downloading a video to YouTube, while listening to Bono sing "still haven't found what I'm looking for," which is how I feel about a copy of "Testimony of Two Men," by Taylor Caldwell that I've been trying to find.

Glad to see you all here - check out the video. I think that - whatever side you might be on - that both Kendall and Susan do an excellent job of articulating their points of view. I did lose it though at one point. Sorry about that. Just fling a pancake in my direction!

Happy Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras!


Kevin said...

I've been occupied with family matters, but situation to point it's out anything I can do & into the Lord's hands -- isn't that were it belongs anyways?

I did want to stop by the Cafe and say hi and Happy Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras to all!


Anonymous said...

Are you searching for your copy or for one to buy? If to buy check ebay they have several listed.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Baby Blue. Thanks for the invitation to your party. I want to wish everyone here a Blessed Lent.

For years at my parish, we have bypassed the traditional pancake dinner and have celebrated Shrove Tuesday with a slam-bang potluck dinner, usually followed by Dixieland jazz and dancing. Last year was the start of what appears to be a new tradition (now that we're doing it again for the second year in a row). At each seat, one of our ordained parishioners (not on staff) places a page with the word "Alleluia" on it one or more times. We color the Alleluias with crayons and markers, then he collects them and locks them up in a special box. When Easter arrives, the box will be unlocked and all our Alleluias will festoon the parish hall for our big Easter feast. I like this new tradition.

Again, a Blessed Lent to all and a big thanks for BabyBlue and all the faithful bloggers and lurkers.

Connie Sandlin

Unknown said...

Happy Shrove Tuesday, Kevin - we are all praying for your family here at the cafe - lots of prayers! Thanks for dropping in!

Well, Art+, I do have a very worn hardback copy - but I seem to have misplaced it. I hadn't read it in a while and thought I'd pick it up again. I think ebay is next. I think I have one in my wishlist on Amazon. I may just have to go for it. ;-)

Listening to "Hard Rain is Going to Fall" and well, it seems apt after this weekend. It sure is a "beat" song if there ever was one. No wonder the lefties fell for Dylan. But they thought he was singing about nuclear holocaust - and he still maintains that it was not about that, but rather tough times are coming. It really is quite a song. I would say that Dylan was never a progressive utopian. Hard rain is going to fall.


Anonymous said...

They have a first edition listed on ebay

Unknown said...

BB has fallen over and slid off her chair and is lying on the floor out cold. The last thing heard was a whisper "First Edition?

Bill said...

Blessings to all of you for Lent and thanks for the pancake history lesson bb. I have have this image of housewives all over England rushing around, making sure they had used up every egg, bit of butter, etc And we're the happy recipients of that.

Anonymous said...

YES!! It is listed as first edition for $3.25 starting bid with $2.00 shipping

Anonymous said...

Blessed Lent, Baby Blue! Thank you for maintaining such a wonderful site.

Your online pancakes are the only ones some of us will have this Shrove Tuesday. What with losing our building to DioVA, we just don't have a place to get together

But -- honestly, my mind has been else where, anyway. There was a couple on Saint Margret's prayer and healing team that stepped in when Heidi was diagnosed 22 years ago, and became like surrogate family to us. They were two of the ost deeply in love people I have ever known. Four weeks ago, George was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sunday morning, he died. I am trying to get together music for his funeral and wake. His wife wants me to sing "You Light Up My Life" at the wake -- it was "their" song. I don't know how I am going to get through it. I burst out crying after singing the first two lines. I think the only way will be to somehow focus on singing it to the Lord, Himself, and just blank everything else out.

You know? I could really use one of those full church fellowships right about now. I am going to miss not having an Ash Wednesday service...


Unknown said...

Come pop in and visit us at Truro for Ash Wednesday, Pat - we're family!


Anonymous said...

Hey Baby Blue -- DOn't know if you'll make it back this way, but I was scrolling down and saw "Debbie Boone." Had to click on it to see what it was. I could not believe it when I saw it was You Light Up My Life. I was asked to do music for the wake service and funeral of Heidi's "adopted" grandfather, George Kreider. This was one of the songs I was asked to sing. It was "their song" and so completely described how they loved each other. I did not think I would get through it. George's illness came on suddenly and his death is a shock. The only way I could get though that song was to sing it to the Lord with all my heart. The minute I started thinking of Dottie and George as I tried to learn the song, I would burst into tears. I'll never be able to hear that song quite the same way again...