Champgne and Appetizers: Let the Celebration Begin

Written by Bogdan Voicu

Are you preparing a romantic dinner? A party? Want to feel great eating alone? Whateverrepparttar reason, champagne is a definitely must. What to serve it with beforerepparttar 113147 main meal, though?

There are some appetizers that suit with champagne better than with any other beverage or alcoholic drink: caviar, as an example, is so well known it doesn't even require presentation.

What more?

Foie gras OK, liver. I just usedrepparttar 113148 French term that chefs will use; please don't shoot me for that. I mean, champagne is French, isn't it? Anyway, try goose or duck liver. This soft, smooth type of dish will certainly increase your drinking experience.

Raw Oysters A good combination but you should not use it if you preferrepparttar 113149 oysters with lemon or vinegar. These are serious taste decreases when regarding champagne.

Sushi Just a perfect combination. Almost everybody likes sushi and champagne will surely berepparttar 113150 catalyst to a great dinner or party.


Written by Sharon Jacobsen

Pancakes! Yummy! I don't think I know anybody, children or adults, who doesn't enjoy a pancake on Shrove Tuesday.

But have you ever wondered why we have this tradition of eating pancakes on one particular day ofrepparttar year? Why, of all things, were pancakes fried and eaten onrepparttar 113146 day before Lent begins?

Well, with Lent being a time of fasting, when people had to get by onrepparttar 113147 most meagre of foods, pancakes wererepparttar 113148 perfect way of using up fat, butter and eggs, all food stuffs that were forbidden duringrepparttar 113149 Lenten period.

As people have always enjoyed a good celebration,repparttar 113150 frying and eating of pancakes soon became something of a 'fling' - a last day of fun beforerepparttar 113151 solemnity of Lent begun and it's for this reason that many countries hold carnivals on Shrove Tuesday, also known by it's French name of Mardi Gras, meaning 'Fat Tuesday'. The most famous of these carnivals are without a doubt those of Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.

Here inrepparttar 113152 UK, Shrove Tuesday celebrations are a rather more subdued affair, with pancake races being atrepparttar 113153 top ofrepparttar 113154 events schedule. To anybody outside ofrepparttar 113155 UK,repparttar 113156 idea of running along streets tossing pancakes in frying pans must seem quite eccentric; but then that'srepparttar 113157 British for you.

It's believed thatrepparttar 113158 tradition of tossing pancakes started in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445. Whilst frying pancakes, a woman was called to church for confession. Not wanting to ruinrepparttar 113159 pancake, she ran to church in her dress, still tossingrepparttar 113160 pancake in her pan. Quite why others followed, quite literally, in her footsteps isn't known but even today, most pancake race rules stipulate that women entering must wear dresses! Each are then given a frying pan containing a hot pancake and are sent out to run a 375 meter course over which they must toss their pancake at least three times. The race will usually end at a church whererepparttar 113161 winner is traditionally kissed byrepparttar 113162 bell ringer.

Not everybody is willing to runrepparttar 113163 streets tossing pancakes and not all towns and villages arrange races but even those who are quietly enjoying a pancake or six at home will be, according to superstition, bringing good luck torepparttar 113164 home forrepparttar 113165 47 days left until Easter.

Pancake tossing is quite an art, one that I've never managed to perfect. Some, such as Ralf Laue, take tossing very seriously. Ralf holdsrepparttar 113166 world record for tossing a pancake continuously for three hours, two minutes and 27 seconds! Phew!


If you want to join inrepparttar 113167 fun of pancake day, knowing how to make a good pancake is essential. The following recipe will make about 12-14 pancakes, depending on how thick you make them.

Good pancakes should always be made from a mixture that was prepared at least an hour before frying.


1/2 lb (220g) self raising flour 1/2 pint (250 ml)milk 1/2 pint (250 ml) water (or, if you like, replace 100ml of water with club soda for fluffier pancakes) 2 eggs pinch salt 1 1/2 oz (40 g) lard lemon juice sugar for sprinkling


1. Sieverepparttar 113168 flour and salt into a basin and make a well inrepparttar 113169 centre.

2. Breakrepparttar 113170 eggs one at a time and pour intorepparttar 113171 well.

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