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:

http://stat.radioblogclub.com/radio.blog/skins/mini/player.swf

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.

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