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How do you define a Flapjack?

Hello! So I kind of broke my promise to be posting regularly as my last post was in April and now we are almost in June… man, how time flies we have already gone through half the year. Anyway apologies on that front, I’m not going to make any more promises until I get my act together.

Today I want to talk about language. Language is a very interesting topic. How it originated, it’s structure, how it all creates a form of communication, which we humans connect with and understand. Be it speech or sign it’s a form of communication which helps us focus the way we think. After listening to this TED TALK “How language shape the way we think” it made me revaluate my language.

How many languages do you speak? One? Two? Well I can honestly say it is a talent and a necessity! In the globalised world we live in communication is of utmost importance and it is truly an artform when one lucky soul has the gift of speaking more than one language. I get quite envious of those people. Unfortunately for me I don’t possess this skill. Unlike my parents who can speak a number of languages, it just never flowed with me. I can understand the languages (when the person is speaking slowly haha) but I can only reply in English. I think I’m afraid of saying something wrong and being ridiculed for it. It’s a silly insecurity which I believe most people have but I think it has stuck in my subconscious. English is my first and only language and I can say for those who speak English as their second or third language kudos to you because English is a tough language. The grammar is tough, even to this day I get confused by it and that’s why I have my wonderful friends and family at points read over what I have written as I tend to either write a few run-ons, or what I said doesn’t make sense. BIG LOVE TO THOSE PEOPLE, you know who you are! However what I find hilarious is for those who are learning English are they learning British English or are they learning American English? Now to point out both British English and American English have the same speech (well that’s what I think) what it different is the grammar, especially the spelling!


Now when I was in school I was in both the British curriculum and the American curriculum and I remember always getting so confused with the spelling and words. I could never understand why the word “colour” has the letter “u” in it in the British English and in the American English it doesn’t or why it’s called an “eggplant” in American English and “aubergine” in British. There are thousands of words that are completely different in terms of spelling but have the same definition. However there are a few words which have a completely different meaning towards them, which creates even more confusion. Like the word FLAPJACK!


The other day I made Flapjacks and I was invested in finding out the origin of the name, because it’s such perculiar name. Although Google kept on giving me something else, and that’s because it has to do with the language. Flapjack is in both British and American English a food item, however a completely different food items. I personally know Flapjack through the British definition : a sweet oat bar made with oats, butter, sugar and golden syrup. However Flapjack in American English is defined as a pancake, a thick pancake or as the Brits like to call it a scotch pancake. Mind you I was so interested in other names of food that are completely different in both British and American English that I wasn’t able to find the origin of the name flapjack.

Flapjacks are the easiest thing to make and it takes no time at all. I tweaked the recipe I used a bit with some mashed up banana and chocolate, as I wanted to try something different. This recipe is from Hamlyn's ALL Colour Cakes and Bakes which was published in 1989, it’s an oldie but a goldie!


100g / 4 oz butter or magarine

100g / 4 oz soft brown sugar

3 Tablespoons golden syrup ( I put an extra one for good measure)

225 g / 8 oz rolled oats

3 small bananas (or 1 big banana), mashed

50 g dark chocolate, melted

Method from Hamlyn's ALL Colour Cakes and Bakes:

1] Preheat the oven to 180C [ 350F or Gas 4]

2] Melt the butter with the sugar and syrup in a large pan.

3] Stir in the rolled oats and mashed banana and mix thoroughly.

4] Turn to a greased 20cm/ 8 inch shallow, square tin and smooth the top with a palette knife.

5] Bake for 25- 30 minutes until golden brown. Cut into slices while still warm, then cool completely before removing it from the tin.

6] As the flapjacks are cooling, melt dark chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of hot water, when the chocolate has melted with a spoon spread the chocolate over the flapjacks.


- This recipe is from Hamlyn's ALL Colour Cakes and Bakes [1989] by Hamlyn

- The bananas I used were the local small bananas which you get here in Nairobi, I would say it's equivalent to one large banana.


There you go! The most delicious and easy English treats one can make in an afternoon, definitely something to make over the weekend and if your eager why not make an American flapjack too the more the merrier! Enjoy...

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