On Ale: I used a “Mutiny Red Ale” that had been in the fridge for quite some time. I’m really not an expert on beer or ale at all, and I’m not sure if the ale was added for flavor or for some kind of leavening, so I’m not entirely sure what to suggest as a substitution for someone who wants to omit it. It may have added a little bit of “frothiness” to the batter, in which case, maybe you could replace it with sparkling water? I have heard of that being used for leavening in 18th century America… I don’t feel like it came through as a strong element of the flavor, even though I did “oops” a bit and add a bit more than the 3 tbsp I meant to this time, but maybe the bitterness of the ale helped tame the sweetness of the pancakes a bit? I’m not sure.