Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let Them Eat Pancake


When I was a kid, sometimes we'd have pancakes for dinner. It was usually when the household budget was tight. My Mom quit her 13 year career as a LEO to be a full time Mom, and Dad took a lesser paying position that allowed him to be home every night. Sacrifices I know we benefited from. Certainly I remember those dinners and the laughter and the love that lived in the house 24 and 7, more than any brand new bike I didn't get.

My brothers and I loved pancake night. Dad would grumble a little. . unless there was Bacon. Bacon I think could solve any problem. World peace. Through Bacon. Oh wait, well maybe not, but it sounds like a plan.

With or without bacon, I can sit and eat pancakes and watch the sun go up or down and the taste will take me back.

Sometimes Mom would make two kinds. Sourdough and regular. Or some with nuts and apples along with buttermilk ones.

Little bits, little bites to try them all. Dad would finally relax after a long stressful day at work, and we'd tell the tales of our day and small childhood victories. For these breakfasts for dinner, no worries about money, or rent or the future. Simply bites of life shared with those you love. I'd savor one flavor, even while anticipating the next, savory, sweet, maybe nutty, the golden disks disappearing like coins well spent. I was never able to figure out which taste I wanted to end with, one taste of time that was almost too sweet to bear, or that which was so dense that I would remember it always.This morning, a simple pancake of cornmeal and flour with berries added in. I'll give you two recipes, the from scratch version with blueberries pictured at the beginning of the post, a favorite, and this mornings experiment, made with raspberries, being out of cornmeal, a little experiment that turned out VERY good.
But what to do with the leftover batter? (as it make much more than one person would eat). Pour it in a paper muffin cup and bake in a pan, sprinkled with some Ghirardelli chocolate chips. This blog isn't called Mausers and MUFFINS for nothing.

Small portable bits of goodness to freeze or tote with a pot of coffee to the range or the workplace. I give you Puffins.


Simple foods for good times, the morning sun on the deck a portent of Spring, this Ides of March will only be a good memory in the making.

23 comments:

  1. "bites of life shared with those you love."

    ...Brigid, your writing is a gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    J

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  2. Lemon Blueberry Pancakes - From Cooks Illustrated.

    Sift together:
    1 1/2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    Pinch salt
    2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
    4 tbsp sugar

    Mix together
    4 tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make up 2 cups

    Add to dry ingredients along with:
    2 egg yolk
    ¼ cup melted butter
    2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    Stir together slightly with a wooden spoon, only enough to just form a batter. Lumps are a good thing in pancake batter.

    Beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form and fold gently into the batter.

    Pour batter by 1/4 cup measures into a preheated buttered cast iron pan on medium heat or 375 degrees F on an electric griddle pan. Sprinkle each pancake with blueberries. When bubbles start to break the surface of the pancake, it is time to flip them and cook for about another 2 minutes until golden brown.

    BRIGID'S BERRY PANCAKES
    - BACHELOR VERSION

    No cornmeal in the house, no fresh milk? You can still have pancakes!

    Equal parts Jiffy corn bread mix and Jiffy baking mix (which is like Bisquick but cheaper) using the small Jiffy corn bread mix box as a measure.
    One extra large egg, beaten.
    A tablespoon of real vanilla.
    An entire can of evaporated milk.(NOT sweetened condensed milk)

    GENTLY mix the ingredients above, and when mixed, add a heaping cup of thawed raspberries that have been drained on a paper towel (so not to turn the batter pink).
    Fold the berries in without
    beating them to death. Allow the batter to rest while a cast iron skillet heats. (heat on medium, then turn down just slightly before pouring the batter in).

    Coat the hot pan with butter, and cook the pancakes one at a time in the hot center of the pan.

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  3. Can I be the first to say....

    YUM!

    Few things say Sunday morning like a stack of home made pancakes and a fresh cup of coffee.

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  4. Curse you Celtic woman. You've triggered a craving! Those look soooo much better than Eggo or Pillsbury frozen facsimiles.

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  5. You have leftover batter? ;-)

    Trader Joe's has great prices on the real maple syrup. They're only in urban areas, and not all of them, but if you find one, stock up.

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  6. Yes, leftover batter. Sean Connery forgot to show up for breakfast AGAIN.

    Doubt it would be a problem for any house with teenagers in it.

    There's a Trader Joe's within an hour of me. I usually make the trek once a month for coffee and maple syrup and cheeses and such.

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  7. Pancake night is a favorite at our house as well, complete with sausage and bacon with an occasional scambled egg to top off the whole artery clogging feast! MMMM, bacon dipped in maple syrup.

    Thanks for the recipes! I'll be trotting them out at our next family pancake dinner night

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  8. Brigid;
    Now I know what I'll have for dinner tonight. Thanks for the receipe. Now if I had some of Hermits coffee to go with it......

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  9. Ah, Trader Joe's. The Mecca of cheap, imported foodstuffs.

    My mom's trick was to put soy flour in her pancakes so we didn't rush and crash later (my sister is hypoglycemic, so it was an issue). They were delicious, but they filled you up so fast I could never eat more than four small ones. I called them Battleship Missouri pancakes because that's what they felt like in your stomach.

    WV: ritfic. Homebrew literature about growing up ADHD.

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  10. The pancakes and puffins look delicious.

    You do such a great job of tying in your food posts with great family memories.

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  11. Would that there were more bacon in the world.

    Mike

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  12. My tummy doesn't care if they're pink. the mushroom

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  13. No fair... your pancakes look MUCH better than mine, and probably taste better too! :-) Good read though!

    WV-prefab LOL- I think that was a shot at me, since I used bisquick...

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  14. I'm not the biggest pancake person, but these have me craving them. Thanks :)

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  15. Mead Chick - welcome! Glad you enjoyed and commented today. The recipe for the "from scratch" ones are worth the effort. The bachelor version was good, and filling though.

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  16. I think I will write it on the whiteboard at work a hundred times: Don't read Brigid's blog hungry. Dont.. well, you get the idea. If the weather here ever breaks, I will celebrate with these.

    Jim

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  17. I was hungry when I read this.

    You're a cruel woman, beautiful, but cruel. I'll wander off and make some of my own now.

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  18. Not only are you beautiful and filled with extraordinary poetry and prose, you also know that in March, the Ides don't fall on the 13th. This month, of course, Friday the 13th did fall on a Friday ... just as Al Capp promised.

    Regards.

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  19. I haven't had sourdough pancakes (or bread) in a loooooong time. Need to get a crock and start some...

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  20. Thank you so much for the kind welcome! I think I'll be trying it out this weekend :)

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  21. Dang, Brigid. That first picture made my stomach growl. You must have to drive off hungry ranch hands lined up at the kitchen door when you start pouring those out on the griddle.

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  22. My kids LOVE - L.O.V.E. - breakfast for dinner!

    I make tons of pancakes and then freeze with wax paper in between, any leftovers.

    The kids eat them for snacks!

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