Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I've tried a few dozen different pancake recipes. I've even tried a few different flours: soy, rice, whole wheat. Varying degrees of yuck on those....
I read a chapter in Michele Norris' book, "The Grace of Silence" about her learning that her grandmother was an Aunt Jemima salesmen; ripe with racial problems. I'll never look at a box of aunt Jemima pancake mix the same way again. I'll probably have similar thoughts every time I see a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup.
I'm not a fan of pancake mixes. When I pack for vacations where I know I'm going to be making pancakes, I'll measure out the dry ingredients and add the wet stuff at the camp site. The trick to any batch of pancakes is knowing how thin the batter should be. So while the dry ingredients are important in their specific proportions, one must never follow the recipe exactly on the wet ingredients. Add the eggs first, then the milk. I always end up adding a splash or two more than the recipe suggests.
For fruit pancakes (applesauce, banana) - add the milk last. For buttermilk pancakes, let the batter rest about 10 minutes before pouring onto hot griddle. The batter always seems a little stiffer because of the creaminess of the buttermilk.
We eat pancakes for dinner when we're not in the mood to make a more traditional dinner. "Breakfast dinner" always seems like breaking a rule - therefore; cool. (see next picture)
I don't just eat pancakes with my family. Pancakes are my go-to food when I'm pulling late nights. When I was a student, I would often pull the all nighter study sessions at Perkins - they had a bottomless pot of coffee. After two pots, I needed something in my stomach to soak up all that caffeine.
I never order the pancakes in a cheap restaurant with the fruit topping. It's the same gross syrup-y gelatinous food colored goo with a few chunks of fake fruit. Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry - all the same stick to the roof of your mouth nasty. I also don't like the fruit flavored syrups. Just maple syrup for me, or I'll make my own simple syrup with added melted butter - like my mom made when she was on a strict budget.
I learned how to order properly at cheap restaurants when eating pancakes at the "adult" time - after the bars close. I ate lots of pancakes after the late shift of tending bar. It was the comfort food to unwind a tough night of sloppy drunks and too many passes. It was the food I ate to power me through the long nights of "designated driver" while others needed the same food to absorb some of the alcohol in their stomachs.
I have the cookbook, "the American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfasts." I've tried so many of them, that I've written notes in the margins on each recipe to keep them straight. The book (and my colleague from France) inspired me to making crepes as an alternative to pancakes. Only because I'm starting to enjoy a little creative cooking with the left-overs. But honestly, if it's round and was flipped on a griddle; I'll eat it.
And now my favorite comfort food has been revealed. Bon appetite.
#68 of 90 in 90 for #LUBlogTribe