Pancakes like woah

I’m not much of a pancake person generally, but a long Saturday night out and only three hours of sleep left me in the sort of state where figuring out what to eat is a challenge, much less figuring out what my stomach would digest. Everything on the menu at Fox and Obel looked too too big, so I settled on one buttermilk ricotta pancake and a side of sausage.

Ricotta Pancake with Lemon Curd and Berries

Turns out I made a good choice – the right combination of protein, fat, and carbs to stabilize a wiggly stomach – while also being outrageously tasty. The pancake was dense but fluffy, drizzled with sweet-tangy lemon curd and topped with strawberries, raspberries, and maybe some other berries that I’m forgetting. The chicken sausage wasn’t anything special, but it did provide a savory element so needed in a sea of sweets. I couldn’t finish either, unfortunately, and I cannot imagine how even the strongest stomach could put away a full order – three pancakes! I would’ve shared a bite with Max, but he slept through the whole meal.

Still kind of a baby

1205 David Eyre’s Pancake

I woke up this morning with pancakes on the brain.  Specifically, this pancake, which I read about the other week on Food 52.

Before I tell you about the pancake, however, let me tell you about two things that led to the making of the pancake.

First, there’s Food 52, which I started reading after hearing about The Essential New York Times Cookbook.  The cookbook represents five years of testing and research on the best and most noteworthy recipes published by the NYT since the 1850s.  The site grew out of the experience of testing for the cookbook and realizing that the best – and most meaningful – cooking takes place in the home.  I’ve only started to delve into its depths, but at its heart, Food 52 is a community that operates on these ground rules:

If you cook, your family will eat dinner together.
If you cook, you will naturally have a more sustainable household.
If you cook, you’ll set a lifelong example for your children.
If you cook, you’ll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily.
If you cook, you’ll make your home an important place in your life.
If you cook, you’ll make others happy.
If you cook, people will remember you.

I don’t know about you, but each and every one of those rules resonates with me. They also bring me to the second thing that made our pancake possible: a giant cast iron skillet that arrived in the mail sometime last year, a gift from our friends Kevin and Jill in DC.  I may have mentioned this before, but Kevin is a cast iron wizard.  In the course of one meal at their house, Kevin prepared both a pork roast AND an apple pie in the same cast iron skillet.  I firmly believe that Kevin can make anything in his cast iron skillet, and that anything that comes out of his cast iron skillet will taste good.  More importantly, though, I feel like all of the rules above are embodied in Kevin and Jill’s approach towards cooking and food.  Their kitchen is a happy and healthy place, and they’re raising their small son to be an adventurous eater.  I have many warm memories from their dinner table, and I often wish that we lived closer so that we could share meals and games again.

This post wasn’t meant to be sentimental, though.  Breakfast is no time for sentimentality.  It is a time for preventing the morning grumbles with something delicious and simple to prepare.  Like this pancake: a few ingredients whisked together and poured in a very hot cast iron skillet, then baked til golden.  Shane spread homemade jam on his half, while I enjoyed mine with just powdered sugar.  As an entire meal, it was on the small side, but it was enough to get our day off to a really nice start.

David Eyre's Pancake

Recipe:
David Eyre’s Pancake: 1966 from Food 52 and The Essential New York Times Cookbook

0227 Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast is tough on weekdays, but it can be just as tough on the weekends for one very simple reason: I’m an early riser – or at least an earlier riser than Shane.  And I’m also almost always hungry when I wake up.  So – do I make breakfast? Do I wait to see what Shane wants to do? Do I make coffee and hope that wakes him up so that we can talk about what we’re doing?  This often ends with a hungry and grumpy E Needing. Breakfast. Right. Now.

Today, though, Shane woke up with a taste for pancakes, so I dug out a recipe that arrived with our friend Erin Fae last summer.  We used to be a dedicated Bisquick family (I know, I know), but this recipe changed that all around.

First of all, I love that the recipe doesn’t assume you have buttermilk just, you know, lying around.  Because you know what, I don’t.  What I do have are baking staples, which along with milk, butter, eggs, and lemon juice or vinegar round out the entire recipe.  Add blueberries if you feel like it.  These pancakes are thin but have a perfect texture and lend themselves nicely to being slathered with butter and maple syrup.  Serve with coffee and Weekend Edition, and your weekend’s off on the right track.

Recipe:
Not My Friend’s Mother’s Blueberry Pancakes from Single Guy Chef
Pancake 101 from Smitten Kitchen (for the pancake-phobes)

Eating and Growing Locally: Week 13

Eating:

  • In an attempt to like cauliflower, I roasted a head of the purple stuff.  It was pretty tasty, but I’m still not convinced.
  • A LOT of blueberry pancakes last weekend when Erin Fae was here.
  • Peach ice cream and peach turnovers to use up the last of the peaches and the last of the puff pastry.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs with both the sauce and the meatballs from scratch.
  • Two all-local frittatas with garlic scapes (local for Erin Fae, who brought them as a gift), zucchini, onion, and tomato.  OMG so good.  I think we’ve mastered the frittata – now we just have to master getting it out of the pan:

Frittata attack!

Growing:

The first of the Amish Paste tomatoes committed tomato suicide, but I’ve been steadily picking little Beam’s Pear tomatoes throughout the week, as well as beans and the basil, which has now stayed alive for THREE months.  We also got our first red chili this week = hooray!