Monday, March 21, 2011
Today, the sandwich is Pancakes!!!
Well, the month is almost over, Spring arrived yesterday and we are due for some snow today. This is my third attempt to put together a blog post for the month and today I may make it. It turns out that, for all the ideas I had prior to launching this experiment, few are good enough, expandable enough, or sufficiently relatable to the theme I’ve chosen to make it to the page.
Today, I’m writing about Buckwheat Pancakes. I just made some for me and my father, and he actually ate a second helping—this is good because at 100, you have to keep up your calorie intake or you lose weight. The pancakes were unusually good today for a couple of reasons. One is that I accidentally recooled the melted butter and it spread through the batter in little pills of fat—I think that does something slightly different, and good, to the suspension and makes the pancakes lighter. The second reason was that, after fearing we had totally run out of maple syrup, I found a small gift jug in the back of a cabinet, unopened. Talk about saved from disaster!
My first recollection of ‘buckwheats’ as my dad calls them, is of him making them in a one quart Pyrex™ pitcher, using Bisquik™ and replacing some of the mix with buckwheat flour, adding milk and an egg, and working away with the eggbeater until he had a glossy, smooth mixture. The resulting pancakes, over mixed and under-leavened, were about three inches across and 1/8th inch thick, tough but delicious, made with love. My daughter, Jessica, who was a child during the era when these were developed, much preferred ‘regular’ pancakes of pretty much any type. I saw the benefits of cutting the ultra-white carb-y sweetness of ‘regular’ with a whole grain experience, but I could also see why it did not fly. I began by beefing up the Bisquik™ version with proper technique and some additional leavening to make up for the lost mix. My dad and mom saw the point of that, but it was still “no sale,” to my offspring. I wanted something better, so I started searching for a ‘from scratch’ recipe that worked.
Apparently, everyone has a different view of what pancakes are supposed to act and taste like. The cookbooks did not work for me, and I make pancakes seldom, so each unhappy experiment wasted an occasion. It occurred to me that the recipe for waffles handed down from my grandmother to my mother might be workable—I was once forced to make pancakes out of them when my waffle iron failed on Christmas morning with all four of Jessica’s grandparents at the table!
With minimal experimentation, this was a success. I cut the amount of butter (conscience) and did not separate the eggs and beat the whites (laziness). The result was a primo recipe for ‘regular’ pancakes that won Jessica over (but not my dad—he still went for the Bisquik™ version for simplicity) and was ready to turn into ‘buckwheats’ with little additional work. I did experiment with the substitution of buckwheat flour and found that a 50-50 ratio worked fine. The resulting pancakes are light, taste good, and make you feel virtuous, although I doubt they are really ‘health food’ in any way except for the fact that they are made entirely with real food. Jessica asks for them and has, ever since I started to make them. So does my dad.
That brings me to the point. Being in the “sandwich” between the generation that produced me and the generation I produced creates an opportunity to benefit all three in ways that please us all. It is not all struggle; some of it is very good.
A link to the recipes is posted in the Pages section… I hope you enjoy them!