Monday, September 20, 2010

Pancakes

Ava’s a huge fan of pancakes.  She’s so much a fan of pancakes that I make them every weekend.  I try to stay away from the boxed mix, so I seek out a new pancake recipe almost every time.  I grew up eating different types of pancakes: whole wheat, buckwheat and palačinka.  We didn’t have butter in the house; we had margarine and it never made an appearance on our table, except if we had corn on the cob.  Topping pancakes off with a pat (or two) of butter was unheard of.  Syrup was the only topping.

Whole wheat and buckwheat pancakes appear to be a little more dense and they’ll suck up a quarter cup of syrup like a kitchen sponge.  I like to think that these pancakes are the healthier option, but I’m only kidding myself.  Pancakes, no matter what type of flour used, are pan fried flour.  How can something so simple be so tasty?

Palačinka is a thin type of pancake, typically made with more eggs than the traditional ‘flap jack’.  My Mom, staying true to her father’s Croatian roots, made this breakfast treat more often than the whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes.  They resemble a crepe, but weren’t filled with anything; a drizzle of syrup did just fine.  Although Mom made them frequently, she always pulled out the recipe which was typed onto a large index card.  When I first moved out of my childhood home she made me my own recipe – typed on the same sized index card.  Yup, she has a typewriter…still. 

I subconsciously knew I was going to make pancakes this past weekend.  Due to my commitments, Saturday would be pancake day.  I woke early, a few hours before the rest of the house, to log a few miles.  The crisp air hit the exposed skin on my neck and ankles as I pulled my hat down over my ears.  So, it is September.  Maybe the hat (oh, and the gloves) are a little ridiculous, but that’s me!  I proceeded on auto-pilot for the first two miles, but I caught a whiff of coffee as I passed a familiar house.  I immediately shifted my thinking towards breakfast…pancakes in particular.  Yum, pancakes. 

I love the amoeba shaped cakes with crisp, buttery edges.  They’re stacked upon each other like a stable game of breakfast Jenga.  Pure maple syrup goodness slowly dripping off the round edge towards the plate below, creating an oil slick of liquid sugar.  Delicious. 

I hurried home, having put in four miles, and immediately brewed myself a cup of coffee (did I mention that we have a Kuerig)?  In my haste I half-assed my stretching and skipped my pint glass of water.  I needed pancakes!  With my phone in hand and a cup of joe in the other, I started searching for pancake recipes.  Since I recently replenished my King Arthur’s whole wheat flour I decided to peruse their website for recipes.  Well, well, well…what do we have here?  ‘Simply Perfect Pancakes’.  Okay. 

Like most pancake recipes, this one had minimal ingredients.  I appreciated the use of sugar because I enjoy the sweeter pancakes.  Sold on the recipe I proceeded with the preparation.  Because I always have a need to be in control and take ownership of things, I modified the recipe to make it my own.  I substituted milk with almond milk and swapped the oil with applesauce.  Everyone at the morning’s table walked away with a smile on their face and a piece of my childhood in their bellies.  Maybe I’ll send it to Mom; I think it’s index card worthy. 

Last weekend's pancake recipe.