Saturday, October 31, 2009

Breakfast pancakes

Right. So I do realise that a pancake recipe is nothing like the high-class gourmet cooking that gets a blog noticed. I will keep this in mind, and, one day, if I do find a recipe for something fancy that's actually achievable, I will let you know. But there's a key word there - achievable. Let's get things straight from the start - I'm a novice cook - as I write this, I am cooking a curry which involves browning the meat, adding the cook in sauce, and letting simmer. I check on my curry and its stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is the kind of cook I am. It's also the point of the blog as a whole - I like cooking, and slowly I'm getting better at it, and I'd like to take you on that adventure, and hopefully get you to cook better while you're reading it.

Perhaps I should explain a little - I'm 29. When I met my fantastic wife to be, I was deep inside being an architecture student, which I did for 7 years. That amount of time being a student prepares one for a life of cooking 2-minute noodles, and toast, and otherwise eating every kind of fast food available. Then, one day, I fell in love with this girl. Now, a couple of years later, I find that one of the two of us has to cook dinner every night, and to be fair, that makes it my turn once every 2 days. There's only so much toast you can eat, before you figure out how to cook sausage and mash.

Then I slowly figure out that its actually nice and relaxing to come home from a hard days work and dance around the kitchen for an hour. And that it's not too tough to make food that actually tastes like I know what I'm doing. And it's nice to try new stuff and learn to be good at something new.

Anyway, I digress. The point above is that this blog is for people who are just moving on from toast. And to show those folk, that the jump from toast to a "roast chicken with roast pumkin and baby spinach salad with slivered almonds and a honey and balsamic dressing", isn't actually such a big jump. And if I can do it, then pretty much anyone can.


I don't do baking. I know making pancakes isn't really baking - but to me, it involves sifting flour and fairly precise measurements, which makes it baking. Also I've never tried making pancakes before, and they seem to me like some exotic, hard-work, kind of breakfast food. But this morning I give it a try.

Firstly, I found a recipe for wholewheat pancakes with blueberry and maple syrup. But then I went shopping and obviously blueberries and maple syrup have never come anywhere near Mauritius. Same goes for wholewheat flour (OK, I lie, I didn't look for wholewheat flour). And I've been putting off making it since about Tuesday.

So this morning Vicki was pestering me about when the pancakes were going to cooked and I gave in. But I went for simplicity. I did a quick search and found a recipe at as follows:

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3.5 tspn baking powder

  • 1 tspn salt

  • 1 tbspn sugar

  • 1.25 cups milk

  • 1 egg

  • 3 tbspn butter, melted (How the hell do you measure out butter tablespoons?!?!)

In a bowl (duh?) sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix together the milk, egg and melted butter. Make a well in the dry mixture, and pour in the wet mixture. Mix until smooth.

"Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium-high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot."

I ended up making bigger pancakes (closer to 1/2 a cup of batter each), but otherwise they were great. Best topping we came up with in the moment was brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, but you know you can top it with whatever the hell you like.

Quick, easy, cheap and tasty - all the criteria to remember a meal and use it again and again. And everybody (even the 3-year-old) thought they were great. Definitely one for the cookbook.

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