Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pancakes, Porridge, and Sex

If you're planning to make a special breakfast this weekend, here’s a simple, quick-to-make recipe! I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve used commercial pancake mixes for years, having become lazy in my dotage. My friend Jim changed all that (my buying mixes; not my laziness or my dotage). When I tried his wonderfully easy pancake recipe the other day, I knew I’d never buy another mix! I like my kitchen, but don’t want to be chained to it, so plan to mix, label, and store the dry ingredients so they’ll be handy whenever we feel like a quick pancake breakfast. 
Jim’s Pancakes:
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (½ tsp. works just fine)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 c. milk
½ c. melted butter or margarine
2 small eggs, beaten (reduce liquid slightly if using large eggs)
Combine dry ingredients, mixing well. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine and milk, melted butter or margarine, and beaten eggs. Pour into dry ingredients, stirring until lumps disappear. Using ¼-cup measures, pour onto a lightly greased, preheated griddle set at 325 deg. F., or onto a frying pan, turning when the surface of each pancake loses its sheen and a peek shows the griddle-down side lightly browned. This makes 12-to-14 light-as-a-feather pancakes. 
Variation: Kids young and old love blueberries, chocolate chips, or banana slices dropped onto each pancake as they cook. 

Tip: The quickest way to dispense lump-free pancake batter? Squeeze it from a clean plastic ketchup bottle.
I love buckwheat pancakes - but some of the ingredients in this recipe need to be mixed the night before you want to use it. 
Buckwheat Pancakes:  
1 pkg. (1 tbsp.) traditional yeast (bread machine yeast works fine)
1 tsp. sugar
2 c. lukewarm milk
1-½ c. buckwheat flour
½ c. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
½ tsp. baking soda
Stir yeast and sugar into lukewarm milk (110 deg. F). Allow to stand 10 min. Combine and sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt (As a fine, dense powder, cornstarch tends to mix poorly with liquid ingredients. Combining and then sifting the dry ingredients aerates them, helping them mix better with the liquid in this recipe. If you don’t have a “sifter,” use a spoon to press the dry ingredients through a sieve).
Add dry ingredients to liquid. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, combine well with egg and baking soda. Bake on lightly greased, preheated griddle set to 300 deg. F. 
*  *  *  
Homemade porridge remains one of my favorite simple breakfasts, winter or summer. I’m always surprised that people use mixes to cook their oatmeal, when making it from scratch is so easy. The recipe Ron and I use follows. We ladle up hot porridge with a splash of milk and either maple syrup, raw sugar, or brown sugar. I prefer my cooked oats plain, but many people enjoy adding chopped apples or raisins to the cooking pot. Europeans quite often make porridge with chocolate milk, topping the bowl with chocolate shavings. Once, in a swish hotel, I even had it served with a drizzle of scotch! Oatmeal is a high-fiber, low-fat dish - a healthy way to start the day, my Dollinks!
Ron’s Porridge:
1 c. large-flake oatmeal
2 c. milk (we prefer skim)
Dash of salt (omit at your peril! Unsalted oatmeal tastes like cardboard)
In a medium saucepan, simmer 3-to-5 min. over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until thick. 

Oh, Yeah ... The Sex Part: 

I lied.

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