Fonticulus Fides

Monday, August 11, 2003

At last -- morning sickness has abated enough for me to get in on some of the food conversations that have been going on here in St. Blog's. I haven't been able to read Erik's Rants and Recipes for a couple months, and was forced to bow out of a discussion elsewhere when Erik started chatting about making sausage from scratch. But I digress...

Since I was feeling a lot better on Saturday morning and maple syrup sounded good, I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. This is not typical fare at our house, but hey, it was Saturday, so I figured why not. I sent Dh out for syrup and threw open the cupboards.

Well, the cupboards produced only a cup and a quarter of flour, so I went through a couple cookbooks to look for an alternative recipe. Most of my cookbooks are still packed up -- I thought we were moving this month & started packing in June, but now we are staying put & I haven't had the heart to unpack yet.

Anyway, my Martha Stewart book had a recipe for "Swedish Pancakes." Being of Norwegian heritage, I was taught throughout my childhood to shun anything Swedish, but I pushed those feelings aside when I saw the description, "...eggier, lighter and slightly sweeter than regular pancakes." The recipe called for 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a little salt, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, and 6 tablespoons melted butter.

That just didn't sit quite right with me. First of all, how could they be sweeter when there was no sugar, and my regular recipe (out of the Mayberry RFD cookbook) call for 2 tablespoons? Second of all, that's a LOT of butter. And third of all, I thought the batter would be way too thin with those proportions, and I wasn't sure I could get through THREE raw eggs -- two might be my limit.

So, I adjusted things a bit. I mean, it's just pancakes, right? If Martha's recipe works and my Mayberry recipe works, then something in between ought to work out just fine. So, I used all my flour, three tablespoons of baking powder (knowing mine was a little less than active), salt, a tablespoon of sugar, 3/4 cup of milk, two eggs, and only 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Then I threw in a dash of vanilla, because that's always good.

The batter was really runny. I mean, it was the consistency of whole milk, not even half-and-half. Martha's must be more like water! But I forged ahead, congratulating myself on having the foresight to trim back the milk, eggs and melted butter or I would have had a real mess on my hand. I decided there must have been a typo in Martha's book.

Well, the next step was to heat a "cast iron Swedish Pancake skillet." Hmmm...didn't even know those existed. I already had my griddle heating on the stove, and I didn't have any other option for the moment, so griddle it would have to be.

It turns out that a Swedish Pancake skillet actually has round indentations to enable the pancakes to hold their shape. (They must be more like crepes than anything.) Without the skillet, my Swedish Pancakes looked like...well, Sweden. Long, irregular shapes. The batter was so light and airy, tons of air bubbles came up, giving the tops a lacy appearance.

They looked odd but tasted just fine. Zooey ate about seven of them (they aren't terribly filling because they are so thin). Dh ate a few and shrugged. Edyn likes everything at this point, so she's no judge.

The pancake experiment will continue. Dh has requested "buttermilk pancakes" next time. If you have a good recipe for those, please send it to me at sparki777(at)yahoo(dot)com.



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