The Fluffy Pancake Files

On Sunday, and quite by accident, I made the fluffiest pancakes ever.  I think the reason for this serendipity was because a) I was out of regular flour so I had to use self-rising and b) I added slightly whiffy cream to the recipe.  When some women feel experimental they drastically change their appearance, career, hometown or even add just one of 50 Shades of Grey to their bedroom.   When I feel experimental I add spoiled dairy to my pancake batter.  I’m crazy.  I know.  Well here I am to prosthelytize because the addition of that slightly whiffy cream was one of the best decisions I ever made in the kitchen.  The result was amazing(even better than my buttermilk pancakes).  Especially with my orange blackberry syrup.  If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of tasty, I recommend you make both.

Henry and Helena

Greedy Guts 1 and 2

don't talk with your mouth full

don’t talk with your mouth full

even caterpillar liked it

even caterpillar liked it

Ingredients:

for the pancakes:

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup cream that’s gone slightly off

4 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups self-raising flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

for the syrup:

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup fresh blackberries (or defrosted frozen ones and their juice)

the zest of 1/3 of an orange as well as the juice squeezed from that 1/3

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

for the pancakes:

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Now, in a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, butter, and vanilla.  Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the wet ones into it.  Whisk to combine but don’t over whisk.  Let the mixture sit a spell.  At least half an hour.  I left mine overnight but that’s because I tend to prepare things well in advance knowing that when my toddler awakes she wants breakfast NOW.  Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat for a few minutes.  Let it get really hot but not so it’s smoking.  Pour some batter into the skillet.  Wait until it starts to bubble then flip.  Continue cooking another minute then remove.  Transfer the pancake to a serving platter and butter.  Repeat until the batter is gone.

pancakes with orange blackberry syrup

pancakes with orange blackberry syrup

for the syrup:

Heat a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the butter, berries, zest, juice, sugar, and vanilla.  Simmer but do not boil.  The sauce will thicken.  When desired viscosity has been achieved, remove the syrup from the stove.  Pour it into a warmed ceramic jug.  Now get ready for some pancakes and a nap!

Orange blackberry syrup

Orange blackberry syrup

Confederate Confections (a mint Julep recipe)

Several years ago, I suffered from back-to-back incidents of strep throat.  When I saw Dr. Sugerman, he asked what I was doing about the pain.  “Mint juleps,” I said.  To which he replied, “Honey, I don’t believe that’s been an actual prescription since 1865.  But if it gives you relief and these antibiotics continue to fail, keep on it.  Granddaddy always said juleps were his Sunday penicillin.”  Truer words were never spoken.

Despite their slightly medicinal reputation, mint juleps are delicious.  They are traditionally made with spearmint, bourbon, sugar and water and served in frosty silver cups that stir up romantic images of the American South.  The mint julep is a cocktail from another time. A time of steamboats and petticoats and gallant men who knew to wear seersucker only during summer months.   Even the Northern poet dandy, Edgar Allan Poe, had a weakness for this boozy smasher.

The thing about drinking juleps is that it’s not at all like drinking cocktails made from other spirits.  Sure, you can get drunk off them, but you don’t feel dark and dirty like you do with gin.  Juleps make you feel light-hearted.  And possibly like you want to jump in the swimming pool with all your clothes on. Or maybe that’s just me.

Personally, I like to try and avoid diabetic coma by cutting the sweetness of my juleps with fresh lemon. I also use sparkling water as opposed to flat.  My reason being that most things in life are better when effervescent.

Ingredients:

sugar

water

lots of fresh mint

bourbon

lemon

sparkling water

ice

Method:

To make mint juleps, one must first make a simple syrup.  Add equal parts of finely granulated sugar and water along with a handful of mint to a small saucepan and boil. Gradually, the liquid will thicken and tinge with green. When it is quite viscous, remove from the heat and cool. Next, add two sprigs of mint to two frosted glasses. If you haven’t got sterling cups, classic highballs will do. Add 2 shots of bourbon, a shot and a half of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a shot of syrup.  Muddle all the ingredients then fill the glasses with ice. Finally top off with your favorite fizzy water and enjoy.