Thursday, December 20, 2007

What to Cook On.

In my opinion the 10 1/2" round cast iron griddle is best for cooking pancakes. You can get one made by Lodge at Wal*Mart (or elsewhere if you are opposed to Wal*Mart on principle) for under $15. It is superior to the run of the mill cast iron pan because the sides are low and permit you to go in with your spatula at a shallow angle to flip the pancakes. I prefer it to a rectangular griddle that spans two burners because it's lighter, and I find it pleasing to cook one pancake at a time. If a cast iron griddle is well seasoned, it will be almost as non-stick as teflon, but without the toxic hazard to your parrot.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Recipe for a Mix

Blend in a food processor:
1 cup of pecans or walnuts
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup buckwheat
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
This will make about six cups of mix.

Gather all of the ingredients together, along with measuring implements and smaller bowls before you start putting ingredients into the food processor. Each step of the process should be done with complete attention. You will be distracted during the process, but allow your attention to return to the orderly progression of measuring the ingredients and putting them into prep bowls. When all of your ingredients are measured and assembled, add them to the food processor in order, blending briefly in between additions.

To make batter, take a cup of mix and add:

1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter or walnut oil.

When adding the liquid ingredients to the mix, beat only enough to blend the ingredients. Pour the batter onto a seasoned cast iron griddle (more about this later) that has been preheated over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on its surface.  When the bubbles that form begin to burst and the top of the pancake starts to take on a matte rather than glossy finish, turn it over and cook for another two minutes.  Finished pancakes may be held in the oven at 250 degrees until ready to be served.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Searching for Pancakes

I spent an hour yesterday morning looking through the cookbooks at Strand Books at the corner of 12th and Broadway in Manhattan, searching for a cookbook devoted entirely to pancakes. Strand's cookbook section is larger than some bookstores. I didn't see even one cookbook devoted to pancakes. It appears, however, that I was wasting my time, as a search of "pancake cookbook" on turned up at least four such cookbooks currently in print. But ordering one of these books would be too easy.

So, choosing the journey over the destination, I will collect recipes, discuss methodologies of preparation and catalogue the things that go in, on and under pancakes. I will attempt to visit places that make pancakes that are widely acclaimed or unique or bizarre and report what I find. And I will ponder whether mindfulness and concentartion in making and eating pancakes could help us to discover our Buddha-nature.