There’s no denying the fact that I’ve missed all of you. This past week was the first time in over a year that I didn’t write a post (thanks again to all of the wonderful bloggers who wrote beautiful guest posts for the site), and it took me a couple of days to get used to the idea that I wouldn’t always have access to Twitter or Facebook or WordPress (where I create all of these entries). I must admit that I didn’t stay away the whole trip (thanks iPhone!), but there were plenty of days where there were long stretches without internet or cell phone service. And, I have to say, I quite enjoyed that time.
But now we’re back, having done our job of eating our way through Northern California. I’ll put up a post later with pictures from our trip, but I do want to prepare those of you who are looking forward to a gallery of shots from our dinner at The French Laundry. Not only did I not take any photos during our meal, but I didn’t even bring my camera with me. And I’m so glad I didn’t. My time with my husband, and the incredibly memorable meal that we shared together, can’t be captured in a picture. No photograph could ever do it justice.
Coming back from vacation can be a bit jarring. I particularly miss the long, leisurely breakfasts Eric and I would have together, gorging on baked goods and sipping coffee. But just because we’re back to reality doesn’t mean we can’t find time for such simple pleasures as a relaxing weekend morning breakfast. And there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a stack of plump blueberry pancakes.
I’ve made pancakes two times in my life. Once was around Thanksgiving a few years ago. I was given a small pumpkin as a birthday present (sounds weird, but I loved it) and it sat on our table for months until one Sunday morning, I made batter with them. And, I must say, they were some of the most seductive and wonderfully delicate pancakes I’ve consumed.
If this sounds at all dramatic, I should note that I’m not a huge pancake person. I certainly enjoy them, but I think that so many recipes rely too heavily on the assistance of maple syrup. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore a good high-grade maple syrup, but why does something that should be delicious enough on its own need to be slathered in it?
But enough ranting and raving… let’s talk about the second batch of pancakes. On our way to the Cape a few weekends ago, we stopped off at Whole Foods to pick up some items for dinner and came across a bounty of relatively inexpensive blueberries that were just begging us to take them home. And we didn’t have it in our hearts to leave them behind.
The following morning, I popped open the refrigerator to find them sitting on the shelf, ready for consumption. The only proper use I could think of for these gloriously plump blueberries were to make pancakes. Rich, light, full of texture, bursting with flavor! I can’t think of a better breakfast than this.
Lastly, I wanted to let everyone know that the Peko Peko Cookbook, which I contributed a recipe and photograph to, is now available for purchase.
The book consists of nearly 60 original, Japanese-inspired recipes that were contributed by a variety of incredibly talented food bloggers. The cookbook costs $29.95, with the profits ($11.45) of every sale going to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
Brian’s notes: While Lora’s recipe suggests serving these with maple syrup, I found that all it needed were a few slabs of butter.
(from The Cape Cod Table by Lora Brody)
makes about sixteen 6-inch pancakes or about sixty silver-dollar pancakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk (or buttermilk for a slightly tangy, even more tender result), more if needed
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed only if necessary, shaken dry in a colander
Butter for cooking the pancakes
Butter and pure maple syrup for serving (optional)
Place the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a mesh sieve set over a large mixing bowl. Place the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a second bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir until the mixture is smooth, taking care not to over mix, as this will make the pancakes tough. Add more milk, if necessary, to make a batter that is the consistency of thick heavy cream. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.
Melt a tablespoon of butter (or more if necessary) to cover the bottom of a large griddle or frying pan set over moderate-high heat. When the butter sizzles, ladle batter onto the griddle to form 6-inch pancakes, leaving enough room between them to let them spread without touching. Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancake and the bottoms are golden brown. Use a wide metal spatula to flip them over, and cook on the other side until golden brown. Stick the point of a small, sharp knife into the center of one of the pancakes to make sure it has cooked all the way through. This will help you gauge the required cooking time. Repeat with the remaining batter.
You can keep the pancakes warm on a baking sheet, loosely covered with foil, in a 300 degree F oven.
Serve hot with lots of butter and real maple syrup.