Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancakes for One--The Solo Cook and her Breakfast for Dinner: It's a Beautiful Thing!

Fat Tuesday has a great ring to it.  I have memories of a lot of soggy or burnt pancakes made by legions of cook-once-a-year men in kitchen after church kitchen.  I've been in a lot of places. The very best pancakes I've ever eaten are those made by my own kitchen-man husband.  Those are made on a propane camp stove and stand out as some of the finest food in the world to me.  Either everything really does taste better outside, or my man just knows from pancakes.  He puts fresh butter on the griddle for every pour.  He heats the syrup before he starts.  He fries the bacon before he heats the syrup.  He makes the coffee before he fries the bacon.  Did I say he looks good while he does it?

Our kids grew up with Dave making camp breakfasts; here he transfers the skill to the deck.

Whether or not you participate in the Christian practice of Lent (which starts the day after Fat Tuesday on Ash Wedsnesday  and focuses on the 40-day preparation of the Christian believer for Holy Week and Christ's resurrection), you could join in making yourself a stack of pancakes tonight.  Traditionally, the idea is to eat as much as you can before Lent (for some a season of pentitence and deprivation) begins.
Of course, there's no reason you can't just have pancakes for dinner anytime.   No need to try and keep a box of pancake mix; you can make these from scratch.  Here's how you do it for one:

pancakes for one
  • 1 egg white, beaten  (I cook up the egg yolk later for me or the dogs.)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 T melted butter (cooled), plus additional butter for cooking and eating
  • 1/2 cup white, unbleached flour
  • 1T sugar
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t each baking soda and salt
  • Maple Syrup and/or fruit 

Bought at Good Will. A skillet or griddle would cook as well. Smoking? Too hot.
Heat griddle over medium - medium-high heat.  Griddle is ready when you drizzle a bit of water on and it jumps. 
  1. Meantime, whisk together the egg white, milk, and melted butter in a large (4 or 8 cup) measuring cup.  
  2. Measure the dry ingredients and stir them together on top of the milk mixture.  Then whisk them into the milk until the batter is smooth.
  3. Drop a 1/2 t or so of butter onto the hot griddle and then pour batter on top of the butter.  Bake until bubbles form.  Flip, bake the other side until done to your liking.  (I like them a bit crispy.)
  4. Serve hot with syrup or fruit. 
  5. Time to flip.
  6. If at first you don't succeed, try again.  Your pan may be too hot and you burn the outside of the cakes before the inside is done.  Lower the heat some and have another go.  A good pancake maker is worth his weight in gold.  You may want to eventually invest in a griddle or a cast iron pan just for cakes.  They're cheap, fast, and yummy.
Done to your liking?
Have your plate and coffee ready.

Scramble your egg yolk for a sandwich for lunch or a treat for the pooch.

 Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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