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A Return (+ Alice Waters’ Buttermilk Pancakes)

This winter, back at the height of my I don’t think I can live here angst, DW started making pancakes on Saturday mornings. He found my ‘Art of Simple Food’ buried in the row of cookbooks on the kitchen counter, was inspired by the leben in the fridge, and got to work. These were the days marked by bleary, sleep-deprived mornings (S not being the somewhat better sleeper that she is now), and rain, and a more pronounced homesickness (homesickness remains but it is more a dull ache), and coffee made in the French press. Perhaps the pancakes were meant as a pancea to that homesickness, or simply as a way to ease us past the night of broken sleep, or just because – whatever the reason, they have become a staple in our weekend routine and I am glad for it.

I’m still not sure if I can really manage to live in Morocco but I have to, don’t I?, and so I am somewhat more resigned. (Sort of.) Life may not be that enjoyable there but after all there is a little girlie on the cusp on turning 1 year old (!) who happily occupies many of my hours, the possibility of a decent weekly yoga class, and life is too short to focus overmuch on the negative aspects.

I need to suck it up, is what I’m saying.

As our summer break in California draws to a close (waaa!) and fall, my favorite season, has flashed onto the horizon, I am taking a deep breath and looking forward with energy and purpose and perhaps even the inkling of some ideas I hope I can make reality in the coming months. If this is the first fall in nine years that I won’t be in California, well, I guess it’s time to seek out some new fall traditions in North Africa. First up: figuring out how to make sour cream from scratch. It’s really essential; the lack of Mexican food in our lives on a regular basis takes a toll. I only wish I was kidding.

I’m hoping this Saturday will mark a return to the Saturday pancake, because these in particular are very, very fine pancakes. Is it the use of buttermilk? Or the whole wheat pastry flour? Or just that someone else is making them for me? Possibly all three, and now Sierra is old enough now that she might be able to have – and enjoy – a few bites. We’re slowly but surely making progress in the world of solid foods and I have a feeling she will like these. Will report back.

[print_this]Buttermilk Pancakes, adapted from The Art of Simple Food

Blueberries would be perfect in these pancakes; try about a cup or so. We use frozen berries when we can get them – sadly not blueberries, however – and particularly like raspberries. Fresh would be lovely, too.

6 tablespoons of butter
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Melt the butter. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 egg yolks and the buttermilk until combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid mixture, and stir until just barely mixed. Add the melted butter and mix until just combined.

In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, whip the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter.

Ladle 1/4 cup (for smallish pancakes) to 1/2 cup (for large pancakes) of the batter onto a preheated griddle or non-stick pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside of the pancakes are golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Turn them over and cook until done, about 2-4 minutes longer. [/print_this]


  1. Sorry that your break, your breath of pure oxygen, is nearly over. I pray you find new ways to connect w/Casa on your return.

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