Sunday, January 23, 2011

cornmeal pancakes save

Coming home this year after the holidays was hard, the monster known as Jet Lag pretty much tried to do us in. But we fooled him! Instead of tossing and turning in bed, or getting up in the middle of the night and watching stupid tv or wasting hours and hours online, I would get up in the middle of the night and make pancakes. Which, it turns out, is a great strategy, because then you go back to bed, and when you get up again and have to run around to make it to class on time, you've got the batter ready to go and all you have to do is drop a spoonful in the pan and the next time you pass through the kitchen your exquisite breakfast is ready.

The first batch was my usual whole wheat batter with agave syrup. But then I decided to be a little more adventurous and creative with my 3 a.m. energy. So I tried out this recipe from the NY Times. Now, this is the NY Times, people. You'd think they'd have their act together. But I knew something was wrong when I looked at the recipe. I thought, how odd! Maybe it's the jet lag, maybe I'm reading it wrong. But I read it over and over and yes, indeed, they are basically suggesting that if you mix cornmeal, water, milk and oil (with a few extra flavoring things thrown in), you will get pancakes. Well, if your intuition tells you, like mine tried at 3 in the morning, that all you will get is mush, pay more attention to it than I did. Seriously folks. Liquid and cornmeal, that's all you're using here. How could it possibly turn into a pancake? Well, let me tell you. It won't.

Of course, I didn't listen to my instincts. I did it like it says, minus the pine nuts because I didn't have any (but I hardly see how that could affect things). And then I heated the pan and put a little oil in it, and then when it was nice and hot, ladled out some of the 'batter'. Oh, the horror. If only I had a video or pictures to show you what happens. You'll just have to trust me. It is a splattering hot blob of crap; I'm sorry but there is no more refined way to say it. And the mush just sits there and bubbles and splatters everywhere, and, well, stays mush. So I scooped it up out of the pan and threw it in the garbage.

But now I had a huge bowl of cornmeal mush, and no breakfast to show for it. So I had to make something up. Here's what the recipe ended up being:

1 1/2 c. cornmeal, soaked in 1 1/2 c. boiling water until all the liquid is absorbed and the cornmeal softens
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. whole wheat flour (approx.)
agave syrup to sweeten to your taste

The measurements are pretty much guesstimates, because like I said, I was just trying to save a disaster. But the results were pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.

I'd never had cornmeal pancakes before, but now I wonder, why the hell not? I love cornbread and I love pancakes, and I definitely love having a hearty breakfast to keep me going through the morning. These were perfect. Heavier (and more filling) than a regular pancake definitely, but still moist and fluffy.

Two small cornmeal pancakes, half a sliced banana, and a cup of greek yogurt = a little piece of heaven in the morning.

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