Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quick Pancakes

I'm a big believer in the improv method of cooking. I follow recipes to the letter when preserving food for food safety reasons, but when it comes to everyday meals, having an attitude of spontaneity means you will cook more often and enjoy fresher fare. 

Cast perfection to the wind and enter the joyful land of culinary freedom.

Pancakes are one of my regular wing-it meals. You need a bowl and a fork (or a whisk). Eggs, milk and flour. Badaboom. Sure, you can add a pinch of salt, baking powder, some sugar or melted butter, but you don't need to. 

You can make super yummy pancakes with milk, flour and an egg. Ingredients you normally have on hand. Add a teaspoon or two of baking powder and the pancakes will rise to become fluffy, but there's nothing wrong with flat denser cakes. They're more cosmopolitan, in fact. I adore them.

If you have an apple or other fruit in the house, you can toss that in too, but you don't need to. Mine have wild blueberries today.

I never, ever measure anymore, and honestly, you don't have to either. Anyone can toss together pancakes in under a minute and have them in the pan and on the table in five.

What to do:

Add a healthy scoop of flour, one egg and start stirring milk into your bowl. Get the batter to the consistency you like. Thick or thin, there is no perfect consistency. Boom, you have pancake batter. (Add baking powder to make them rise to fluffy stature.)

Put in too much milk? Call them Swedish pancakes. Thick batter? Thin it with a little more milk, or go for the big thick man-cakes. You can add a pinch of baking powder or salt if you like, let the batter rest, etc. but I'm all for whip-it-up, fry-it and get it onto the plates. Less stressful that way, which means, you'll make them more often.

No maple syrup on hand? Thin the batter, call them crepes, smear with butter, dust with sugar or give them a squirt of lemon juice. Yum.

Anybody can make pancakes. A hot pan greased with butter will accept your improvised batter and deliver a comforting breakfast or late night dessert.

So go forth readers, and make your cakes. Thick, thin, fruited, plain or buttermilk. It's a delicious way to start the day and there's only a one bowl, one skillet, cleanup to contend with.

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