apology pumpkin pancakes
Not that you’re reading proof, but I have semi-written blogs on wine benchmarking, and salads. But do you see those blogs posted?
Apologies, dear readers.
Last night, sleep mixed with blinking in and out of wakefulness. For me, yes. The cat and dog too. But for my mister, most of all. When our alarms sounded this morning, he groaned, “I couldn’t sleep. I tried multiple times! to get you to move. You looked at me, smiled, then went back to sleep.”
“I’m sorrrrrry, Mister.”
He responded to my dismayed apology by raising his elbow and lowering it across his eyes.
Oops. Apology not quite accepted.
Galvanized, I moved. I directed my feet into the kitchen, my hands to the coffee grinder, my eyes to the can of pumpkin on the pantry shelf, and decided to make our favorite pumpkin pancake recipe.
A favorite autumn date destination for us is Confluence, Pennsylvania’s PumpkinFest, one of those endangered small town festivals where hay is scattered, pumpkins are few, tractors park, apple butter is homemade and the Halloween decorations are too kitschy for my taste. During one visit, my Mister made the mistake of confiding to me that he really liked pumpkin pancakes. So the next time I made breakfast, I mixed pumpkin into pancakes. The result was bland and touched off an experimental pumpkin pancake phase. We were nearing pumpkin pancake overdose when I fried up Martha Stewart’s recipe. That spicy goodness, of like-flavor to--minus the excess sweet--of pumpkin pie, won. Now, just after leaves tinge themselves yellow and Starbucks pulls out their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, our pancakes turn deep and spicy.
Except for this morning. Months after the house fire, my kitchen is must-haves only. As a consequence, neither ground cloves nor powdered ginger is on my shelf. What to do? I paced the kitchen, impulsively opened the ‘fridge and found the answer. Fresh ginger. Yum!
But how to add to the pancakes? First, I imagined dicing the fresh ginger. Nope. Too many crunchy pieces, not enough flavor. Next, I considered microplaning, but I never like the result: lots of work, too little ginger. If I had a pestle and mortar… but I don’t. Yet a pestle and mortar somehow reminded me of my favorite stewed fresh ginger tea in India, and ta-da!
Out came the ginger and box grater. Then, remembering Milk Street’s answer to peeling ginger, knife and cutting board. Into a saucepan went milk and rough-grated ginger. I heated the two together (next time I’ll add honey) while I assembled dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. When the milk took on a warm, spicy ginger glow, because of the egg, I temperedthe milk into the wet ingredients. All were whipped together, fried, and served with soft scrambled eggs to the man who had been lured out of bed by coffee.
“I feel refreshed,” said the Mister.
“Was it the apology pancakes?” I asked hopefully, staring at the towering pile of dishes I had just created.
“Could be,” he said. “Or it could be the terror….”
The word trailed behind him as he disappeared back into the bedroom, leaving me blinking. Terror of what? Terror of my hair after a night of tossing? (Medusa’s hair is less terrible). Terror of loosing another night’s sleep? Terror of my next apology? Terror of my next experimental kitchen phase?
* * *
(inspired by http://www.marthastewart.com)
- 1.125 (1 + 1/8) cups of milk
- 2 tablespoons, peeled and grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1.25 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- .5 teaspoon kosher salt
- .75 teaspoon cinnamon
- .5 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- pinch of cloves (optional)
- 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted & cool-ish + more for skillet
- 1 egg
- Maple syrup(for sensational breakfast or BIG apology, use Woodinville Whiskey’s Barrel-Aged)
- Small saucepan
- Box grater
- Peeler or knife + cutting board
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Nutmeg grater
- 2 mixing bowls
- Non-stick frying pan or griddle
Place saucepan and milk on stove, medium heat. Peel and grate the ginger (if as arrogant as I, grating over the pan is better). Heat slowly, for about 10 minutes, stir and scrape bottom of the pan regularly – infusing ginger into milk. Do not let the milk get truly hot – and definitely do not boil. Prepare to taste. When finished, depending on your taste for ginger, either strain the ginger from the milk or keep the ginger. Add honey. Stir. Remove from heat.
To bowl 1, add dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Whisk. To bowl 2, add pumpkin, egg. Whisk. Add butter. Whisk. To be prevent ending up with scrambled eggs inside your pancakes, temper the milk into the wet ingredients.
Heat non-stick pan just at medium. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Wipe stick of butter across hot surface. Cook the pancakes. To paraphrase my favoritest line The Godfather, Leave the pumpkin spice latte. Eat the pumpkin pancakes. With maple syrup.