Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sweet Pancakes for Late Summer

By Cal Orey
Welcome to pancakes or hotcakes, a worldwide favorite food that goes way, way back in time around the globe. Fast forward to me working on deadline during Labor Day weekend to finish a book before autumn. While fine-tuning the book due, I watched films, including "Something's Gotta Give," a romantic comedy and "2012," a doomsday movie. Both flicks included the seven letter word: Pancakes. And that got me craving the thin, flat round cake made from batter, cooked on a frying pan or griddle.
In the Diane Keaton romantic comedy, the 50-something heroine, a single playwright, offers to make homemade pancakes late at night for her 60-something male friend, of sorts. I watched her take out the flour and that's when guilt set in. In the end days movie the mom character invited her ex-husband to join in for a pancake breakfast with their kids. The bottom line: Pancakes are both a comfort and romantic food. And they take me back to when I was a kid. On Sunday mornings, my mother made flapjacks from scratch.
So, on Monday morning I went to the kitchen and instead of grabbing the complete pancake mix that reads "add water," I took out the whole wheat flour, organic milk, and brown eggs. It was so easy to mix up. When I flipped over my first homemade pancake I woke up.
"Why didn't I do this before?" I asked myself.
Doing it yourself gives you the freedom of getting natural stuff - no artificial ingredients. That means you're getting both calcium and protein, and the fresh blueberries give you plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants.
 Honey Pancakes with Berries or Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated table sugar
1 1/4-1/2 cups 2 percent, low-fat organic milk
3 tablespoons European style butter
1 brown egg, beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries or chocolate chips
Honey for syrup
European style butter
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, butter. Fold in half of the berries. On medium heat warm up a non-stick frying pan. Drop batter in medium-sized circles in pan. When the pancake bubbles flip over and place on plate. Top a few pancakes with a pat of butter, drizzle with warmed up honey, and top with blueberries. Makes a dozen or more pancakes.
My pancakes were picture-perfect. The first bite was as good as a mix pancake - actually better. The flavor of sage honey (mine is from a beekeeper in Reno) and tart blueberries with a small amount of real butter was as good as it gets. Sure, these blueberry pancakes could have been a winner for a mate or kid(s), but the reality of it is that I made a short stack for me - a solo author with two dogs and a cat named Zen. I paired this fresh breakfast with a fresh brewed cup of chocolate mint coffee. It was a morning filled with sweet aroma and fit for a royal queen bee before she morphed into a worker bee (again).
Motto: If you pace yourself you can do whatever it is you want to do - including making homemade pancakes to writing a big book during the hot summer in a tourist town.
- Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include "The Healing Powers" series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate and Honey) published by Kensington. 

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