The snow is falling again. One after the other, each in rapid succession as if trying to catch the one ahead. The sound is a soft, gentle tap of rhythm and harmony. It's a prelude to something bigger and more meaningful. It's my signal that Christmas is finally here.
I dig the holidays. Say what you will but I love this season for the possibilities, the family gatherings and the food we'll share one too many times over the next few weeks. In a season of plenty, I can't get enough. I like to eat and this is the time of year our friends and family pull us in. Keep pulling.
Our December is busy. Packed. And I know we're not the only ones. Yet it's still important to me to find time together to sit down for a meal and connect. Seriously. It starts first thing in the morning with breakfast. On a weekend nothing is more important than that first bite to eat around our table.
The sun breaks through and for a few short minutes everything is quiet. Almost too quiet. We refuel, reconnect and get ready for another day of madness. If you can ever really be ready. I am now.
This morning I filled the coffee pot (no I'm not smart enough to buy a digital programmable coffee maker) and flipped through recipes. Old ones and new ones. My own. I found one I wanted to make. A classic. Buttermilk Pancakes.
Pancakes are tougher than you'd think. Not for everyone though. I remember fondly my mother making pancakes for me as a child. Working feverishly over a mixing bowl with batter where it should and shouldn't be. Flipping through her mother's recipes in an old tattered book. Never missing a beat. They were always perfect. Isn't that usually the case? Tangy and fluffy. Perfect.
The key to perfect pancakes is finding that great marriage of a slightly crisp and golden crust enveloping a fluffy, tender centre. The right ingredients help produce the right result. One of those is baking soda. Without it and you'll be missing colour and flavour. With it and you'll have a pancake deep in golden colour with a rich flavour. You'll have a great tasting breakfast. Maybe the perfect breakfast.
This is what the holidays is all about. In the morning. At least for me.
Yields: 8 four-inch pancakes. Family of 2-3
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 lg. egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. oil
1. Whisk flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre.
2. In second medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, sour cream, eggs and melted butter and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and gently stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Using 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter into hot pan. Depending on the size, add 1 to 3 more. Cook until edges are set and lightly browned and surface is covered with bubbles, 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook until golden, 1-2 minutes.
4. Serve immediately.
|3 steps along the bottom. The top is what you get to eat!|
|6 buttermilk pancakes stacked. The perfect start to my usually hectic days!|
Labels: Breakfast, buttermilk, Classic, maple syrup, pancakes