Monday, July 8, 2013

Meatless Monday: Pancakes on the Porch

Last week we took a break — from working, from blogging, from gardening, from working on the house, and from experimenting with chia.

Where were we? On Cape Cod, on Pilgrim Village on White Pond in Chatham. From the screened-in back porch of our little cabin all you see is trees and water — like glamping but better.

One of the cabins
This is the perfect setting for one of my greatest joys — a pancake “breakfast” at whatever time we please.

The view from the porch
In advance of our vacation, I prepared two batches of the recipe below, packed them in ziplock bags, and kept them in the cooler during the trip. All I had to add was an egg, water, milk, and some form of liquid fat. 

The cabin’s kitchen is tiny, but it contains a refrigerator, small stove, a cast iron skillet, mixing bowl, and basic cooking and eating utensils — all you need to whip up this breakfast.

What you see here was served around noon on Thursday. The sun was out, and very strong as it can be in early summer. We decided not to race to the beach, opting to enjoy pancakes right where we were, while we listened to the birds sing and watched the light sparkling on the blue water.

Brunch on the porch
I had brought along some real maple syrup, and some of the grapefruit I had ordered online. Nearly local blueberries were in season. Triple yum.

Oatmeal Pancakes
(Inspired by “Oo is for Oatmeal Pancakes” from the Alpha-Bakery Children’s Cookbook 
published by Gold Medal Flour in 1987)

Serves two. This recipe can easily be doubled.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of quick-cooking (one minute) oats
3 teaspoons of dry buttermilk*
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
a handful of dried cranberries (optional)
2 tablespoons organic canola oil (or for a special treat, melted butter)

1 egg
3/4 cup of water*
1/4 cup milk

*Or, substitute 3/4 buttermilk for the powdered buttermilk and water.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. 
Add the remaining ingredients, and whisk gently until smooth. 
(You can thin the batter with some extra milk if it is too thick).
Heat and grease your griddle. 
(To see if the griddle is hot enough, splash with a few drops of water. 
If the bubbles bounce around, the temperature is perfect.)
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle.
Top with 4-5 blueberries if you have them.
Cook until pancakes are puffed and dry around the edges. 
Turn over and cook until the other side is delicately browned.
Serve with maple syrup and fresh berries or summer fruit. 

These pancakes, containing dairy, oats, and eggs, and lower in fat, salt, and sugar than standard restaurant fare, are a delicious and nutritious once-in-a-while treat. They can easily become a dinner meal if served with a side of yogurt and fruit. Try ’em anytime even if you don’t have a screened porch.

Have a great week. Happy eating.

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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