Yesterday, Monday, ECG came home from work early to pack up for his business trip to the general area that tends to (in)famously celebrate a certain holiday that reaches its corpulent peak today, Tuesday.
And yes, although it is unfortunate, his trip is strictly business-oriented.
We had planned to have an early dinner to make preparation for the trip a little easier, but the golden afternoon light made my fingers itch for the camera, so I got started cooking a little later than intended.
Can you blame me?
My tardiness didn't matter much though, because I had a quick meal planned for the night:
Carrot sticks, red pepper slices, and sugar snap peas with a dippy dressing,
A panfried smoked pork sausage (or two),
Not just any pancakes, but these "Fat Monday"-worthy pancakes, richly flavored with the happy combination of orange and vanilla, fluffy, warm, and moist. These are a good send off to someone whose return you look forward to even before his departure. They are good times indeed.
"Creamsicle" Pancakes: aka When-Orange-Meets-Vanilla-in-a-Hot-Pan
Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious found here.
You will need:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
the finely grated rind of an orange
freshly squeezed orange juice as needed
butter as needed
To make the pancakes:
Whisk the first five ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and orange rind in another large bowl. Slowly mix the moist ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just until blended, still a little lumpy. If you like your pancakes thick and ridiculously fluffy, you're finished with the batter. If you like your pancakes thinner and moistly-eggy, add a few tablespoons of orange juice to thin the batter a bit until it is the consistency you like.
Melt a knob of butter in your large skillet over medium heat. Ladle batter into the pan to make pancakes the size you like. Cook until the bubbles rise to the top of the surface of the pancakes and begin to break and firm up around the edges. Carefully use a spatula to turn the pancakes over, and cook a couple minutes until the bottoms of the pancakes are browned pleasantly when you lift the edges to examine them. Transfer the pancakes to a plate, add a knob more of butter to the skillet, and repeat until you've finished the batter.
Serves two on Fat Monday, three on any other day.
Why no pictures of the pancakes? Because they look like . . . pancakes. Yummy, yes. Tender and celebratory, yes. Pretty, no.