Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lundi Gras

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),

and pancakes.

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.


Unknown said...

Wow! Those flowers are gorgeous! Much prettier than a pancake.

Anonymous said...

A striped snapdragon? How lovely.

I'd try the pancakes, but have had a few to many fat Mondays (and other days) over the past two months. Think I'll jump straight to the giving-up part.

Christina said...

Susan C: Why thank you!

AH: It's a fava bean blossom! Isn't it cool? Fava beans smell amazing too, almost as good as sweet peas when they blossom. The red one is a fava as well, a rare crimson-blossoming kind that I want to grow a whole "hedge" of next year. I should have passed on the pancakes too, but oh, as soon as I remembered them, I had to have them. Self discipline, where did you go?

And for anyone who noticed the change in the title of this post, please excuse my bad Spenchlish. Someday, I'll at least master one language. Argh.

pam said...

That is a fava bean blossom! It's gorgeous. I wonder if I can grow them here??

Anonymous said...

To, two, too. I feel so silly. My favas are in bloom.

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask if those were all edible legumes. I guess now I know! I'm planning a whole wall of fragrant sweet peas on the balcony off the master bedroom this summer. I. Cannot. Wait. For. SPRING!! So jealous :-)

Anonymous said...

Who needs pics of pancakes when that golden light suffices?

Hope he's back quick as a flash. You're garden's awake to spring already - beautiful days to come.

Anonymous said...

Saw my spelling mistake a the last moment...I meant YOUR, not YOU'RE...sorry. Looks like I can't quite master even my own language!

AJK said...

Gorgeous photos of the flowers! The pancakes sound amazing too!