I fear I have fallen into something of a rut when it comes to my weeknight dinner menus. I realized tonight when I was staring into the freezer looking for inspiration that I have let Thursday become 'breakfast for dinner' night. By 'breakfast for dinner' I don't mean toast or cereal, although my boys likely would eat toast or cereal breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them. I mean 'fancy' breakfast stuff like scrambled eggs and bacon or pancakes with sausage.
I am very particular about pancakes. Call it snobbish, but I won't make 'boxed mix' pancakes and I try to avoid eating them as well. When we go to the cottage, I make my own 'dry mix' for pancakes so I can be assured of the real deal. I also won't eat or serve pancakes without real maple syrup. I can't remember when this happened, my being so particular about pancakes, but my Joy of Cooking suggests it happened Spring of 2003, when I decided to make homemade pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.
In Spring 2003 my oldest son would have barely been 6 months old. My youngest son wouldn't arrive until two years later. We lived in our first house, not our current house. When I think of all that's happened between Spring 2003 and now it makes my head spin. People I had yet to meet, places I had never been...my priorities have changed too (another 'p' word...I'm feeling very alliterative today). I must have made this pancake recipe a hundred times since that first batch. It's comfort cooking for me. And not just the result - the equipment for making my 'particular' pancakes even makes me happy. I have my favourite batter bowl (a warm sunshine yellow) and my griddle pan that D. got me for Christmas. My syrup pourer that looks just like the one I used to fling on to tables when I worked as a waitress and made dozens of pancakes every Saturday morning a million years and another lifetime ago. I even like the mess - the melted butter ramekin, the egg shells, the whiff of vanilla coming from the 'wet ingredients' bowl...it's a definite kind of therapy, making pancakes for dinner.
Basic Pancakes (Joy of Cooking, page 795)
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk together in another bowl:
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together until just combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto preheated griddle. Cook until the top of each pancake is speckled with bubbles and some bubbles have popped open, then turn and cook until underside is lightly browned. Serve with (real) maple syrup.