I was out of town for new year's, so I couldn't make a big New Year's Day Brunch like my family always does at home. When I came back to boston, I invited over a couple friends and made a belated new year's meal for my "boston family": scrambled tofu, sweet potato hash browns, fruit salad, gluten free coffee cake (I cheated on this one: used the Cravings Place's mix. It's super easy and delicious, though not nearly as good as my mom's homemade. Must get that recipe...).
I have no pictures of said meal because 1.) I still can't quite get over being embarassed about taking pictures of my food before I eat it and 2.) we ate EVERYTHING. But making so much breakfast food made me think about pancakes.
While I like eating pancakes, I HATE MAKING THEM. They are always so much more needy and complicated than I expect: there's the whole "getting the right consistency" thing with the batter; having the pan hot enough; adding enough oil but not too much; waiting long enough for the pancake to brown but not to burn; flipping it without making a mess; not burning the second side either. And then even if you get a perfect 2-3 pancakes, you have to KEEP GOING because that is only enough for one person... so you then repeat the process over again. Inevitably I lose patience and turn up the heat, which means I burn everything. And in the end all you get is a pancake.
But pancakes can be so delicious! Especially with fruit in or on them. I made breakfast-for-dinner with a friend of mine last month and we (well, he, as I refused to take part in the pancakes and instead worked on scrambled tofu) made the blueberry corn pancakes from Veganomicon. Yum! And watching another person over- and undercook pancakes and flip them messily, I realized that no one expects pancakes to be perfect. Just tasty.
So when I found a recipe for Rice Pancakes a little while back, I decided to try it.
(serves 2-3, doubles well)
1 cup soymilk
1 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup rice (I used brown)
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tbsp flax seed meal (or just flax seeds if you don't have a blender/food processor/super cool spice grinder like mine to turn them into meal)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir together soymilk and vinegar. Let sit at least 5 minutes so it curdles. This is vegan buttermilk, for the record.
While it's curdling, mash the rice as well as you can with a fork (or potato masher for larger amounts). You can add a TINY bit of water to get it good and mushy, to a mashed potatoes texture. Add flour, flax, salt, and baking soda, then stir in the "buttermilk." If it's too thick, add a little soymilk or water.
Pancake warning (ie, what I tend to do wrong): Don't overstir! Lumpy batter's better than killing the effects of baking soda.
Heat a small amount of oil (enough to coat the bottom) in a skillet. When it's hot (you can test this by spraying a drop or two water on it - it's ready if it sizzles and pops), ladle smallish amounts (1/4 cup-ish) onto the skillet. Turn when brown, or smoking, as in my case.
This was the most beautiful set of pancakes I have ever made:
Unfortunately it's out of focus. You'll just have to take my word for it.
These pancakes are like normal pancakes: serve with fruit and/or maple syrup... OR, in my case, I threw some cumin seeds into the end of the batch and made a festive tex-mex meal!
Cumin-Rice Pancakes with Guacamole, Corn, and Carrots!
Sorry about the lame pictures. I was more fixated on eating than on focusing, apparently. All that standing around waiting to flip the pancake makes me hungry.
My FAVORITE thing about making pancakes is when I make extra and then freeze them, because then on mornings when I'm running late I can just pop them into the toaster!
moral of the story: I'm now okay with pancakes.
2nd moral of the story: I really like ending with morals of the story.