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This blog started out as solely focused on food. cooking and spirituality are incredibly co-mingled for me, and now I'm adding to the focus by making the blog more about my spiritual life in general. I hope the result is something readable!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cloudy With A Chance Of Awesome!

Today I woke up at ass-o'clock in the morning (read: before sunrise) and made pancakes. These were the most perfect pancakes I have ever seen in my life. I'm still kind of in shock that they turned out so beautiful and tasty.

I've made pancakes before, of course, but there's always problems with them: the first ones are too pale, then they get too dark or I don't watch them carefully and they get too dry, or if I make them too large, they crack down the middle when I flip them. Also, they are unevenly shaped, and not obedient when stacked.

These pancakes are different. The most notable difference is they are from SCRATCH. And that's a beautiful thing. I used this recipe and true to form, it produced good old-fashioned pancakes. These are the pancakes m grandmothers would have made. Well, one grandma, anyway, but she died before I was born. The grandma I grew up around was (and is) very much enamored of the Modern, and she probably would have used bisquick for pancakes because it was new and shiny and convenient. None of that for me!
The pancakes turned out extra awesome because of wonderful, HTCLYG-esque tricks, like warming the egg and milk to room temperature, and beating them together before adding the melted butter. (The only time I prefer to use the microwave). The butter, by the way, was half organic ghee that I made, because I'm living with barbarians who buy salted butter. What the hell? So I tried to cut the salt by mixing it with delicious, salt-free ghee, which was also used in the skillet.

Ahh, the skillet. I could wax poetic about it for ages and ages, but that would get repetitive and probably a little creepy. So here's the cliffs-notes version: Baby Skillet (yes I named it) is a size 3 cast-iron skillet, manufactured by Griswold sometime between 1930 and 1950. I bought it for $10 at an antiques mall in Geneva, and I think it might be the best $10 I have ever spent. Baby Skillet requires very little lubricant, and almost no cleanup because nothing sticks to it. Nothing.

So: I mixed up the batter, let it sit while I heated the ghee in Baby Skillet and washed some dishes, feeling very productive and responsible. Right before pouring the pancakes I whisked the batter again for more rising awesomeness. (Have I mentioned that I love aluminum-free baking powder? I love it. A lot.) Slightly less than a quarter cup makes the perfect sized pancake for Baby Skillet, with just enough room to flip them with ease.

And Oh. They were gorgeous. The very first pancake had that pale, fried, first pancake look to it because it had absorbed all the excess ghee in the pan, and that one I broke my fast with after my morning prayer, and it was quite good, all saturated with pure butterfat goodness. NOM. The rest of the pancakes were normal, and by normal I mean perfectly uniform, even golden brown on top with smooth circular edges and they were all pretty much the same size. And I stacked them up neatly on the plate and it was....You could illustrate a children's book with these pancakes, that's how pristine they were. They are what bisquick pancakes dream to be, when they cry themselves to sleep at night. As for the taste: not too dry, dense but not throat-chokingly so (as pancakes can be, you know), nice rise but they didn't look like biscuits on crack or anything. I added vanilla extract and cinnamon to the batter, and mmmmmmmm were they tasty. very nice subtle flavor that complemented butter and syrup nicely. A bit too big to be silver dollar pancakes, but...wow. I'm using this recipe again.

By the time I made enough for Girlfriend (who had to get up even earlier than me, poor thing) and about half for me, the pan was getting a little dry again, but that's after about nine pancakes. I added a smidgen of bacon fat (aka "THE GOOD STUFF") and made a couple more: one for me and one for the ancestors, who got their own plate and a candle at the table while I ate. I adore ghee for its amazing cooking power and because it's vegetarian and I can fry things for Girlfriend now, but nothing, nothing, not even perfect old-fashioned pancakes cooked in ghee in a cast-iron skillet can compare to the taste of perfect old-fashioned pancakes cooked in a cast-iron skillet with bacon fat.
It was like I was transported into a magical sepia-toned world of From Scratch, with old-timey fiddle music and Auld Lang Syne and fresh-churned butter and pie crusts and rainbows and everything. The only thing that could have made it better was actual bacon. Another day!

After breakfast I cleaned up and started a money-drawing job-getting spell, having done like days of research on Lucky Mojo's pages. My foray into hoodoo begins! I like the intuitive nature of correspondences, the detailed process of setting lights. I found I was able to focus my intention really well. I'll keep it going and we'll see how it turns out. I have a good feeling about this. :)

And now, a freaking nap. I got like three hours of sleep.

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