Saturday, February 18, 2012

in which I continually have trouble with pancakes

The truth is that I didn't know how to cook anything besides bean and cheese nachos until I was about 20. (But boy could I make stellar bean and cheese nachos). But when I moved off campus in the second semester of my sophomore year and became a vegetarian, I started to branch out a bit. By which I mean that I started to make pasta with various sauteed vegetables and pesto. Not exactly a leap into gourmet cheffery. But I also began to try various pancake recipes.

Banana pancakes.
Apple cinnamon pancakes.
Oatmeal pecan pancakes.
Peanut butter oatmeal pancakes.
Pear pancakes.
Applesauce oatmeal pancakes.

This was nearly 4 years ago. And, 4 years ago, somehow, for whatever reason, the pancakes always--unfailingly--turned out to look rather gross. Truly sketchy pancakes. Sometimes, about 3/4 of the time, they still tasted fine. Once and a while they tasted really damn good. For the rest of my college career I would live off-campus and struggle with the art of making pancakes. I continued to have the same difficulties.

When I moved to Iowa, my mother graciously bestowed upon me a gift of her own old griddle from her unmarried days. I thought: YES! Finally! Making pancakes will become easier! Perhaps it has been the use of a skillet that has ruined my countless batches of breakfast attempts!

But, no. Last year I just about gave up making pancakes after the embarrassment of trying to make them appear appetizing to an overnight guest, only to realize that they were not even cooked through. R has always been a fan of the 'just add water' mixes from the grocery store, and so for the past year I have let him take charge of all pancake preparation. But after he moved to Austin, and I returned Iowa after my extended winter holiday, and realized I am dirt-poor... I decided that damn it, pancakes are very cheap to make, and on the weekends I deserve to linger over a cup of tea or coffee while I listen to NPR and make a breakfast more engaging than the pouring of milk over cereal.

So, today I tried to make applesauce oatmeal pancakes.

And? They looked pretty untasty.

And? Two of them weren't cooked all the way through.

And? By the time I was done cooking them all, they were almost all cold.

And? Now I just have more dishes to wash.

Anyone out there have any pancake tips? This is just getting ridiculous. But on the bright side, I did make an excellent cup of coffee this morning, and the sun is shining so delightfully into my living room. Today's task: a magazine review for my Victorian Lit class, in which I discuss three nineteenth-century periodicals on the subject of my choosing and any light which they might possibly shed on a reading of Jane Eyre. I chose to research madness. So, here I am, reading antiquated accounts of mental illness with my stuffed walrus Thurgood, listening to a nice mix of Junior Boys, Teen Daze, Mum, and Blackbird Blackbird... and, existing as a graduate student of nearly 24 years of age who cannot make pancakes.

Say hi to Neville, my plant.

[beret: Ragstock, shirt: American Apparel, skirt: thrifted, tights: Sock Dreams, necklace: thrifted, bracelets: hand-me-down]

1 comment:

WAW said...

Griddle temperature is key. Make sure it is hot enough and you aren't pouring too thick of pancakes. Another thing to try, especially with potentially heavier pancakes like these, is to whip the egg whites and add them last.