Saturday, November 03, 2007

Breakfast: pancakes are a blast

I learned to make pancakes from my parents, who are both skilled in the art. Their pancakes are thin, delicate, golden, rimmed with a crispy, lacy edge, served rolled up and filled with something sweet and simple: lemon juice and sugar, treacle or jam. No need for anything more elaborate.

That, for me, was the pancake pinnacle. And then I moved to the US and discovered that pancake meant something different: thick, spongy, toast-colored Frisbees, served with a scoop of butter and a bucket of maple syrup. Sometimes they're studded with fruit. Sometimes they're stacked three inches high. Sometimes they're--gasp!--served with bacon and sausage.

Apparently, what I'd grown up calling pancakes were, according to US criteria, actually crêpes. See these here? Served at
Gaslight in the South End. Just like what I grew up on.

I taught The Boy to make crêpes and he showed me the secret of the pancake (baking powder). He does both better than me because he shows no fear when it comes to frying stuff in butter.

We often have them for breakfast, because the batter is quick to make: a cup of flour, one egg, then the gradual addition of milk until the result has the consistency of heavy cream. And then we'll throw in nutmeg or orange zest or ginger. How easy is that?

But wait--it just! Got! Even! Easier!

Enter the
Batter Blaster, which takes all the tedium and mess out of mixing three ingredients by blending them with cultured dextrose and xanthan gum (s'okay, it's organic) and presenting them in an easy-squeezy can--just point the nozzle at the griddle and you're ready to go!

Two things I love about the website:
the video that shows the "old-fashioned" method of pancake creation, in which a fake-Fifties housewife throws up her hands in frustration at the tiresome, filthy ordeal (try cutting back on the pre-breakfast Rob Roys, dahling); and the painful grammatical error in the homepage blurb.

Sorry, Batter Blaster marketing team, I'm not telling you where it is. You have to find it yourselves.

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