Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Day Pancakes

Winter, my friends, is upon us.

From new year, new food
Oh hai, winter wonderland!

This year the snows, wind, and cold snuck in quickly and softly, and before we knew it, it had snowed for about 28 hours straight, the entire city shut down, and people burrowed themselves inside, mugs of chocolate in hand, a weekend of hibernation right before Christmas.

From new year, new food
Yes, that is snow built up on our sixth floor window... and no, we don't have a windowsill.

The weekend forecast actually predicted a THUNDERSNOW. What the heck is a THUNDERSNOW you ask? It’s a snowstorm that actually thunders…the gods apparently like bowling in the winter as well as the summer. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t hear much of any thundering…I was looking forward to surviving a real life THUNDERSNOW and telling future grandchildren about the GREAT THUNDERSNOW OF 2009. And yes, I have to capitalize all of that, because how can you write THUNDERSNOW and not capitalize such an awesome term? Impossible, my dears.

One of the main reasons I love the idea of winter hibernation is the return of the Big Breakfast. Saturday mornings in my home consisted of pancakes, French toast, or waffles (with the occasional appearance of crepes and fresh strawberries thrown in if we were really lucky), bacon or sausage, eggs, toast, freshly ground and brewed coffee, and orange juice. My mom and dad just did not mess around when it came to Saturday morning breakfasts. It was the time we all got together before the weekend dragged us to different appointments, parties, errands and naps, the hour where we could reconnect in the quiet of the morning before the real world banged through the door and demanded our attention. We chatted over the newspaper, movies and books that were coming out, current events and the weather. We discussed our work weeks, our dreams from the night before, and told jokes. We had a lot of dinners together during the week as well, but the Saturday Morning Breakfasts were slow and delicious, luxurious and cozy.

From new year, new food

I’m pretty sure more than a few people busted out a Big Breakfast this weekend when there was nothing to do but stay inside or shovel sidewalks. I’m also fairly confident more than a few of those people indulged in pancakes, and while I KNOW everyone has a favorite family pancake recipe, I’ve stumbled upon a pretty solid recipe that has become my go-to for hotcakes.

I love Ruth Reichl. Former editor of Gourmet magazine, she’s incredibly passionate about food and people, and those two worlds culminate in her memoir, Tender At The Bone, which referenced, at least once, the making of pancakes and the tradition of Big Breakfasts. “Ruth’s Pancakes,” which I borrowed from The Gourmet Cookbook, are buttery, hearty, and slightly sinful, the perfect pancake in my mind. Not too sweet, they are delicious with maple syrup, chocolate chips, blueberries, or fresh strawberries, and are a snap to whip up.

From new year, new food

I recently made them when a good friend of mine came for the weekend, a friend whose birthday I’m always exactly 2 days late in wishing him for, and who I also haven’t seen in 3 years. I figured the least I could do was make Ruth’s Pancakes for him, and by jove, I think they redeemed my bad birthday memory AND established the fact that I can, indeed, cook a Big Breakfast. Joy!

From new year, new food

Safe travels to all of your holiday destinations! I hope you get a chance to make these pancakes and have a lazy morning with your loved ones in the midst of Christmas shenanigans. I myself am traveling back to Arizona with Erjona for a fabulous holiday time we’re nicknaming FERMAPALOOZA 2009. Again, another word you can’t write without all-capsing it…you know how I do.


rageagainstthebeans said...

wow. they look amazing. guess you probably wouldn't serve batter blaster pancakes on those chilly days? or bisquick (sp?) the blaster pancakes are organic. the bisquick taste, well you know.

french toast recipe?

Robert said...

hahaha THUNDERSNOW is awesome. Thank you for the wikipedia link to explain it.

Please practice the wikipedia game and time how long it'll take you to get from THUNDERSNOW to the Franco-Prussian War.

Big breakfasts are great, though I'm used to having them on Sundays.

Jenna Kozel said...

Thanks for the explanation of THUNDERSNOW. I had no idea! Also, those pancakes looked very yummy.

You Are My Fave said...

Oh yes, I love big hearty breakfasts in the winter. Today we've planned one complete with eggs benedict. I can't wait.

Samantha said...

i DO love french toast... will have to find the perfect recipe. :)

and eggs benedict! i made a list of "things to cook in 2010" as i was flying home for christmas, and that was one of them...

Erin said...

thanks for reminding me about this recipe! i ended up making them on Christmas Day for my family. delish!