I have bad, good, and great news. The bad is that my cold has kept me on my back – and left-side when I start coughing, then on the right-side when my left nostril gets plugged up, then onto my stomach when my eye starts watering – for a week now.
The good news is that I’ve successfully created a batch of pancakes! I am staying positive and affirming that the good news outweighs the bad here.
This round of The Epic Pancake Adventure (read about the first here) began late Friday night. Fernando and I were watching some post-dinner tv series in bed (on a laptop… I really can’t wait until the oh-so-comfy couch is delivered in a few weeks), trying to ignore the obnoxious bass thumps from the disco down the block, when I got the idea to whip up some pancakes. My malaise left me craving comfort food from home and pancakes fit the bill. And I really wanted to try out a buttermilk recipe on the new cast iron sartén.
A quick thought on pancakes, Argentine style: Panqueques, akin to what North Americans know as crepes, are either savory, with fillings such as cheeses and meat, or sweet, which are normally served with dulce de leche or cream and fruit. With a name that never fails to make me giggle, panqueques are the only kind of pancake you will find here and, despite their many preparations (torre de panqueque is truly something to behold), they are decidedly not the doughy, fluffy, flapjack pancakes Americans love.
My pancakes were airy and exceptionally flavorful, though they barely received a passing grade in fluffiness. Since buttermilk is difficult to find, I created some by mixing a tablespoon of lemon into a cup of milk, which had the added benefit of imparting a lemony-zestiness to the batter. I added a splash of vanilla and chose to keep the sugar to flour ratio low as Fer was planning on dousing the pancakes in maple syrup. The batter was perfecto, with just the right amount of lumps – no over-stirring! The cast iron’s seasoning prevented major sticking and, except for the very edges, it cooks evenly. We had a couple of flopping mishaps as we found out our wooden spatula is too thick for the task; I will be on the search for a more suitable metal flapjack-flipping apparatus.
Now for the great news- I think Fernando prefers pancakes with syrup over panqueques con dulce de leche. I suppose it was only a matter of time: it is difficult to resist the golden sponginess soaked in butter and warm maple syrup. I need to convince him to let me add things to the batter, though. He is not yet aware of the deliciousness of blueberry pancakes, banana and walnut pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, apple cinnamon pancakes… pancakes with fruit compote, pancakes with peanut butter, pancakes with syrup and peanut butter… and Pigs In a Blanket! I am positive he will drool over that combination.