Today I was talking to a friend about the emotional ride that comes with moving countries. Even if you have done it before, and you know that there will be unknowns, ups, downs, excitement, loneliness, disappointment, elation, frustration, happy days and sad days, not knowing what will trigger all those emotions makes it feel as if someone else is driving this car. Nearly a year into the move and with a relatively stable day-to-day, it still turns out that everything can seem great one week while the next week finds us dragging our feet (me), watching too many silly television shows (also me), and missing absurdly small things like Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Spread or the way a certain hibiscus looked on a living room window sill, framed by homemade green curtains and the sharp autumn sunlight (okay, all of these are me). It’s been that kind of week.
Having two very wonderful constants does help create a sense of home, wherever we are. And so do pancakes with syrup or jam, midweek, made in my favorite cast-iron pan, and served to my little bean who is late to school as a result of our indulgent breakfasting.
Whole Grain Pancakes from the Gourmet Cookbook, adapted slightly.
I realize that separating and whipping egg whites first thing in the morning (especially by hand, as is the case for me) is not everyone’s idea of a fun way to start the day. I promise that folding the fluffy whites into the batter does make a wonderful difference in the pancakes’ texture, as does the medium- to coarsely-ground corn meal. These pancakes are both light and hearty and, if you are judicious with the syrup, I don’t see any reason why they can’t be considered a healthy breakfast.
1 1/4 whole wheat flour
3/4 Tbs cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups soy/rice milk, mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, set aside to curdle for a few minutes
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks, curdled soy milk, and oil together in a large mixing cup or small bowl. Mix into dry ingredients.
Beat the egg whites in a separate, clean bowl until the just hold stiff peaks (even soft peaks is fine, you don’t want it to be too difficult to incorporate them into the batter). Gently fold the whites into the batter, trying to not allow them to deflate too much as you do so.
Heat a cast iron or other non-stick skillet and lightly grease. Fry pancakes over medium heat for a few minutes on each side (flip when you see bubbles just forming on the edges and a firming-up overall). Enjoy!