Monday, December 10, 2012

Where I make strawberries good again

Today's post was inspired by the fact that I ran out of syrup this weekend on, woe to me, Pancake Day. Pancake Day is a sacred one in my house, and as I bleakly announced that we were sans syrup, histrionics  predictably ensued. In an effort to avoid being taken down by the caterwauling of my six-year old child, I turned to my freezer in stark desperation. There, shoved into the far corner, was a half bag of strawberries left over from some type of smoothie experiment--it was then I knew that victory was mine.

Page 52:

Rowan decided to make pancakes, if she could remember how. Her second foster mother had practically lived in the kitchen and she always let Rowan help, so she wasn’t too worried about poisoning them or burning down the house . She filled a pan with an inch of water and added sugar and a handful of chopped strawberries, setting it over low heat.

To be fair, Rowan was, perhaps, in more dire straits that I was. She'd just kidnapped a kid, crossed about fifteen state lines with him, and was trying to negotiate a very delicate blackmailing scheme in addition to coming up with breakfast on the fly. Girl had problems, but I knew that if she could put it all on the backburner (ha!) and soldier on, then so could I.

I'm not the biggest fan of strawberries as a fruit but I will admit that they cook up very well, which is likely why my two MC's have such a major berry fetish. I popped those buggers into a pan with an inch of water and a cup of sugar and let it boil down while I got the pancakes made (using up the very last of my flour, damn it).

I need to go grocery shopping.

(Before we move on, I'd like to give a quick shout-out to the purple thing you can kinda see in the upper left-hand corner. That is my silicone oven mitt shaped like a cow's head. It doesn't get any better than that.)

I inspected my syrup and found that I had a nice bubbling pot of strawberry studded water--I cursed Rowan for neglecting to mention every step of her process. Using a stick mixer I obliterated those strawberries from here to Sunday and added a tablespoon of cornstarch to produce a more syrup-like consistency. Then I tasted it...and I knew magic had been made.

Can you find Jesus?

Guys, this shit was DELICIOUS. Like, holy Mary, see the face of God good. I can't even properly take my icons' names in vain it was so good. It was pipin' hot, so I poured it on the pancakes double-quick and there we had it. Rowan's bum-rush pancakes with strawberry syrup come to life.

Page 53:

She brought her makeshift syrup to the table and made plates for both of them, piling butter and fruit on the pancakes and sifting powdered sugar over the whole thing.


I didn't sift powdered sugar over the whole thing, because Rowan has an issue with boundaries, so I skipped the diabetic coma in favor of a more stripped-down version.

Good stuff. Make this one.

I like thinner, more crepe-y pancakes, and this is my recipe for them. If you like yours a bit thicker you can Google "Pancakes (thick)" or something.

1 1/2 cups AP flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use Clabber Girl's more fun to say. Clabber giiiirrrrllll)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cups milk
3 Tablespoons melted butter

Blend the dry ingredients first and then mix in the egg and milk. Add the melted butter LAST, because if you don't you will have a big mess on your hands, and I speak from experience. Stir to combine the butter and then spoon about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle at a time. Flip when...bubbly? I don't know how to describe making pancakes, just turn 'em when they look done.

Rowan's Kickass Strawberry Syrup!!!
I just kind of threw things together to make this, so I will estimate the measurements to the best of my ability.

1 to 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, fresh or frozen (I used half a bag of frozen, because it's December, and I pureed them later. If you use fresh you can chop them up beforehand.)
1 cup of sugar
About 1 cup of water, just enough to come about halfway up the sides of the strawberries (or, '1-inch' in Rowan-speak)
1 Tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in about a quarter cup of water.

I put my strawberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and let them boil down for about five minutes and then I used a stick blender to puree it together...I completely liquified mine, but feel free to leave a few chunks in there for some fun and sass. After I did the puree, I added the cornstarch and let it boil for another few minutes to thicken up, then I transferred it to a ramekin to cool off. It will get thicker as it cools, but take it from me and just eat it will not be sorry. Store the leftovers in the fridge.

This was a nice segue to the later portion of the book, when Rowan makes strawberry-rhubarb pie about eight thousand times.

Strawberries =


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  2. I'm not a fan of pancakes, but just for home made strawberry syrup, I might actually give it a whirl.

  3. Last post you wore my sweater and now you've gone and stolen my smoothie strawberries!

  4. You could put this on pretty much anything. Ice cream?

  5. I still remember when you taught me how to make my first pancake back in my apartment in Chelsea one weekend you stayed over (over 10 years ago now??). I'm pretty sure we used a mix because I doubt we had any of the requisite ingredients in our kitchen. You told me then to flip them when "bubbly," and I still think about that when I make pancakes today. :-)

  6. I wait for the edges to look like plastic, but I thought that sounded too weird, so I always go for bubbles in the middle.

    When I read this I though it was from Patrick at first, because I remember making pancakes with him, too. I make pancakes with everyone!