Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pancake Win!

My husband, Eric, received a bottle of genuine Vermont maple syrup as a Christmas present from his uncle. Eric, who has some closet "foodie" tendencies, has raved to me for years about how superior genuine maple syrup is to the synthetic, "fake" kind, and he was eager to sample his present. Since I am seldom home for breakfast, that meant Eric needed to learn how to cook something that tastes good with maple syrup. He decided upon pancakes as the simplest choice.

After considering whether to try to make pancakes from scratch or purchase a mix, Eric decided that a reasonable mix would be good enough to allow him to taste maple syrup goodness, and we accordingly bought a box of Bisquick at a neighborhood supermarket. On Tuesday morning, he began experimenting. He reported to me at lunch time that he'd scorched a few, but by the time I came home, he was making very tasty, if thin and oddly shaped, pancakes of a perfect golden brown. We enjoyed a few over supper, with the leftover batter from his breakfast experiment.

Out of curiosity, we both Googled for information about the history of pancakes. Wikipedia suggests that Eric's Bisquick pancakes, which is a common American way to make pancakes, also approximates the Scottish version of pancakes--i.e., they consist of flour, eggs and milk, and a leavening agent. usually baking powder, to help them rise a little. (English pancakes, in contrast, have no leavening agent). The Wikipedia article also indicates that pancakes are pretty close to being made worldwide, and many countries' varieties are eaten, as Americans eat them, with a sweet syrup or other sweet substance.

I didn't find the maple syrup to be that different from the "fake" syrups I grew up with, but Eric's pancakes were tasty enough, and I'm pleased at his success at extending his cooking skills.

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