Blueberries Archive

Saturday, July 26, 2008

blueberry pancakes + pancake 101

blueberry pancakes

In the Great Deposit of Food Phobias post, a few of you said that you were afraid of making pancakes and my instant un-asked-for retort is that you all clearly didn’t grow up in my house, where I am pretty sure that knowing when to flip a pancake was one of the first cooking tricks I ever learned.

Mom made pancakes at least a couple weekends a month, and was loyal to the Joy of Cooking recipe, a page so batter-stained and grimy, I am pretty sure the book falls open to it even when the red ribbon isn’t at that page, which is never. And though I promise not to judge you, please, whatever you do, don’t say that Schmisquick word to my mother. It upsets her. I still remember sleeping over my friend’s house and coming over and saying that her mom made pancakes for breakfast, and that they were okay.

“Pfft,” my mother said. “She uses [that word that rhymes with Schmisquick].”

blueberry pancake love

Mom was ruthless, and apparently I wasn’t much better. In college, my friends and I took to driving out to the 24-hour IHOP in Arlington whenever it struck our fancy, but I never ordered pancakes. At IHOP. Because they tasted like they were from a mix. And my mother, rather than discouraging the “Pancake Snob” label my friends were giving me, beamed with pride.

But that’s enough about all the ways my mother poisoned me against anything but homemade things. I’d much rather take you on a tour of how easy pancakes can be.

blueberry pancakes

10 Pancake Tips
Continued after the jump »

Saturday, August 4, 2007

summer berry pudding

summer berry pudding

Remember when I said that I have a theory about the weather, that it is mocking you and waiting for you to snap? Well, this is me throwing my hands in the air. Mock away, I say, have your fun. Just give me my back an unsticky neck and the energy level that comes with not being wiped out, the rest of the evening cancelled, after a 1.3 mile walk home.

I know I sound like I have the coping skills of an infant, and I’m okay with this as well. These are not times for pride; I have no expectations that I will come away from this summer looking like any kind of champion. I am not enough of a martyr to grin and bear it, and I am fortunate enough to be friends with people who have no expectation that anyone should.

summer berry pudding

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 2, 2007

mixed berry pavlova

miniature pavlovas

I think it pretty much goes without saying that I wasn’t going to be allowed to show up to my parent’s seder tonight without one of these, but when my mother came down at the end of last week with both bronchitis and conjunctivitis in both eyes, did not consider this, perhaps, a sign from above that she would be given a pass on the thirteen-guest dinner tonight and insisted upon foraging ahead, she asked if I could attack the second dessert we’d decided upon–the mighty pavlova–as she wanted to wait until she was no longer contagious to start cooking. I thought that was mighty considerate of her, and of course, had been chomping at the bit to make it anyhow, so I didn’t mind.

plumes of shiny egg whites

Pavlovas are one of those things that I’d never heard of three months ago but have heard about almost weekly since. There was Nigella’s with passion fruit on her new show, Ina Garten’s mixed berry version and her subsequent mention that it would be included in her last meal on earth, no small feat for a woman known for starting every recipe with “beat a pound of butter in a mixer.” But the clincher was Shuna’s gorgeous guest-post on Simply Recipes a couple weeks back, and its step-by-step photos. What better to counterbalance the riches of thick swaths of whipped cream between layers of dead-serious chocolate cake but a giant meringue piled with fresh fruit? And why had I not thought to make this for Passover before?

Continued after the jump »