Monday, August 27, 2007

Iced Tea

Having spent a good deal of time in the South, I’ve developed a taste for iced tea. While I don’t actually put ice in my tea, having a perfectly good refrigerator, and an overstuffed freezer, I adjusted the recipe to account for the lack of frozen water.

Bring to a boil water in a small pot, remove from the heat, add the tea bags, cover, steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on the brand of tea and how strong you like it, pour it all into a 2 quart pitcher, add enough water to fill the pitcher, remove the tea bags, add sweetener, refrigerate, and you’re done. For the sweetener, you can use sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 a cup depending on your sweet tooth, but I use a teaspoon of Superose, a saccharin based sweetener.

Teas that I like:

Lipton Family Size
2 tea bags
I like Lipton tea, but I detest the individually wrapped tea bags. The Family Size tea bags are larger, so there aren’t a bunch of packets to open.

8 tea bags
Luzianne, another fine tea, is a little hard to find in Madison, WI, but luckily Woodman’s carries it -- no individual wrappings on the bags, but you do have to deal with all the strings.

Tetley British Blend
7 tea bags
This is the tea that I would drink on the road when I was still driving a cab. Two bottles of Tetley would keep me going through the long shift. On the road, I would drink it unsweetened -- very refreshing. The tea comes in a round bag without string and superfluous packaging.

PG Tips
5 tea bags
I love this tea. We just found it at Woodman’s, so this is our first box. It makes a wonderful iced tea. The bags are shaped like a pyramid, and have no strings. This tea is going to stay stocked in my cupboard.

...more tea review to come.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sourdough Pancakes

My basic recipe for sourdough pancakes:
2 cups sourdough
1 egg
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 T oil

A good sourdough pancake starts its life the night before it’s going to be cooked. In a large bowl, preferably non-metal, add 2 cups flour, 2 cups water, and your sourdough starter. Mix it up and let it sit overnight. In the morning, take out 2 cups of the batter, and put the rest in refrigerator for later use, as this is now your starter. Beat the egg with the salt, sugar, and oil, and then gently blend it into your batter.

When your griddle is hot enough, sprinkle the baking soda over the batter and gently blend it in. In a minute or two the batter will start to bubble as the acid in the starter reacts with the baking soda(NaHCO3). I like to fry my pancakes in butter for a crisp edge around the pancake. Butter will burn if the griddle is too hot, and I often find myself wiping down my griddle with a paper towel midway through the cooking. You don’t really need to oil the griddle to get a good pancake with this recipe, but that’s the way I like it.

One of the many things that can be added to pancakes to boost the nutritional profile is flax meal. A 1/4 cup of flax meal added to the basic recipe gives it a nice nutty flavor. In experimenting with blueberries, I found that I liked them best when I let them sizzle for a minute in the butter before pouring the pancake batter over them.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pancakes for Breakfast

Sunday morning is hereby and forever to be a pancake breakfast. I don’t care if you are low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, or all around wanker, if you eat breakfast at our home on Sunday morning, you will have pancakes if you don’t want to be expelled with extreme prejudice.

Pancakes at Ember's, 1997

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Ember's, on E. Washington in Madison, WI, had the best pancakes in town. They were about the only restaurant that could make a breakfast as good as my own. They've been gone for a long time now, and being a breakfast man, I haven't had much desire to eat out. I've had decent breakfast's here and there, but they weren't hardly worth the trouble it took to eat them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Dream Come True

Last night I dreamt that I created this blog. In the dream I was riding a bicycle while thinking about blogging. I thought it would be fun to have a blog called "Backpedaling While Blogging For Pancakes." It was such a fanciful title that I thought that surely it would be a big success. In the dream I could see that "Backpedaling While Blogging For Pancakes" was too long to be a URL. It was a confusing moment until I saw that I could simplify it to "bloggingforpancakes."

I woke up in the night knowing that there was something that I needed to write down, which is something that I never do. It came to me in bits and pieces, and I had to get up a second time to write it down in full, but now it's here. I don't know what it's going to be about. It's just crazy to create a blog from a dream, but it's the most fun I've had at 06:30 in a long time.