Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Peppa Pig

England is a long way to go for a pancake connection, but when my 3 year old requested pancakes today, I knew what made him want them. He was watching the episode of Peppa Pig where Daddy pig cooks pancakes for breakfast. The Cartoon Network here in the U.S. doesn’t show Peppa Pig any more, which is a shame. My son liked it, we all liked it. I thought it was a good show for kids, but the Cartoon Network quit showing a lot of the kid’s shows that we really liked.

Two of the cartoons that we watched were Peppa Pig and Gordon The Garden Gnome. Both of these shows are from the UK, where they speak English, but for some reason they re-did the voices with American voice actors. This makes no sense to me. Did someone think that English accents would confuse the children? I went looking on Amazon.com for Peppa and Gordon, but I didn’t have much luck, so I thought I’d check out Amazon UK. They had a wonderful selection of the shows that we were looking for.

As soon as Daddy Pig started flipping pancakes, Ulysses came running. He wanted to make pancakes, so I took down the batter bowl, and gathered up all the ingredients. As I placed each ingredient on the counter, he would name it and give a little cheer. I knew we would make a mess, but I didn’t really care. We spilled some buttermilk and some flour, but it was all fun.

Here is the recipe that we used:
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ t salt
½ t sugar
½ t baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup homemade buttermilk
1 T melted butter
thin with a little plain milk or water if the batter is too thick

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back from Vacation

We took a little vacation down to Columbia, Missouri. It was a fine trip. I finally ate a Sonic burger after all the teaser adds I’ve seen here in Wisconsin, with no Sonic around. Not good -- that’s what I have to say about it. The onion rings were over cooked, and sickeningly sweet. I ordered a cheeseburger with mayonnaise, but what I found in the bag was a dry, tasteless burger with no cheese and little mayonnaise. My wife ordered a hot dog, which looked good, but made her sick. This is why I cook. I want something good to eat.

I like hamburgers. I like the hamburgers that I get at Culver’s here in Wisconsin. I used to love the Locomotive burgers I used to get in Carteret, NJ, the Crystal Beer Parlor in Savannah, GA. I even liked the weird, slaw burgers I got in Korea. The only memory I’ll have of the Sonic burger that I ate is a bad one. The Whopper Junior with cheese that I had a Burger King was a gem in comparison. Hardee’s has a decent line of burgers. Why couldn’t Sonic be as good? I know -- it’s fast food. I don’t buy fast food often, so it’s easy for me to remember the number of times that I’ve had a unsatisfactory experience, which comes to about a third of the time. They just make too many mistakes. This is why I cook. Food is supposed to be good. When I make something I don’t like, I can learn from the experience. When I eat out and the experience leaves much to be desired, my only true recourse is to not spend my money there again, and somehow, that makes the whole thing feel dirty.

The best food that I ate the whole trip was the food that we made. We made this really exceptional pumpkin stuffed with ground beef and spices. I made a good breakfast of hash browned potatoes with scrambled eggs. Columbia has some nice neighborhood grocery stores, but the beer is too expensive -- even the cheap beer isn’t cheap.

We used Google to chart a course that avoids the Interstates. The trip didn’t take any longer, but more than that, it really felt like we were experiencing the countryside. The highlight of the return trip was in Florida, Missouri to see the house where Samuel Clemens was born. Some day I hope to see Hannibal, where one of the world's greatest writers spent his youth.