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Thankful, and a Pancake Recipe

Today (Thanksgiving Day) I awoke to a small dusting of snow here, just enough to cover the blah gray colors of the last several days. The sun has managed to get some light through the cloudcover, and with the snow on the ground there is much light reflecting through the air today. The lack of light this week has rendered me grumpy and I am grateful for light this Thanksgiving day.

I’m sitting in the living room with laptop on my lap. There are windows on my left and right, and straight ahead. In this small room there are five old-fashioned, tall windows and a door with eight small panes of glass in it. I am more aware than usual of how I live in a sort of climate bubble, protected from the elements by a few thin walls and a good furnace. I’m grateful.

I am still waking up. I have a different schedule than the rest of the world (I am awake approximately 10:30am to 2:30am) and I do not jump start quickly when I get vertical first thing. Brian can wake up and run a sprint the next minute, but I barely know my name for a couple of hours. A cup of tea and some internet reading is the right way to start slowly, when at all possible.

I am drinking in this reflected sunlight… no sunbeams but real light just the same. Brian is playing ukulele in the chair across from me and I’m alternately knitting on my legwarmer and typing (sometimes my computer stops responding to even mouse clicks until I wait 10 seconds, it is so frustrating that I knit before trying again).

brownpancakes16.jpgBut I thought I’d give you a recipe for Thanksgiving. These are very pleasing to me. They are not standard-issue pancakes at all, but they have a lovely texture.

Depending on which spices you choose, they can have a different character. If you use orange juice to make the baking soda rise, try nutmeg and allspice. if no juice, consider cinnamon and cloves. Or try a combination I have not suggested, if it sounds good to you.

I like whole grain foods and have not had white bread or standard all-purpose wheat flour for several years. These pancakes have a strong, pleasant, sort of caramel flavor if you ask me. Brian swears that buckwheat tastes a bit like chocolate, but I can not quite understand that assertion. It could be a good thing, if you agreed!

One note… Teff grain is eaten in Ethiopia and nearly nowhere else, from what I can determine. It is a tiny grain with little room for starch… it’s very high in protein and fiber. If your area has an African grocery you can try there, but Africa is a huge place with many cultures and you still may come up empty handed. In my city we have an amazing asian market which also has African foods, and I can get Teff flour there in larger bags. I also can get the Bob’s Red Mill brand in smaller bags at the two health food grocery stores. If you want to try the pancakes right away and have no teff flour, try some rice flour instead, which works but is a second choice for texture and flavor, as well as nutrition. Buckwheat does not work well alone.

Tasty Brown Pancakes by LynnH

Vegan
Celiac-Friendly
No gluten
No wheat
No dairy
No egg
No soy
No peanuts/tree nuts
No potato
No corn
No yeast
Yummy!

1 cup Whole-grain buckwheat flour (I use Arrowhead Mills, some other brands require less water)

1/2 c Teff flour (not teff grain, get from Bob’s Red Mill if not avail. locally) Sub brown rice flour in a pinch, though it contains less protein

1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed (acts as an egg-like binder and browns well… I added this ingredient after the first post of this recipe)

Optional: 2 Tbsp powdered goat milk (adds protein, not needed for culinary success)

3 Tbsp Brown sugar (or maple sugar, or white sugar in a pinch)

1/2 tsp cinnamon if tolerated

dash Nutmeg and/or
dash Allspice and/or
dash Cloves if tolerated

A) 1 tsp Baking Powder
-OR-
B) 1/2 tsp Baking soda
-PLUS-
1 package Emergen-C Lite -OR-
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar -OR-
1/2 tsp Powdered vitamin c (corn free) -OR-
1 Tbsp Citrus juice

3 Tbsp Oil (High-heat resistant such as safflower, sunflower or grapeseed won’t stick)

2 c Warm-to-Hot (slightly less if you used citrus juice above or if you omit the flaxseed meal)

Preheat griddle on low before starting to mix ingredients. The THICKER the pan, the better the pancakes will fry. I now use a heavy cast iron skillet and hope for a true iron griddle someday.)

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and blend with wire whisk. Add wet ingredients and blend again with whisk, only until dry ingredients are wet. Let sit for at least 2 minutes while you turn up the heat on your griddle to medum-high. These pancakes require a slightly lower temperature than standard wheat pancakes.

Make relatively small pancakes, about 4″/10cm across, using a small measuring cup to pour onto the griddle. Turn when edges start to look a bit dry. Remove when browned on second side.

Serve hot off the griddle with real maple syrup or your favorite topping. I like hot applesauce with cinnamon, or try spiced pumpkin butter for an autumn treat.

In the summer we eat the leftover pancakes under ice cream and strawberries for dessert. They make good small peanut butter sandwich “bread” also.

Makes approx. 2 dozen pancakes.

Enjoy, and be Thankful for whatever good you’ve got. Some years are easy, some harder, but being alive is a wonderful thing.

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