Weekend Breakfast

Weekend Breakfast

American pancakes, as you may well know, are a weekend family favourite.

I’m sure, were it on offer, they would be eaten regularly throughout the week, however, as a general rule, this breakfast is specifically created at some point during the weekend.

There are many reasons for this but if I’m totally honest, the main reason for only making American pancakes at the weekend is because I cannot get my head round putting it all together, sitting around the table to eat it, finishing a wonderfully made, Bialetti coffee, and then getting ready for the school/work day.  We’d have to be up at 6am which, for me, is a time reserved for going on holiday or an emergency only.

However, today being a Saturday, we did that thing.  And I discovered a lovely little combination of foods which I would like to share with you.  American pancake, bacon, maple syrup and strawberry.  Yes, you read that correctly, strawberry.  Who would have imagined this taste sensation could linger in the mind all day, but I’m telling you now, it’s an absolute treat and one that comes highly recommended.  Which is a good thing, as the repertoire of weekend dining has been severely slashed due to completely unforeseen circumstances.

Why?  Well, the oven has made a unilateral decision to go on strike without any prior warning.  And how, you may ask, did I find this out?  Whilst making a batch of sausage rolls which, having languished in a supposedly hot oven for over an hour, were still looking ever so slightly peaky.  Not right at all.

Thankfully the hob still works, and we are very close to summer which will allow us time to reassess the situation and begin our search for yet another vehicle of heated wonder.

Until then, prepare yourselves for an array of salads and one pot dishes…

Strawberries in Dark Syrup

photo (58)

It is thanks, once again, to Nigella, that I discovered this most fabulous and extremely easy recipe which uses strawberries in a different way, because, as much as I love strawberries, they are not now at their best really and quite frankly, everything needs a little pick me up sometimes.

So, as I said, this is an absolute doddle to do, and it is as follows:

1kg Strawberries

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

10 tablespoons castor sugar

Time

Put all in a bowl (barring the time), stir, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least three hours according to Nigella, although I reckon an overnight stay in the fridge helps everything along very nicely thank-you.  Give it a stir occasionally to make sure all the strawberries are coated.

There are a couple of things to remember.  Firstly, these are best ‘with’ something. Yesterday we had them with American pancakes.  Sponge cake is good, basically anything that soaks up the deliciously sweet sauce is fantastic.   They are also very delicious warmed up and poured over very cold vanilla ice cream.  I wouldn’t recommend a cream accompaniment, too much sloshing round in one bowl for my taste.  However, you may absolutely love it.

The other thing is, make sure your quantities are relatively accurate.  I made the mistake of having a few too little strawberries yesterday, and although I halved the vinegar sugar combo, there was a hint of vinegar lingering disparagingly in the background like a unknown, quiet guest.  Not unpleasant, but not engaging either.

Once you have had these, I promise you, the flavour will tease you for days afterwards, enticing you to make some more and share the discovery with your family and friends, who will be bowled over too.  Job done.

 

 

Starting out…

American Pancakes

So here we are, 23.23 on 16 June 2014 and I’m starting out with my story of how, over many years, I have been fascinated by the idea of being a domestic goddess.  It’s not just about cooking, although, thanks to Nigella, I have, and will continue to have, a deep fascination and love for the idea of creating delicious food.

But alongside my, and many others love of the books, programmes, radio shows and all types of media, I find myself caught up in the notion that we can create perfection, whilst being dumfounded that as I trawl through life, it just never seems to work out that way.

Let’s begin with breakfast.

American pancakes.  Probably my favourite breakfast recipe of all time.  Why?  Because every time I make them, without fail, they work.  Almost.

To be honest, I did try them with gluten free flour once and it was, as they say,  an unmitigating disaster.  Actually, that’s not quite right.  A slight, shall we say, exaggeration.  They were just floppy, sludgy, slightly grey (don’t ask me why), and only edible with a whole heap of syrup loaded onto them. 

The other very strange thing is, I can never remember the quantities and so always have to go to page 77 of ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ to reassure myself that I know what I’m doing.  Nine times out of ten, I’m right.  I did, however, get cocky one time and dismissed the need for the book.  

That morning we had very excitable pancakes made with bicarbonate of soda and not baking powder.  Nigella would never have done this.  A rookie mistake.