Spiced Buttermilk Pancakes

Let’s try an experiment.

How about we all try to talk to strangers?

I was recently directed toward this Onion article and was aghast that I might very well be one of the most annoying people in Boston. I like talking to people. I like it when someone’s wearing sassy shoes on the train – so much so that I tell them how sassy their shoes are. The 40-something-year-old listening to funk was just begging for someone to groove with him, right?

“Hi, your tattoo of a shark jaw is pretty fantastic.”

“Are you seriously listening to ‘Call Me Maybe?’ Is this really happening right now?”

“Would you rather have your hands smell like garlic or your feet like asparagus?”

A girl sitting next to me on a park bench and I both were reading a book during the sunset, and amidst the silence and distant sound of dogs barking and children playing, she let out a very audible toot. I burst out laughing and she did the same. We didn’t even say anything to each other, just laughed for a few seconds then went on reading until it was time to go.

Talk to people. Just give it a whirl. And maybe, someday, you’ll make them a stack of buttermilk pancakes in the morning and realize that if not for your mild nuisance of a personality, you wouldn’t have met half of the people who make your life special every day.

Ingredients everywhere. Recipe on the laptop for inspiration. This is what the kitchen looks like when it’s time to cook.

I find it difficult to have a plain pancake. Even if it’s fluffy and filled with buttermilk. It needs some oomph. It needs ginger and cinnamon.

Egg whites into stiff peaks. It might be the one baking process that is both my least favorite and most satisfying thing to do. If you don’t have an electric mixer, I suggest avoiding it. Unless you work out your forearms on the regular. Who works out their forearms on the regular?

I like eating in my office in the morning. I also like waking people up with the smell of sizzling butter.

Spiced buttermilk pancakes.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, separated

Optional: blueberries

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking power, spices and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, vanilla and egg yolks until just combined. Add to the dry ingredients until and mix until just incorporated.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they become stiff peaks. Fold gently into the rest of the batter, being careful not to over mix.

Heat a skillet to medium temperature and add a dollop of butter. Scoop pancake batter in 1/4-cup sizes, being sure to leave about 1-2 inches between each round.

Makes about 12-18 pancakes, depending on how large you make them.

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Ginger Pancakes

Every Friday at 5 o’clock I get that flippin’ Lover Boy “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend” tune stuck in my head and until I’ve had at least three $2 PBRs, I’m stuck in the 80s.

I’m working for the soon-to-be-in-the-oven-then-in-my-face chocolate chip oatmeal coconut cookies. And the Zipcar rental that’s taking me to the gardening store where I’ll pick up soil, seeds and clay pots. The 9-5 gets me pumped to sweep up the dust bunnies that have collected over the week. It’s making that entire pot of tea so much more delicious than the usual thermos-on-the-train coffee.

The weekend means no alarms. No deadlines. Only eyebrow-plucking and nail-painting self-pampering goodness.

Oh, and eating. Lots of awesome eating.

Chocolate chips are probably even more important than parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar. Everything is better with chocolate.

By request, I made these mini pancakes so they could crisp a little. No-guilt! 100-calorie pancake packs!

I crocheted a trivet. That looks like a waffle. Weekends are for mittens and trivets.

Ginger Pancakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain greek yoghurt
4 tablespoons milk
butter for the skillet
chocolate chips (if you dare)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the brown sugar. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, yoghurt and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until no flour pockets are left.

Heat a large skillet to medium and coat with butter. As soon as the butter starts to sizzle, pour spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet and sprinkle chocolate chips wherever you please. When the upper-facing sides start to bubble, flip the pancakes (check to make sure they’re golden brown, just in case) and fry for another few minutes or until it’s brown.

Repeat until the batter’s gone.