Saturday, June 13, 2009

When life gives me lemons... I make lemonade, lemon bars, lemon poundcake, lemon chiffon pie...and lemon buttermilk pancakes...

Interest rates, unemployment, bailouts, meltdowns, inflation, recession...this economy is freaking me out! So, I bake, I knead, I whisk, I roll and...I eat....and I share.

As the wife/business partner of a mortgage broker, I find myself just a little too up close and personal with the ups and mostly downs of today's economy.

Every morning, I wake to the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from downstairs (Charlie's already been up and on email since 4 am) but my senses are quickly assaulted by the familiar sound of CNBC and Bernanke's voice delivering the latest unemployment numbers followed by a shout upstairs, "Hon, did you catch if the ten-year treasury rate is up or down?"

So, I shuffle downstairs, pour my half-cup ration of real coffee (I tend to run a little naturally- caffeinated), swap the channel from ticker tape to Tom & Jerry and wrap myself in the comfort of preparing the family's morning meal.

So, I share with you this morning's therapy...a tweaked version of buttermilk pancakes from a recipe I hastily tore out of a 1996ish issue of some magazine I ripped off from my pedatrician's office. It's a bit of an experiment and you'll learn about me that I am about as fearless in the kitchen as I am fearful of just about everything else.

I'm adding lemon (as a tribute to the sour state of our economy), anti-oxidant-rich blueberries (to ward off the "evil spirits") and I'll substitute drained and mashed cottage cheese for the ricotta that was in the original recipe cause that's what I have on hand.

The spray of zest tickles my weary senses and the tangy smell of buttermilk makes me think that this was surely something Aunt Bea would have made for Opie.

I sneak in a hug while William (my six-year-old sous chef) insists on "helping" with the sifting (note the Spiderman jammies) and I grin when my thirteen-year-old Rumpelstiltskin of a daughter, Carly, rolls out of bed, drawn by the smell of cakes puffing on the must be summer!

I'm there. I'm in my zone. Bernanke can't find me here. For just a little while, my kitchen is my shelter, shielding me from the impact of whatever economic bomb might touch ground today.
I can't wait till lunch...

Lemon Blueberry
Buttermilk Pancakes
Sift together in a large bowl:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in a medium bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon greated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese, drained and mashed

Add wet ingredients to dry.

Whisk until soft peaks form and fold gently into batter:

  • 2 egg whites

Drop 1/2 cup portions onto a moderate, lighly-oiled nonstick griddle and sprinkle over:

  • blueberries to taste (about 1 cup total for this recipe)

When batter starts to bubble and edges look browned, flip with a wide spatula and finish cooking other side to desired doneness (Carly likes them gooey inside but Willy likes them cooked through).

Enjoy warm with butter, maple syrup and, if you've got it (like I always do) squirt a little whipped cream on the side and toss on some more fresh blueberries too if the spirit moves you.

Makes 8-10 really, really yummy cakes (God, they were good...).

By the way: Even though I am a self-diagnosed "Nervous-Nelly" and the state of this economy has me in a bit of a tizzy, let's just say, I'm actually a pretty sunny sort of gal. I hope you hook up to my newly-discovered blogging wagon and follow me as I seek solace in sustenance from this wacky, albeit mostly wonderful, world. Remember, as much as I like to cook, I love to share...


Seeking solace in sustenance... said...

ILY mommy!

Anna Banana said...

LOVE IT!!!!!

Unknown said...

Got out the old copy of Julia's cookbook myself from the back end of a really cramped cupboard, a copy I happily bought for a dollar at a library sale in '95 when I got married...when I seriously believed that I could try a new recipe at least once every other week. Let's just say that this ambitious gal ended up mastering the art of cooking really, really fast on most worknights just to avoid a serious meltdown in our otherwise peaceful household. Well, here's to you and Laura and Maureen (is she the one with the beautiful, flowing hair?) and, of course, the one and only Julia -- thanks and best!

Lori Lucey said...

Mike sent me the link to your blog about a week ago and I've been waiting until I had the time to REALLY read and enjoy it without being rushed or interrupted by one of the kids or an important task.

Well, let me tell you, this totally blew me away. Reading it made me feel like I was reading a #1 Best Selling Book. It reminded me of getting in bed after a long day, all cuddly and cozy, my quiet time to settle down to read whatever fantastic book I'm currently reading. You are an amazing story teller and I love reading about your past intertwined with the current days. Next time you post, I will definitely print it out and wait until I'm all snuggly in my bed at night to read it. Oh, and I'll definitely have to try your recipes.

Thanks for sharing,

linda said...

Thanks so much for putting into words the comfort of cooking that brings the calm in this very busy and very chaotic moment of life.


Anonymous said...

Once again Donna.... you have brightened my day and made me smile.
You make it sound so easy and fun. What about all the grocery shopping before you even start?

A great read!