Come the holidays and breakfast seems more of an event than dinner. I love the scent of coffee brewing on a chilly morning, the look of sliced bright red strawberries, the bright blue glow of the gas burner beneath a sizzling skillet of bacon.
And I love the unguarded moments when people first wander into the kitchen, dreams still faintly hovering, hair tousled, pajamas layered with a sweater. I tend to chirp in the morning, some people rumble, others offer their first words sparingly. We all bump along together, hands grazing as we work at stove or counter. Nothing seems so sweet to me as that first light choreography, and the sight of this one’s face.
Happy holidays, and here’s to you!
Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes (for four, double as needed)
4 eggs (separated), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup flour, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of cinnamon
Beat the egg yolk until they are the palest yellow. Add the salt, flour, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon. In another bowl whip the egg whites until they are stiff, but not crumbly dry. Fold the egg whites gently into the mixture. Drop by the spoonful onto a oiled skillet or griddle and cook until bubbles appear across the surface of the pancakes, flip and check that both sides are golden brown. Serve with sliced strawberries, soft butter, and piping hot maple syrup.
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Dry ingredients: a dash of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 cups flour
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Wet ingredients: 3 eggs beaten until pale, 2 cups buttermilk, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon lemon zest,
Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl, and then pour gradually, stirring all the while, into the dry ingredients.
Add one cup of blueberries and gently stir into the batter.
Pour batter onto a lightly oiled skillet or griddle (a quarter cup dollop will form about a four inch pancake) and flip when bubbles form over the surface of the pancake. They’re done when both sides are golden brown. I heat the oven to 250º and place the cooked pancakes on a cookie tray as they come off the griddle, and then I butter them, stack them, and put them into the oven to keep warm so I can serve everyone at once. This recipe will serve four, double it if you have a crowd.
A Pancake You Don’t Flip, Some People Call them German Pancakes, Others Call Them Dutch Bunnies
Preheat oven to 450º.
3 eggs, and 3/4 cups of milk, beat until frothy and well blended.
3/4 cups of flour, and a dash of salt. Add the flour and salt to the frothy mixture and stir lightly. The batter should be a little lumpy.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a twelve inch skillet (the kind with a metal handle that won’t melt in your oven). When the butter is completely melted pour in the batter and put into the hot oven for 20 minutes. When the pancake has puffed up enormously and turned golden brown it’s done. Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Serves 2-4.