My brain is whirring.
It’s not a soft whir – not the attic fan, or the neighbor’s air conditioner. More of a blender, really. A blender, switching gears from stir to liquefy. Right now, it’s making those painful thumping noise that happen when the blades choke on frozen bananas.
At least, I thought it was my brain, until I realized it’s just my laptop’s fan, twirling around on overdrive to keep up with me. WhirrrIIRRRrrr. Thank goodness I don’t have to put gas in my computer.
Life feels good. I’m busy. It’s summer, and for once, my body’s happy. I’ve been biking more than usual, on my new steed. (She has pink handlebars.) I even went running this week, which I haven’t done in years. Eighteen whole minutes.
But cooking? There just hasn’t been time. Rather, I haven’t made time. It just doesn’t feel right, puttering in a hot kitchen, then sitting down in front of the screen in my spare time, when there’s so much sun to be had.
Luckily, the sun’s never too high when I start thinking about breakfast.
My husband called these pancakes unsung comfort food.
He was right.
It’s something about the way the berries burst, maybe, when I get a good blueful bite, back between my molars. Or the way I carry the blueberries home from the market, balancing them at the top of my market bag, right under my armpit, but not too close – so they don’t get squashed, and so I can eat them without actually opening the bag. Or maybe they’re so good because I made them with the berries I’d smuggled into the freezer for winter muffins – and took out again, the very next morning, because we’d already finished the basket I’d left on the counter.
It was Jim’s idea, after all, to add the buttermilk. I’d decided to substitute Greek yogurt for the milk, and he remembered the baby buttermilk box in the back of the fridge. We added both, and like we suspected, the pancakes were good and tart – almost like sourdough pancakes, only you don’t have to feed your yogurt containers to keep them alive.
I know you’ll like them. You probably won’t notice the whole wheat in this version, but I won’t take the heat if someone else does.
Serve them with good maple syrup, or for kicks, layered with more Greek yogurt and the very best homemade jam.
That’s what we did, with the raspberry jam I made with some friends a few weeks ago. They preoccupied me just long enough to stop the whirring.
Tangy Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes (PDF)
Like the Whole-Grain Pancakes from The Gourmet Cookbook that they’re loosely based on, these blueberry stacks say whole wheat without the heavy. But these get their fluff from buttermilk and Greek yogurt, rather than whipped egg whites, which means great sour flavor. (And honestly. Who wants to whip egg whites before breakfast?) I use butter instead of oil, because I like the flavor better, but canola gets the job done, too.
TIME: 30 minutes, start to finish
MAKES: 4 hearty servings
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing skillet
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 (6-ounce) container fat-free Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Whisk the first seven ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Combine the next five ingredients in another bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until blended.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, run a chunk of butter over the skillet to grease it. Drop the batter onto the skillet (by 1/4 cupfuls for larger pancakes, or heaping tablespoons for little pancakes), and dot the surface of each pancake with blueberries. (If the batter seems too thick to spread out on the pan, you can stir in a bit of milk.)
Cook for a minute or two, until the undersides of the pancakes are browned. Flip pancakes carefully, cook another minute or two. Repeat with remaining butter and batter and blueberries, serving the pancakes right when they come off the skillet.