I finally have, in my possession, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
And it is outstanding.
I am new to exploring this part of myself. The “home cook” part. But, when I am engrossed in a cookbook the way I would be in a great novel, I feel like I am turning on a light in a new room in my brain.
I have lived in this brain my whole life but, as I get older, I realize that I have never traveled to the east wing.
While skimming through all of the recipes that I was going to make, I was beginning to feel intense anticipation.
I am going to make these things!
Skimming through the photographs, stories, ingredient lists, and cooking instructions, I started to drool… and sweat.
I am going to make these things?
Looking at this cookbook felt like I was looking at a text book. There is so much I have to learn! How can I learn it all right now??
I mean, this pancake recipe looks simple enough but….I don’t even think I have successfully flipped a pancake before. AND peaches aren’t in SEASON! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I often let myself overwhelm……..myself.
And the first rule for people like me? Baby steps.
So, I decided to just take the basic pancake recipe. And start there.
I began to assemble my ingredients.
Pssh. Assembling ingredients? Child’s play.
Wait. Sour cream in pancakes?!
Seriously. Was there ever a better idea? I mean, other than electricity.
As I learn more about cooking I realize how magical counter-intuitive seasoning can be.
Salty, sauteed bell peppers? Add some cinnamon!
Delectably sweet pancakes? Add some sea salt!
Just the right touch of these opposing ingredients can really bring a dish to life.
As the great Paula Abdul once said, “opposites attract, you know.”
And I once said, “holy shit, what happened to Paula Abdul?”
Aaaww butter. Your incredible smell, the way you glide across a hot skillet leaving a silky train behind you, the way you make everything better, butter. Except the flow of blood through our arteries.
I approached the moment of truth. Just put two even dollops of your completely from scratch pancake better on the hot cast iron skillet, wait for it to bubble on the top, get your spatula completely underne –
That went exactly as I had feared.
So, I went and got a different, more gigantic spatula and tried again.
Oh no….. I guess I have to eat the pancakes I messed up. Too bad.
(Did that sarcasm read?)
And, of course, they were absolutely incredible. They looked terrible. But they tasted, literally, the EXACT opposite of terrible. Gooey, creamy, sweet (with pure maple syrup), and just a hint of salt right at the end.
Okay Rebecca. You are trying to be a food blogger. You need a respectable picture of your finished product.
You know, in case someone actually reads this.
Here goes. One…..two…..THREE!
I did it!
Look at those babies.
Completely made from scratch. No Bisquick. No bullshit.
So here they are. They are just the basic pancake recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.
But they are my first, perfected, completely homemade pancakes.
And definitely not my last.
I intend to get even better at making them so when peaches are in season, I can make her Peach and Sour Cream Pancakes.
By the way, I can not recommend this book highly enough. I am getting the entirety of this cookbook tattooed on my body.
Sour Cream Pancakes
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pat of butter
1. Whisk together the egg, sour cream, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl.
3. Gently fold (don’t vigourously over mix) the dry ingredients into the wet ones. The batter should end up fluffy, airy, and lumpy.
4. If you are lucky enough to have a cast iron skillet, get that out. If not, any medium sized skillet will do. Bring the skillet to medium-low heat and add your pat of butter. I accidentally typed “ass” instead of “add.” I had to tell you.
5. Ladle in a 1/4 cup of batter at a time. Let them spread a little, leaving 2 inches in between, and let them cook.
6. When the sides of the pancake look like they are cooked and the top is bubbling, grab a giant spatula, get completely underneath the pancake, and FLIP AS FAST AND CLEAN AS POSSIBLE.
These are not super simple to flip. This takes someone who is kinda bad ass.
And that’s it!
ALSO! Keep an eye out for Episode 5 of my cooking show, A Cooking Show! Coming this week!