I am finally settling back into my apartment after a couple of family trips. Hopefully, now I can get back into a regular writing, and cooking, routine.
My mom's birthday was the impetus for my most recent foray from the comforts of my tiny apartment kitchen. Happily, my parents newly remodeled kitchen is both beautiful and extremely well equipped. I think it is safe to say that it currently serves some of the best coffee in town. The enormous gleaming six-burner stove also heats up a griddle like a charm. My sub-sized electric apartment stove's burners are both rickety and too small, leading to an unevenly heated griddle which produces splotchy pancakes that must be cooked individually).
Stoves aside, birthday breakfasts are an important meal. I am a strong supporter of early-morning present opening. There is nothing better than getting up extra early and going downstairs to find a pile of presents at your place on the dining table. On days like these, a shared breakfast of something comforting and satisfying is essential. Lingering over pancakes, and making plans for the day is something I would not give up. Sleeping in is overrated!
For my mom's birthday this year, I whipped up a batch of my favorite griddle cakes (from the Nero Wolfe cookbook). This time, however, I made a buckwheat version, which is one of my parent's favorites. They turned out perfectly. Nutty from the buckwheat flour, moist and tender thanks to the buttermilk, just a little bit sweet, and the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and cake-y in the middle.
All that you need to accompany them are coffee and your family.
Buckwheat Griddle Cakes
From The Nero Wolfe Cookbook, by Rex Stout
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or more)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Sift the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until lemon-yellow in color and add the buttermilk. (Buttermilk can be made by adding a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt to sweet milk and allowing it to stand for a few hours in a warm place.) Add the dry ingredients to the egg-milk mixture and beat with a wire whisk or electric hand beater. Add the melted butter gradually while beating. Ladle out the batter with a dipper onto a hot, lightly oiled griddle. When the bubbles on top have opened and the underside is golden brown, turn each cake and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more. Serve hot with butter and a sweet topping. (Makes 12 buckwheat griddle cakes)