Sunday, March 7, 2010
Wherein Bisquick makes me super Mom
Once upon a time I used to make pancakes from scratch. When Parker was small and even though I was a single parent, went to school full time and worked 2 jobs, I still managed to make most of our meals from scratch. I've always loved to cook. Preparing meals was as much an escape from the stress of my life during those first 7 years of Parker's life as it was a source of freedom and pleasure. With very little money and a willingness to experiment with ingredients, cooking became an outlet for me. It also served as my connection to the outside world. It was near impossible for me to go out with friends. I could not afford babysitters. Instead, I would invite people over, cook a warm meal and build my community around those exchanges. Breakfast, though, has always been my favorite meal. Years ago I found a pancake recipe in a Williams Sonama book. It has long been a favorite. If you have the time to make pancakes from scratch, do so. They're delicious. Here's the recipe:
Pancakes with Spiced Pear Butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1 cup milk
3 Tbs. spiced pear butter (I used apple butter, b/c who has pear butter on hand?)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
maple syrup, to serve
In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk egg, milk, pear butter and melted butter until smooth. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Pour onto a preheated, lightly greased griddle. Cook, serve, enjoy.
Skip forward a few years - it's now 2010, Parker is 12, we run a business that requires 500 hours a week from both Jeremy and I, we're renovating a house and a commercial building and trying to make sure Parker has as many experiences as possible during her formative years. Needless to say, breakfast is not a meal that is made from scratch very often. A typical Sunday morning you will find us out to breakfast at some diner, somewhere in the city before we head to work. This morning, however, Jeremy left early for the studio, Parker & I are staying home today and we wanted pancakes. Did I make that delicious "from scratch" recipe? No, I pulled out a box of Bisquick. Now, let's back up a second - I have only on a few occasions in my life purchased Bisquick. My mother had an unending stock of it growing up, but many years ago I swore off processed foods, white flour, etc. etc. because it's all baaaad for you. But, something has switched in my brain of late. Now, when I grocery shop, I see things like Bisquick and think…that is an easy way to make pancakes. I'll buy that. Completely skipping over all of my convictions about food, how things are made, where they come from and blaaah blah blaaah blah blah. I'll tell you what. We made those Bisquick pancakes this morning and an amazing thing happened. Parker was grinning all through breakfast. She had an unsuppressed smile. She was giddy! It was as though I had surprised her and invited Taylor Swift to breakfast and then they were going to hang out all day singing Taylor Swift songs in Parker's bedroom dancing all over the place and trying on each others clothes. Bisquick did that. We would have been eating cold cereal had that box of Bisquick not been in the cabinet. And, to top it all off, the sun is shining and birds are chirping. I feel like that Old Spice commercial - I'm on a horse.