n came over on sunday afternoon bearing a bottle of champagne, fresh orange juice and a gorgeous orchid plant. the naming of our new edition [yes, i like naming my plants] was a rather difficult affair. o had wanted to name her after his newfound incidental heroin 'veena malik' who had been the cause of much discussion both in news and print media in pakistan. she has became a cause célèbre in a country that is fast losing its grip on rationality, tolerance and plurality. but as much as i admire veena for taking on the mullahs i wasn't pleased with naming my orchid after her. so after a relentess campaign which involved enlisting the support of a friend and my sister-in-law the orchid has now been named eva.
i am afraid i didn't manage to picture the pancake stack as between n and i we polished the whole stack soaked in ample maple syrup. they were buttermilk pancakes and were made with half white and half wholemeal flour. i found that wholemeal pancakes don't rise as much as their white flour cousins and are denser, but they have a lovely texture. next time i want to make buttermilk pancakes with spelt flour.
here's what you need to make whole-meal pancakes
sift together 1/2 a cup of white flour, 1/2 a cup of whole-meal flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and salt and two tablespoons of sugar.
whisk a large egg, add one cup of buttermilk (since you can't get buttermilk in london i 'sour' milk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice and letting it stand for five minutes) and two tablespoons of melted butter.
add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix until the ingredients come together. avoid over mixing and remember it doesn't matter if there are some lumps in the batter. if you mix the batter too much you loose the lightness and land up with tough pancakes. i added lemon zest to the batter as i love a citrus note.
heat a frying pan or griddle until hot, brush it with some melted butter and then ladle the batter forming small pancakes. the pancakes are ready to flip when the edges are lightly browned and the surface is bubbly. whilst making the stack i keep the oven on low heat (around a hundred and thirty degrees) and keep the pancakes in foil until all of them are ready to serve.
n, thanks for the champagne and eva and an afternoon of eating and watching glee. there isn't a better way to celebrate sunday (and as n said, a birthday) than that.