November 4, 2010
Alive and Ever Changing
In my last post, I talked a bit about my kitchen and the simple, every day things that happen there. I'm developing a new relationship with this space where I cook, eat, clean, and create. I've been realizing lately that, for me, a kitchen is a work in progress. At least a couple of times a day, I create a meal there: sometimes simple and quick, sometimes more involved. As much as I like to have a clean and organized kitchen, it seems like there are always dishes being created, containers emptied, and pots and bowls filled. Its not that I don't feel like cleaning or washing up, I just find that almost as soon as I get the counter spotless and the floor swept, I embark on a new project or meal.
Generally I dislike messy or cluttered spaces and I really do love a clean counter, empty sink, and dishes put away. There is always a project or two going on in the kitchen, though, so I've started to view this as something that is alive and ever changing. Just like the jar of sourdough starter on the counter and the gingered carrots fermenting on the shelf, it is a living space. As I clean up my work, I try to keep in mind that creation, not perfection, is the goal.
I like having a space where I can quickly pull together a warm and hearty breakfast without any fuss. On Sunday morning, I made these pancakes and though you might be sick of squash, clearly, I am not. I had to share the recipe since they made for the perfect breakfast on an autumn morning.
Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes
I like to substitute spelt flour in pancakes and muffins since it works just as well as wheat flour for these recipes. If you don't have it (or wheat germ or flax seed meal) you can just use wheat flour. As always, pumpkin somehow sounds better and more delicious, but squash works just as well whether from a can or baked in your oven.
1 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup wheat germ or flax seed meal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup mashed pumpkin or winter squash
1 cup butter milk*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Whisk together flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix together pumpkin, buttermilk, and eggs until smooth and fully combined. Pour wet ingredients and melted butter into the flour mixure. Add pecans and stir until just combined (a few lumps are okay). Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a bit of butter (or nonstick spray) to the pan. Pour in 1/3-1/2 cup batter (depending on how large you want to make the pancakes). When the small bubbles appear on top of the pancake and stay that way, flip the pancake and cook for a minute or two on the other side. Serve hot with your favorite pancake toppings. Makes 6-8 pancakes (depending on their size)
* or one cup milk with a tablespoon of vinegar stirred in.