Your pancakes will be fine. The General Review: Brunch

[written by Megan Westerby]

Brunch is worthless if it doesn't involve eggs. I’m not talking one egg somewhere in a batter, I’m talking eggs, prominent eggs, featured on a plate with a some type of starch playing second fiddle off to the side.

Simple is fine, with sunny side up, over easy, and scrambled all having an easy, day-to-day appeal, with a crusty piece of toast to support and sop or ready to finish the meal as you walk out to the car. Or shove 'em all in a tortilla with some salsa or cheese and eat breakfast in the car. But that's a weekday, that's standard eggs, that's solid, day-to-day fare.

Weekend brunch by its very definition is to be savored--when you're combining two meals the resulting meal should be worth two meals worth of time and calories and flavor, right? So, eggs.

Omelets and everything they can be. Savory scrambles that use everything in the bottom drawer and a good heel of cheese. Frittatas and quiches and other baked dishes, full of flavor hot or cold and worth the time assembling. Soft yokes and crusty bread to sponge up the deliciousness, finished with a long pull of coffee, tea, or mimosa. Chilaquiles and migas, huevos rancheros and eggs with tomato products that aren't ketchup. And we haven't even talked about poaching or boiling. Or egg-based sauces! If you like hollandaise, nothing makes a decadent weekend brunch more than a Benedict.

And even French Toast can qualify--a thick challah soaked in sweetened egg batter and cooked? That's eggs, that belongs to eggs and not pancakes.

They can be simple or decadent, savory or sweet, and they're perfect for brunch and weekends. Spending time with a cookbook at home and figuring out the best use of the current kitchen content or stealing bites of frittata and french toast off of others' plates sitting in the sun at a long, leisurely weekend gathering: that's eggs.

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[written and illustrated by Jess Driscoll]

The pancakes I made last night were banana chocolate chip. I make them a lot. I always have bananas in my house. Half the bunch get eaten when perfectly ripe, sliced into cereal or onto peanut butter toast. The rest sit on top of the fridge while I eat the orchard apples I bought at the farmer's market or the pineapple that was on sale at the grocery store. When my bananas are spotted brown, that's when I make pancakes.

Some people make banana bread. I make banana bread, too. But to make banana bread, I want my mom's perfectly seasoned, perfectly sized loaf pans. That's what banana bread looks like to me. Pancakes, though, you can make pancakes anywhere.

They require no special tools. No special skills. No futzing with yeast and proofing, no kneading and shaping, no worrying about the right order of ingredients. If you add too much flour, add some more liquid. That's OK. If you forget the salt, throw it in last. Your pancakes will be fine.

My recipe changes every day. Even when the same ingredients go in the bowl, they go in different quantities. This is how it goes when I’m making pancakes just for me. Mash one (1) banana with a fork and mix it with one (1) egg. Keep it chunky or stir it smooth. Pour in a splash of milk or cream or orange juice or water. Add rum, if you like. If you have a tub of yoghurt going bad, throw it in your pancakes. They’re the best way to clean out your fridge.

Flour next, and less than you think you need. A pancake batter should be loose. Baking powder, and don't forget the salt. Salt makes everything taste better, especially chocolate. Sometimes, I add oatmeal. Now's the time for chocolate chips. Fold it all together with a spatula. Don't overmix. Let it sit, if you're that patient. I'm not. I already have my pan hot and ready to go. I eat the first one with my fingers as soon as it’s done. When you make them right, pancakes don't need butter or syrup or even a fork.

⇓ 12.08.13 general august.pdf