2020.11.15

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Today is Sunday, and I promised to send you a breakfast recipe. I started this little habit to help us all reclaim a bit of the time before the pandemic, to reclaim time as a concept we can understand. Sunday breakfasts should be long, drawn-out meals, stretching into lunch time and beyond.

Yesterday, Saturday, I made pancakes. My usual recipe starts as I’m boiling the kettle for coffee. I’ll grab a bowl and scoop some quick oats. If the kettle is steaming by then (I’m usually doing some dishes at the same time), I’ll pour some hot water over the oats and let them soak. It’s important to use quick oats here, not steel cut. I use the former for baking, the latter for eating.

Then I make my coffee and drink the first cup while I’m looking at email and what happened in Slack overnight (not much; most of my friends and I are in the same time zone). By now, the oats have soaked up most of the water. So I add some more, from the same kettle, if there’s enough, or the tap, still hot from rinsing dishes. Oil goes in next. I keep it in a bottle with a pouring spout next to my stove. Canola is what I have currently—a good neutral-flavour oil for baking, heat-resistant for cooking.

I never measure when I’m making pancakes. It’s about two cups water, half cup oats, tablespoon oil. Then a heaping cup of flour (AP is the top container, so that’s what gets used), quarter teaspoon of salt, half teaspoon of baking powder, and if I remember, a glug of vanilla. If my sourdough starter hadn’t been in the freezer since the last farmers market, I’d add a half cup of that, too.

Measurements matter less than what the finished batter looks like in your bowl. Is it too liquidy? Does it fall off the stirring utensil? Add more flour. Is it too thick? Sometimes, with the oats, I’ll misjudge the flour and add too much. You can add more water here, but also, you can just cook thicker pancakes—true cakes in a pan. A thicker batter is also good if you want to add something else.

I made pancakes for breakfast yesterday because I have bananas. I also have Reese’s peanut butter cups, leftover from Hallowe’en. (I live in a basement apartment, so no kids come to my door, but these are still, technically, leftover from Hallowe’en.) I decided to save the bananas to go on top with peanut butter, but I made a couple of pancakes with a whole Reese’s cup in the middle, covered up with batter. What a decadent thing that was. I could only eat one at breakfast time; the other, I had after lunch.

Even when I make pancakes for myself, there are leftovers. I’ll eat one or two through the day—smeared with peanut butter and wrapped around a whole banana. And when I woke up this morning, I had three left. So while I boiled the kettle for coffee, I put them in the oven to warm up.

Sunday breakfasts are meant to be long, drawn-out mornings, but they don’t have to be hours of work. Leftovers are good, too. I was awake at 6:30, up at 7:00, and ate my breakfast around 8:00. And I still have time for brunch.

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