ROSEMARY HARRIS: Back in the 80's there was a restaurant in NYC called Pancakes Make People Happy.
In celebration of National Pancake Day (yes, there is a national day for everything) we're going to put aside nutritional and caloric concerns and indulge ourselves today!
I'd probably denied myself for years before a visit to one of my favorite restaurants changed everything. Some of you may know that The Lakeside Diner in Stamford, CT gets my vote for one of the top ten places to eat in Fairfield County. (It's also the inspiration for the Paradise Diner in the Dirty Business books.)
The owner, Jane, and Lizandra and the other waitresses have welcomed me and we've all been featured numerous times in local papers about Mysterious Doings in our town. It's all great fun and I've even had a few Coffee and Crime events there. But I feared I was disappointing them with a steady diet of two eggs, scrambled well, sliced tomatoes instead of potatoes. Where's the fun in that? Hubby is chowing down on the Lakeside Special (a little bit of just about every breakfast food) AND a donut and I'm left wondering what's wrong with this picture?
One day a diner at a nearby table ordered something that made my standard meal seem as appealing as a bowl of cold gruel -- Jane's Red, White and Blue Pancakes. Frisbee-sized pancakes covered with a mountain of sliced strawberries and blueberries and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. Whipped cream optional. It was enough to make me want to fling my eggs into the lake.
HALLIE EPHRON: Ah, breakfast, one of my favorite topics.
For me it's waffles, not pancakes. And they've got to be homemade (Bisquick), hot off the griddle, really crisp, with unsalted butter and real maple syrup. It doesn't get much better than that.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Um. I love breakfast, too, but I don't like pancakes. I think they're gluey and taste like paste. The THEORY of pancakes is good, and the theory of waffles, too. But I'm not...drawn to them. Scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon? Yes, ma'am, yummeroo. Or just the bacon. I LOVE BACON. Just saying.
I also make gallettes--which is oat bran, eggwhites and lemon yogurt, fried like a pancake. DELISH, topped with lemon yogurt and raspberries.
RHYS BOWEN: Ah yes, pancake day. We celebrate it in Britain. Growing up my mom would make pancakes every Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras as it's known most places. It was supposedly to use up the sinful things you couldn't eat in Lent)
Now my husband has become famous for Bapa's crepes in our family. He makes them whenever the grandkids stay over. Thin, thin crepes made with lots of butter. I often stuff them with strawberries then drizzle with maple syrup and a dob of whipped cream. Heaven. And Hank, I love bacon too. We treat ourselves every Sunday to a full English breakfast,but not the fried bread--that's bread fried in the bacon fat--too much cholesterol suicide!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Ross is the Pancake King in our house, and, especially in the summer, we often have a veritable pancake buffet: chocolate chip, strawberry, blueberry or plain. I like mine Maine style: blueberry with real maple syrup. Best Maine breakfasts I've ever had are at Jordan's Restaurant in Bar Harbor. Everything you can imagine in Wild Maine Blueberry and portions big enough -- well, big enough to satisfy teenagers. http://www.jordanswildblueberry.com
Rhys, my church is doing a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper next week. That, and our every-other-month pancake breakfasts, are fundraisers for the youth group. We always get a big turnout, which leads me to suspect that most people LIKE pancakes; they're just intimidated about cooking them at home.
LUCY BURDETTE: If I'm going to order pancakes, I like them to be buckwheat blueberry with real maple syrup. But my sister makes a wonderful pancake with cottage cheese and nuts, topped with plain yogurt and maple syrup. It tastes much better than it might sound. In fact I'm going to make some for dinner this week:). thanks for the idea Ro!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I love waffles and pancakes. For the waffles I usually use Arrowhead Mills Multi-grain Pancake Mix, but pancakes I make from scratch, with whole wheat flour and buttermilk (recipe from my old Laurel's Kitchen book.) I don't like white-flour pancakes; I agree with Hank that they taste like glue. In the summer I put fresh blueberries in my pancakes (Rick doesn't like them. I ask you, how can anyone NOT like blueberry pancakes?) and I use unsalted butter and real maple syrup.
But our most frequent Sunday breakfast is French toast. It's a great way to use up the week's leftover whole wheat or multi-grain bread, and I use a recipe I found in Gourmet about thirty years ago. The original recipe called for eggs mixed with equal proportions cream and orange juice. I use milk instead of cream, but add a bit of half-and-half. But the real secret is the dash of Grand Marnier. And yes, we have bacon a couple of Sundays a month, but I try to do organic. And now I'm hungry...
ROSEMARY: They are not something I order every week, but dang if they don't MAKE ME HAPPY! So 'fess up. Do you have a favorite pancake dish? One you make or order out? Cranberries? Chocolate chips? Navaho pancakes? What's your pleasure?
(Come back tomorrow when our guest blogger will be Julia Pomeroy, author of No Safe Ground, a cracking good mystery about an Afgan vet who comes home to the US with hazy memories of a crime - or was it?)