Sunday, January 23, 2011

Of dogs and children.

Weekend to me used to mean sleeping late. The Fabulous Man and I, in our pre-Little Girl days, used to wake up around 9, have a cup of tea, a bit of a chat, and then what we called our morning sleep, until about noon. Those were what people fondly call "the good old days". When we got our puppies, we even trained them to sleep late on weekends, and I was very much impressed with our efforts. One of my friends had a theory that if you can raise a dog, you can raise a child, and I looked forward to having a baby who will sleep until 10 on weekends. Of course, said friend is childless still today, and I'm looking forward to one day discussing this theory with her in detail.

As you know, I have a Little Girl, one who does not sleep until 10 on weekends. Occasionally she sleeps until 9, but only if she refuses to go to sleep until 10 the previous night, and I don't necessarily call that a success. So, out of necessity, these days weekend to me mean breakfast. And if I'm going to be up early, it might as well be a nice breakfast. Our repertoire includes bacon and eggs, french toast, omelettes, eggs a la flamenca. Occasionally we make some sort of crumpet or pancake, and it's under this category which my blueberry cornmeal pancakes fall. I originally found them on the Martha Stewart web while I looked for a recipe to use up some leftover maple syrup I had. The reason I fell in love with it is it inclusion of polenta. A staple in South Africa is what we call pap, or porridge, made with white maize meal, and it's eaten with milk and sugar, sometimes butter, for breakfast, or as a side with your meal, usually the South African farmer's sausage. This nod to my homeland appealed to my nostalgic side, and I whipped some up the other morning.

Of course they were fabulous, and with a good shot of anti-oxidants with the inclusion of the blueberries. Initially I thought they're perfect for the Little Girl, as she got into the habit of eating blueberries straight from the freezer. Except she picked them meticulously from the pancake and threw them on the floor, as you do, before eating the rest of the pancake. Now, if she was a puppy, such naughty behaviour would earn her a squirt from the water bottle, except I have a feeling that's not the done thing with children.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
Serves 4
Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen, which was fine)

maple syrup for serving
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter, and egg. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined (mixture will be lumpy).

 Heat a large pan over medium heat. Melt some butter to cover the bottom of your frying pan. Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan at a time. Sprinkle with blueberries, about 2 tablespoons per pancake. Sprinkle the blueberries with a little bit of sugar if you want. I didn't follow this step, and I thought the pancakes were sweet enough without it. Cook until edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining batter and blueberries, adding more butter to the pan and keeping prepared pancakes warm. Serve with the maple syrup, or your condiment of choice.


  1. Adele, a very sweet story and I have to say that personally, as someone without kids I have so little advice to offer parents. I figure you've got it sorted! :D

  2. My daughter, who is now 23 and has grown out of it, threw food on the floor and wouldn't eat food unless the ingredients were separate. The child in all of us would love these pancakes just the way they are.

  3. Yea, I'm afraid my kids go to bed very early(good right?), but they also get up very early(not so good, right?)

    The pancakes made it all right, didn't it?

  4. Hearing about your daughter's kitchen antics makes me giggle. She sounds adorable. Pancakes look divine!

  5. Thanks everybody. She is the most adorable girl in the world, blueberries on the floor and everything. And yes, pancakes does make early mornings better. Thank goodness for that.

  6. I love the cornmeal in these pancakes especially with the blueberries; someday your daughter will too. Raising kids is the hardest job on the planet and I did it for years. I had a lot of challenges but food was not one of them. They would eat anything. Your daughter is just expressing her independence. Has nothing to do with the blueberries or where they are located.

  7. Hell, these look good. My daughter is a pancake fanatic, so I'm going to get her to make these. Sneaky, hey? Lovely post.

  8. oh good thing I have trouble sleeping past 8am. These look fantastic

  9. Beautiful. Ek het uiters baie fiemies gehad as kind, tot ek omtrent 17 was. So moenie worry nie, dit word beter ;-)

  10. Thos pancakes look wonderful, I've a feeling that my children would have preferred a squirt from the water bottle as opposed to the wooden spoon! I broke quite a few of them over the years, spoons that is, not children! :)