Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Morning Pancakes from Grandma's Cookbook

Drizzled with real maple syrup and loads of butter... pancakes are lovely on a cold December morning.

In 1978, my grandpa gave my grandma Betty Crocker's Cookbook; it's full of grandma's notes and a few food smudges. All proof of years of use. Hidden within the pages are also clippings and other papers, usually full of kitchen tips.

It just so happened this morning, when I went to open the book, the page that fell open was the pancake page! And what fluttered out was a newspaper clipping from 1986, describing the many uses for vinegar. What the connection might be, I can only guess. Fortunately, vinegar is not an ingredient for the pancakes.

1 egg, beaten
1 c flour
1 c milk (I used 2%)
2 T butter, melted
1 T sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Blend until there are no lumps, let rest about five minutes. Drop by the 1/4 c onto a hot griddle, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Bigger pancakes will take longer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fresh Cranberry Scones

Ah, I was lucky one day. It doesn't happen very often that I acquire totally free food. Fortunately, an associate of the company I work for send a box of fresh cranberries to the office. Only three of us wanted anything to do with them; I left happily that day with 2 pounds of the pretty little things from Wisconsin, which supposedly makes them "local" for those of us in Chicago.

I promptly threw them into the freezer and rabidly tried to find cranberry recipes. It was in this frenzy that I stumbled upon this delight. It's quite good, and 2 pounds of cranberries will make almost four batches.

1-1/2 c fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped up in a food processor
1/2 c brown sugar
zest of 1 orange (make sure it's organic unless you want to eat pesticide)
2-1/4 c all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 T. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c milk (2% works perfectly)

Heat the oven up to 350°F. Toss the cranberries with sugar and orange zest in a big bowl, then set aside. In a food processor (or regular bowl), mix up the flour, baking powder, salt, and cut in the butter. Add to the cranberry group, and mix well. Add milk and egg to this, and form a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface. Cut into rounds/wedges, or drop by the spoonful, onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Yields about a dozen scones.