C’mon ladies, grab a Lazy Boy and a brew. It’s fun!
I love sports generally, and Boston sports in particular. Not playing so much, but watching them live and on TV. Give me a handy pack, a bag of Lays and a tub of onion dip and I am good to go for an entire Sunday. Put me on the first base line a Fenway, and I’ll sit right there blissed out on peanuts and watery Coors, screaming at the umpires and participating in the wave for nine full innings. I’ve never actually been to Foxboro, but I have my dreams, most of which involve Wes Welker, the Real Housewives of South Boston and mocking chants of “Hey Rex, suck my toes.” I have been to the Boston Garden, but my memories of the occasions are, not surprisingly, a bit hazy. I’ll even listen to sports radio on a long drive, though Mr Slattern, whose brain is larger and somewhat more evolved than mine I’ll admit, prefers me to confine these binges to solo trips. Given the blue-ness of the air and my propensity for enraged commentary, especially when listening to that soppy fool Michael Kay, it is, I suppose understandable.
In any case, as I was saying, I am a fan, and as such am puzzled by the general lack of enthusiasm evidenced by a significant number of my gender. Why anyone in her right mind would watch Sleepless in Seattle at all, let alone instead of a playoff game, is a complete mystery to me. I can only conclude that the Estrogen Disinformation Network is winning the propaganda war, and this will not stand. There is way too much fun to be had on the Sunday sofa, so I’m taking it upon myself to drag my uninformed sisters to the party.
Why I like sports (and you should, too)
There is even the occasional miracle.
You might just spot a Kardashian in the stands (if you go in for that kind of thing).
You get your heroes and villains all in one place.
Team jerseys finally come in figure flattering styles.
Wearing a cap means you don’t have to wash your hair.
Then of course there’s Tom Brady.
And for the single gals out there who think all the good ones are either taken, gay or hiding, let me offer up this little piece of advice. Get yourselves to a sports bar on a Sunday afternoon, order up a brew (not a diet coke or a glass of white wine) and wait for the party to start. Trust me on this one. You will not be lacking for attention.
What’ve you got to lose?
Has this ever happened to you? It’s Sunday morning and you wake up with a yen for pancakes. Perhaps you overindulged the night before and need a little bulk to face the day. Or maybe you overindulged then picked a fight with your husband and are feeling just a tad guilty. It may even be that your in-laws are visiting and you’d rather cook than discuss the Sunday papers, your “drinking problem” or how you can be such a bitch to their golden boy who is also the perfect husband. Maybe it’s all three, not that I’d know much about that. Anyhoo, whatever the reason, it is safe to say that when we crave pancakes (or white cake, or biscuits, or whatever) it’s best that the monkey be fed. For everyone.
So as I was saying, there you are on Sunday morning, all ready to whip up a batch of the best when you realize the recipe calls for half a cup of buttermilk, which of course you do not have. I for one don’t even know what buttermilk is, nor do I care enough to bother to find out, and I certainly wouldn’t waste valuable cold storage space – space that is required to keep champagne at the ready and at least one bottle of white in reserve – on buttermilk, which only comes in quarts and will have to be located and thrown out in three months after I’ve forgotten all about it and it’s gone rancid and is stinking up the kitchen.
Now I know what you’re thinking – there’s no buttermilk in the instructions on the Aunt Jemima box. I thought we understood each other on the issue of baking mixes by now. Well all I can say is once you’ve had scratch pancakes, which are about the easiest thing in the world to make, you will never go back to the nasty, grainy, plastic ones from the box, no matter how kindly and reassuring the face under the headscarf may be. And I’m not even going to get into buckwheat pancakes. Why in the name of all that’s holy would anyone eat those?
Here’s the good news: there is no need to have buttermilk on hand, or go out searching for it at odd hours while trying to conceal your pajamas under your trench coat, as long as you keep powdered buttermilk on hand. Oh yes, it comes in powdered form, just like the dry milk you use in bread machine recipes. Saco makes it, and there’s even an organic version available from the good folks at Organic Valley. You can order it online, it never goes bad and you keep it in the pantry.
Alternatively, you can substitute either of the following for a cup of buttermilk:
- For each cup of buttermilk, pour a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a one-cup measure and fill with milk, then let it sit for ten minutes or so.
- Drop a heaping tablespoon or so of plain yogurt into a one-cup measure and fill with milk. Mix and use immediately.
For those of you who can’t be bothered with any of the above, here’s my no-buttermilk recipe. Although buttermilk pancakes are best, the regular milk version is still head and shoulders above anything from a mix. This recipe is utterly foolproof and goes a long way toward getting those pesky in-laws
off your back happily fed on a Sunday morning.
No Panic Pancakes (makes about 10 smallish pancakes)
In a bowl, mix:
- 1 cup all purpose flour (don’t even think about whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 cup milk (whole is best, low fat will do, skim only in an emergency)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (or use melted butter, which I prefer). Almond oil is also nice for a slightly nutty flavor.
Stir until just blended and still a little lumpy, then cook on a hot, oiled griddle as usual.
A note on additives: If you’re adding fruit, and this is important, don’t add it to the batter in the bowl. Instead, sprinkle each pancake with the fruit (or chocolate chips, which are delicious with bananas or strawberries, btw) right after you pour the batter on the griddle, then flip.
And now, for those of you who have hung on to the bitter end, a little John Malkovich to go with your flapjacks.