OK, I got one for ya. But I’m throwing you this bone only because I haven’t cooked dinner at all this week. (Don’t tell the publisher that this is from our as-yet-unnamed bean book!) I managed to squeeze four recipe tests in yesterday before 10 am, and that’s about it for kitchen action.
T.G.I.F. – I understand it now.
Remember that big to-do list I filled y’all in on two days ago? Ask me how many items have been scratched off. Do you really want to know? Not one. I forgot to add take mother in law for 3 hour grocery shopping trip and spend ridiculous amount of time searching for a Tim Horton’s without a half-hour lineup. And damn, that minutiae.
And then of course some days life throws curveballs right at your head.
My sister, the one who lives across the street, who is probably reading this on her laptop, wrapped in her robe in her big red chair, quite possibly drinking a coffee that she just figured out how to make as good as Mike does (out of necessity when we were away for two weeks), who is most likely inwardly cringing as she realizes I’m talking about her and wonders exactly how many details I’m about to disclose, was brought to the hospital in an ambulance yesterday. Which is exactly the sort of thing you don’t expect to hear when you answer the phone on a regular Thursday afternoon.
She’s now home again, but it does suck quite a bit when someone you love gets hurt. (It will suck even more when she gets that ambulance bill.)
On the upside (silver lining!) it meant I got to take Ben to his dance performance at school, and thus got to witness an entire kindergarten and grade 1 class dressed and made up as zombies, re-enacting Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Just pause for a minute and visualize that. W asked me if I was laughing or crying and I didn’t know the answer.
Toward the end of the performance, after all the grades had done their thing, W did his best to subtly work his way through the crowd, across the stretch of wood gymnasium floor that came between the audience and performing students, and nonchalantly sit down among them for the finale. He watched the teacher and did exactly what the other kids did, then stood up when prompted and filed out with them after the show. I think he might be ready for kindergarten.
Luckily, earlier this week I was testing pancakes made with pureed white beans (and they worked! for real! you can’t even tell!) and so I had a stash on hand. When things started feeling like a Tilt-a-Whirl I tossed pancakes to the boys like Flippy Flyers when they got hungry. Which is not to say that these have the consistency of Frisbees – they don’t.
And the pureed legumes boost the fiber in these far more than whole wheat flour (a cup of beans contains about 12 g fiber, compared to 4 in a cup of whole wheat flour).
Pancakes with White Beans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat, oat or rye flour
2 tsp. baking powder
a shake of cinnamon (optional)
1 cup or half a 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. canola, olive or flax oil
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon (if you’re using it) and salt. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the beans with a splash of the milk – enough to help get it going – until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, the eggs and oil and pulse until well blended.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined; don’t worry about getting all the lumps out.
When the skillet is hot (you can test it by flicking some drops of water on it – they should bounce) spray it with nonstick spray or drizzle in about a teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Ladle the batter onto the skillet, making the pancakes any size you like. If you are using them, place berries or slices of banana directly onto the batter. Turn the heat down a little and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is golden and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Use a thin, flat spatula to flip them over and cook for another minute on the other side, until golden.
Repeat with the remaining batter. If you want everyone to eat at the same time, keep finished pancakes uncovered in a 200ºF oven. Makes about 8 pancakes.
And seeing as it’s Friday, I have some free stuff for you! In honour of mamma’s day this weekend, I have something created by one of my favourite moms, one I aspire to be more like. She’s what you might call a creative type – a teacher and a musician, the kind who comes up with insanely creative birthday party themes, composes original music for them, cooks from scratch and invents contests and games – her kids’ parties are the social events of the season for the 4 year old set; if their lives didn’t revolve around princesses and those little plastic shoes I’m certain W would just move in. Also, she’s just awesome. Case in point: the time she went to the Palamino late at night after the kids were in bed and rocked out in her Crocs.
Wait, I think I had a point here.
She has a band called Magnolia Buckskin, and they just released their first CD. Last night, in between a visit to emergency and getting Ben ready for his concert, as I made the boys poached eggs on toast, she stopped by to drop off freshly-pressed (do they press CDs?) copies. Which is, of course, brilliant. I’m so proud of her.
The song Walk was inspired by her successful efforts to conquer postpartum depression. When a friend became wheelchair-bound at a young age due to MS, she decided to celebrate the fact that at least she could walk, and went out and walked for hours a day, which helped bring her back to life. Can you think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?
By the way – Magnolia Buckskin’s CD release party is in two weeks – Friday, May 21 at the Ironwood in Inglewood – a great venue with great food just a few blocks from our house! What better excuse to invite you all out for a drink? Wouldn’t that be fun?
To enter the FSF draw this week, I’d love to know what you learned from your mom in the kitchen? Or if that doesn’t apply, what you’re teaching your kids?