Wonderfully Flat

Imagine this: you open your eyes after a good nights sleep, and that’s when the nutty smell of melting butter, and the sweet aroma of vanilla and maple syrup fill the air. The sizzle of batter being cooked, so you run to the kitchen  and see a high stack of soft fluffy pancakes on a plate!

What is it about these pan fried pastries that makes us so happy? I’m sure science and psychology have a lot to do with it, after all most of us out there associate pancakes with happy memories, and if the story of Pavlov’s dog had taught us anything, it’s that even the foreshadowing of a good meal is enough to get any living creature excited.

If we go a bit further down that road, we could explore the idea that it’s nostalgia. I mean, pancakes are the breakfast equivalent of a surprise bouquet of flowers. In the way that it’s always from someone important to you.

However, I’m going to go with a more spiritual theory. I believe pancakes are a gift from the culinary GODS! A reward for those of who choose to wake up early and sacrifice themselves to such a messy time consuming ordeal. In those moments of early morning cooking, you are turning your cooking space into a church! I would even go as far to say, that making pancakes for someone is practically a religious right of passage in any parental, platonic or romantic relationship, no different than a wedding or a baptism.

That would explain why making pancakes predates and is more wide spread than all current major religion! That’s right! Some scratch marks on a 30,000 year old grinding tool suggest that people back then where making flour out of fern and cattails, mixing it with water and cooking it on a greased rock…. so basically pancakes! Not to mention Otzi, the 5,300 year old caveman found in the ice of the Italian alps. His stomach contained… that’s right PANCAKES. They are also literally made everywhere. Each continent has a variation; some even differing vastly from country to country. At one time, pancakes where common place for Strove Tuesday. This was in anticipation for lent. People would want to use up their perishable eggs and milk, and what a better way to celebrate a 6 week long commitment to the divine then to make pancakes, the FOOD OF THE CULINARY GODS!!!… even if it’s really THE Christian god.

So while I can’t say for sure whether it’s nostalgia, science or the divinity of the pancake that has contributed to its longevity, and cultural significance, I will say it’s definitely worth making.

I decided I wanted yeasted pancakes. Yeast isn’t as fast or convenient as Baking Powder or Soda, but it does bring complex and wonderful flavours that they can’t.  It also has the added benefit of being done the night before, so you don’t have to wake up early to make them.


  • 1 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour or Soft Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
  1. Put Butter on a pan set to medium low heat, You want to wait for it to completely melt, and turn brown. It should take on a nutty/caramel smell. Run it though a fine strainer, and allow to cool.
  2. Mix Together Buttermilk, Milk and Honey into a bowl and mix until the honey has completely dissolved. add the yeast and allow to sit for 10 minute in a warm place to Bloom.
  3. While Milk mixture is Blooming, sift together the Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt into a a clean bowl.
  4. Once the Milk Mixture has bloomed, combine it with the cooled Brown Butter, Vanilla and eggs, whist until nicely combined.
  5. Mix the Sifted Flour mixture into the Milk Mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX. It’s ok if there are a few lumps.
  6. Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap, and place it into the fridge over night.
  7. Remove the batter from the fridge, and let sit on the counter for 20 mins
  8. Heat buttered cast iron pan to medium heat.
  9. Place a 1/4 of batter on to the Pan. This is a thick batter, so you might have to use a spatula to spread the batter out nicely.
  10. Wait about 30/40 seconds, and tap the part of pancake that is on the heat with your spatula. If the whole pancake moves, it’s time to flip it over.
  11. Push the top of the pancake down to make a little thinner. Leave to cook until pancake is cooked entirely though
  12. Take a fancy Photo and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #foryourfoulmouth!

What to Do In a Jam

Spring is when some of the best produce is made; including peas, root veg, asparagus, rhubarb, and oddly enough, strawberries. Doesn’t that last one just stick out like a sore thumb?

I love Strawberries, these little guys are not only sweet, but confusing as hell. For example, they aren’t berries, they aren’t even fruits! They are in the same family of plants as roses, and the fleshy part of the ‘berry’ is what botanist call a fleshy receptacle, which is a fancy word for a swollen part of the vine that holds seeds. Which I think technically makes them a vegetable, however I couldn’t find anything that confirms they are. That being said, the ‘seeds’ on the outside, are actually little fruits! Which make the whole strawberry an aggregate accessory fruit. When you think about it, accessories can make the outfit, and accessories to murder still go to jail, so what’s the difference!

All that aside, let’s start making some jam.

I’m using rhubarb from my local farmers market, and frozen strawberries… which might sound odd, but here is the fact of the matter: the weather has given my area little to no strawberries. The weather in Peru must be beautiful this time of year because the package of frozen strawberries I bought were from there, and they were perfect.

Fruit and vegetables get all their taste and nutrients from the vine/ground they grow in/on. When you buy fruit and vegetables from the grocery store, the product is picked early, so it will ripen as it travels; giving it a longer shelf life. This means the quality of the product suffers. Buying local is a great way to get a better product because it has a shorter travel distance, and therefore get more time in the soil. Because of the afformentioned weather here, the strawberries are subpar and non existent in the farmers’ market. So, I’m going for the frozen strawberries. Firstly,  they are picked right when they are ripe, and then flash frozen. Secondly, they are brought in from where the weather has been kinder to them. So it’s the best choice for me now.
This Jam came out beautifully, the classic mixture of strawberries and rhubarb is popular for a reason, and the added hint of caramel was a nice addition. That being said, the recipe given below is what I did, but if I were to do it again, I would definitely cut the Pectin in half, and replace more of the regular sugar with the Browned sugar.

Browned Sugar:

  • 283g (10oz) of granulated sugar.
  • This is essentially caramel that acts more like sugar. It has that sweet aromatic flavour of caramel, but remains crystallized like sugar.


  • 600g Frozen sliced strawberries (yes frozen, read above for why)
  • 200g of Rhubarb
  • 254g Browned Sugar
  • 293g Sugar
  • 57g Pectin
  • 1.5 T Vinegar
  1. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and layer 283g of sugar evenly over the sheet pan.
  2. Place pan into a 270 degree convection oven (300 degree, if not convection).
  3. After half an hour, use a spatula to move sugar around, and break up any clumps forming. Rotate pan 180 degrees.
  4. Keep repeating step 3 until sugar is golden brown and delicious
    Let sugar cool, if lots of clumps form, use a food processor to restore to granules

Now that we have the Browned Sugar, let’s start our jam!

  1. Wash the rhubarb, trim off the leaves and branches, then cut it into 1″ bias slices.
  2. Place the Strawberries and the Rhubarb into a pan on low heat. Mix it occasionally until there is enough liquid to mostly cover the rhubarb and Strawberries, then place the lid on the pan.
  3. Keep lid on pan until the rhubarb becomes becomes really soft.
  4. Remove the lid, and turn up heat to high until the mixtures comes to a rapid boil.
  5. Add Sugar, Browned Sugar, pectin, and Vinegar and mix until incorporated.
  6. Leave mixture on high for 5-10 minutes mixing continuously, then lower heat to medium and make sure mixture stays at a medium boil.
  7. Keep mixing so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan, and wait until the mixture get viscous. If  the boil starts to become roaring, lower the temperature.
  8. Take a spoon and use it to put a drop of the mixture into ice water. If the drop disintegrates  in the water, leave the mixture to boil longer, if it holds a ball like shape, it’s ready to remove from the heat.
  9. Let mixture cool, then transfer to storage container and put in the fridge
  10. Take a fancy photo, and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #foryourfoulmouth
https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/20 13/oct/03/science-magic-jam-making didn’t use any information directly from here, but it helped me make my recipe