Breakfast Visitor

Breakfast at the cottage this week (well, more like brunch) consisted of pancakes with fresh fruit. The pancakes weren’t from scratch; when traveling and cooking, commercial mixes mean that you have to bring along about half as many bulky containers. My favourite pancake mix since childhood is Aunt Jemima Complete Buttermilk Pancake — the kind where you just add water. We used to use this mix all the time when my family went camping when I was a kid, so the flavour and texture are very homey to me.

The fruit mix was grapes, apples, oranges, strawberries, and there might have been a peach there too. Of course, we had to serve it with real maple syrup. That’s Canadian cottaging/camping for you: the pancakes may be an instant mix, but the syrup has to be real.

We also had a visitor for breakfast this morning. A great blue heron stopped on the cottage’s dock, which we could see from the dining room. This large wading bird fished off of the dock calmly for a few minutes, courteously allowing me enough time to grab my camera and change my lens to a telephoto so I could snap a few pictures.

Patience exhausted (or possibly just not finding any fish nearby), the heron took off to make its rounds of the lake to hunt its own breakfast.

Pumpkin Pancakes

I have a tendency to clip interesting recipes out of magazines, file them away in a recipe box, and then forget that they are there. Yet somehow recently when I thawed some homemade pumpkin puree for a pie that I didn’t end up making, I actually remembered that I had a recipe in my stash that might be useful. I thought I’d taken this recipe from an old Food & Drink, but a quick Google showed that it was actually from the October 2004 edition of Martha Stewart Living. The recipe was for Pumpkin Pancakes, and although heaven knows it probably wasn’t also available online back when it was first published, it is there now.

My pancakes weren’t Martha Stewart perfect, of course, but they did taste awfully good. They were light and fluffy and delicious, and the pumpkin and spice flavours were subtle enough that they went well with most sweet toppings. The pancakes were simple enough to make, with just a few additional ingredients added to a basic recipe. I’ll definitely be making this dish again — and perhaps with practice my pancakes will be a bit more symmetrical.