It has been awhile. Let me assure you, friends, that I have been Very Busy making all the pages on PCO beautiful and useful. I’m all the way to the “D” pages. It sounds not so great, but there are a Very Ton of “A” and “C” pages. Today, I hope to get through to the “L” or even “M” pages. So, I sidled up to Ye Olde Computer, fully intending to Get On With PCO, but then I realized I have been neglecting PMAT. And that is bad. Besides, I need to tell you about the birthday weekend in Georgia.
As has been Firmly Established, I am not a very prepared blogger, so I don’t have very many pictures. Sorry, but I really don’t want to exceed your expectations and set the bar higher. Way too much pressure. Anyway, The Beloved and I drove down to lovely Dahlonega, GA the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Our favorite part of the drive by far is the Gaffney Peach. Oh, the Gaffney people were probably so proud to have a large and life-like peach hovering over their portion of I-85. The peach veritably bursts with verisimilitude–shades of orange and yellow, the glistening leaves, the life-like…um, crack…down the center. The peach is life-like, alright. Like twin glistening, gargantuan gluteus maximi. Yes, friends, Gaffney, in an attempt to capture the very dew on the fruit, has actually overshot their goal and given us a Giant Ass on a Pole. Behold:
Yes, it’s the only thing I took a picture of on the six-hour drive. I mean, how do you top something like that?
We made it to Dahlonega around 3:00 and stopped at a wee store to get a snack and some beer for The Beloved. North Georgia is Wine Country, so he wanted to be prepared. Look what we found at the store!
Shell and all! Yup, Uncle Bud wants us to eat them…Shell-N-All. So we did, and we shared with Fred and Mary Beth, too. Fred and Mary Beth are our wonderful friends and owners of Cedar House Inn and Yurts. I’ve told you about staying with them before. Of all the places we’ve stayed, theirs is the only B&B that we’ve stayed at more than twice. We love it there, and we love Fred and Mary Beth. Anyway, back to the peanuts. They were somewhat spicy, deeply peanut-y and crunchy, and Surprisingly Good. At first, we felt Decidedly Odd about eating peanut shells, but the trip through the fryer ensured that they were crispy/crunchy instead of thick and tweedy. If you’re at all interested in trying these little guys, go take a look at Uncle Bud’s website.
Mary Beth makes a mean breakfast. Sunday morning, we were treated to a quiche in a hash brown crust and roasted mixed vegetables. Savory and yummy. Then on Monday, for my birthday breakfast, she made a wonderful breakfast bread pudding-type deal with a sauteed apple sauce. And check it out: Mary Beth said that she normally would serve the pudding with a blueberry sauce, but that she had taken to heart my Sermon on Seasonality and made apple instead. Go, Mary Beth!
Here’s “my” breakfast. Sorry the picture is Kind of Crappy–I used my phone since the camera was in my car. But really, what did you expect from me?
After enjoying a weekend of wine and friends and fun, we returned to the homestead so that The Beloved could work a Long and Arduous two days before Thanksgiving. Then, we celebrated the long holiday weekend by doing yard work. Sunday morning, I wanted to recall Mary Beth’s bread pudding. ‘Cept I didn’t have fresh apples. Or the Kind of Bread I’d Need to make the bread pudding. I did, however, own buttermilk and dried apples, so here’s what I made.
An Homage to Mary Beth: Apple Pie Buttermilk Pancakes a la Moi*
This batter is very thick and scoop-able. Once I scooped some into the skillet, I shook it to get the batter to spread out some. Still, these pancakes were about 1/2″ thick, very fluffy and Absolutely Fabulous. This recipe made 6 pancakes about 4-5″ in diameter–perfect for the two of us.
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apples, reconstituted in 1/2 cup hot apple juice (or water), well-drained
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons (ish) salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons demerara sugar (you can use regular, but the large crystals provide a nice sweet crunch every once in awhile)
- 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice (a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and spices together very well.
Beat the egg and whisk together with the buttermilk, sour cream and oil.
Pour the wet onto the dry and then stir for about 3 seconds. Mix the batter the rest of the way by folding. It’ll be Very Thick and there’ll be lots of lumps. Carry on. This be The Muffin Method, folks.
Let the batter sit while you heat up your griddle or your cast iron skillet (which is what I used–two of them). When a drop of water skitters across the surface of the griddle/skillet, rub the end of a stick of butter quickly over the surface of the pan and then scoop on about 1/3 cup of batter. You should prolly do this with an ice cream scoop.
Shake the pan/skillet to spread out the batter. Or, you could just spread it out a bit with an offset spatula.
Cook for about 3 minutes on one side, until the edges of the pancake are dry. Flip and continue to cook until the edge of the pancake, which will now have poofed up to Pretty Thick, is completely dry. That way you’ll know it’s cooked all the way through.
Hold the pancakes in a 200F oven while you cook the rest of them.
Serve with real maple syrup.
Thanks for the inspiration and for the wonderful birthday breakfast, Fred and Mary Beth!
*For a reasonable approximation of what these guys looked like, go check out this post from Smitten Kitchen. Mine were a bit bigger, but almost identical in poofiness to these.