Hey. Did you guys know that trying to study birds in floodplain forest is FUCKING INSANE? Did you know why? BECAUSE FLOODPLAIN FOREST FLOODS, DUMMY.
I was so traumatized that I needed to take four months off of my food blog. But don’t worry, I’ve totally still been eating food, sort of. Shout out to the 1,000 burritos I’ve eaten from the place two blocks from my apartment. I’m only sort of kidding.
Anyway, immediately after my project ended for the summer, I fled to a tropical island where my friend Laura is in medical school. Have you heard? Laura is great.
Tropical islands are also great. You know what they have there?
Beaches! And rum. Like a million gallons of rum, straight into my face. It was great. Much relax. So vacation.
So, it’s been a long time coming, but I promised Laura I would make a blog post while I was visiting her. I might have been too drunk to actually WRITE the post, but I still cooked food and took photos with my iphone. I know, so safe! I was a great girl scout.
Anyway, Laura was studying for a scary med school exam, so I made her pancakes in her tiny dorm apartment. This is her ENTIRE KITCHEN. And it’s not the size, I assure you – I’m willing to bet many kitchens in expensive New York apartments are smaller. No, it’s more so that this kitchen is full of shenanigans. Did you guys know Laura only owns one bowl, you guys? ONE. BOWL.
However, I am a wizard, and so without further ado, I give you:
DORM ROOM PANCAKES
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbs sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 3 tbs unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla (optional)
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, until just combined.
- If you wish, fold in chocolate chips, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, cooked bacon, shredded cheese, etc.
- Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle preheated (medium, medium-high). If not nonstick, grease pan with butter or olive oil. Wait until pancake top is covered with bubbles before flipping, 2-4 minutes. Cook until the second side is set and brown, another 2-4 minutes.
- Serve with butter, nutella, syrup, fresh fruit, jam, etc
1. Rifle through cabinets desperately looking for ingredients. Did you drink a lot of wine last night? Maybe.
Laura doesn’t own sugar, because she takes pleasure in my suffering. I substituted maple syrup, which was actually super delicious. I would do that again. She also thought she didn’t have baking powder, which caused me to have a panic attack, but we found some under the desk in the spare room (??).
2. Mix the dry guys together. Yell at your friend for not having any measuring spoons.
I regret saying “dry guys”. I’m so sorry. Anyway, there can be more to this activity than meets the eye if you don’t have the proper measuring tools on hand. Never fear! I wildly invented measurements!
She had 1-cup and 1/3-cup measures, so that’s good. Just eyeballed the necessary half- and quarter-cup measurements. I don’t actually know why the 1/3 cup is dirty, since 1/3 cup doesn’t appear in the recipe. Could be ghosts, it’s hard to say.
There were no measuring spoons, but this coffee scoop did the trick. I had no idea how much it measured, but it looked to be about a tablespoon, so I made believe. Remember how three teaspoons go into a tablespoon? That’s how I measured the 1 1/2 tsp baking powder – about half a tablespoon.
Half teaspoon salt? Sure, maybe!
Whew! That was exhausting. I don’t want to over exaggerate, so I’ll just say that it was approximately has hard as being a medical student. As I mentioned before, I didn’t have white sugar and instead used maple syrup, so I added it to the wet ingredients, below.
3. Combine wet ingredients in a fucking saucepan.
Laura didn’t have two bowls, so I used this tiny saucepan. Success! Milk and eggs, above. These pancakes are pretty fluffy, but if you want more of a crepe style deal, add additional milk to thin the batter. I’m not sure how much, I’d try adding a bit at a time so you don’t risk fucking it up. I love you, though. I care about you and also your feelings.
Evidence of maple-syrup-sugar-gate. I went about 1:1, figuring that maple syrup is basically liquid sugar.
Eyeball and melt butter in the microwave. Some people don’t like to use the microwave, I don’t like those people. Microwaves FOR EVER.
WE DID IT! I don’t know why I said “we”. It was me. Yelling at Laura while she was trying to study. I’m great. Now, the coup de grace…
4. Mix wet and dry ingredients.
Action shot… I have beautiful hands.
STIRRING COMPLETE. The butter will most likely re-solidify a bit, giving the batter a lumpy appearance, but fear not! It will melt during cooking and make lil butter pockets. Yum. Just make sure that the dry ingredients are well mixed – butter pockets are good, flour pockets are gross. At this point, add any fruit or chocolate, etc as you see fit. We went plain-jane style here.
5. Cook the little bastards.
Coat the pan with oil or spray if you want – I generally don’t have a problem with them sticking though, due to the butter. Wait until the pan is nice and hot to add the batter – THIS IS CRITICAL. Otherwise the pancake will cook unevenly and be gross and probably burned on one side or something. You want two quick cooks on both sides, and the pancake actually tells you when it needs to be flipped:
See all those bubbles/pockmarks? That’s what you’re looking for. That means that the pancake is nice and cooked on the bottom, so you can stick the spatula underneath and flip it without getting batter everywhere. If you flip it and the pancake isn’t browned to your liking, simply wait for the other side to cook (you will have to eyeball this, as you won’t have bubbles forming on the cooked side, sadly – should only take a few minutes), flip again, and wait another minute or so.
That nice, even brown color is what you’re looking for – too pale, and the inside might not get cooked all the way. It’s hard to overcook a pancake, so feel free to err on the side of caution, as long as you don’t let them burn. That would be sad.
PANCAKE TIME!!!! Fueling Laura’s beautiful brain. Notice that the pancakes aren’t all evenly browned – that’s ok, you just want to make sure they are nice and firm.
Here she is eating them. NICE PANTS, LAURA! No, really, nice pants. I like them.
Oh, our friend Caitlin was there, too. This is a really good picture of her that she’ll be glad I chose to put on the internet. On another day she made mac and cheese in this same kitchen, an even more impressive feat, but she doesn’t have a blog so I’M THE STAR OF THE DORM ROOM COOKING SITUATION. Also, Laura’s roommate Kelly was there too! I didn’t get a single picture of her the whole trip despite repeatedly saying I was going to get one of her and Laura together, so here’s a shout out to Kelly. Hi Kelly!