Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buckwheat Pancakes, Key Lime Curd, and Sweet Potato Latkes

We started the morning right, with the wood stove cranking (five days straight now, it's been cold!) and Jonathan Richman's Corner Store playing on the phonograph. If that song can't get you moving, then go back to bed and call it a day. I had a hearty breakfast forming in my head in preparation for being snowed in, but the storm fizzled. No matter. It's not like we go anywhere anyway!

For the savory side of things, I baked these sweet potato latkes for last night's dinner, a light repast with just a dollop of yogurt. I've been eyeballing all the latke recipes (must try Sunchoke latkes when we harvest next) and also hearing about all the hot oil burns. I had this great recipe ripped from a Women's Health magazine (ripped it out at a dentist's office--that's okay, right?) tucked in a folder and pulled it out. These are baked so I guess that's better for you than all that oil...

2 large sweet potatoes (or 2 lbs.) peeled grated
1 medium onion, grated
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (it also called for cinnamon, but I'm getting cinnamon-ed out these days.)

Preheat oven to 400. Oil two cookie sheets. Mix all ingredients. Drop by quarter cupfuls onto sheet. Flatten with spatula. I got twelve out of this. Bake for 25 minutes; flip and bake for an additional ten minutes. Mine cooked quickly and hotly, but that's due to my crappy pans and uneven oven. You know. Eyeball it.

In the morning, I whipped up this batch of buckwheat pancakes from one of my favorite breakfast cookbooks, The Good Breakfast Book by Nikki and David Goldbeck (1975). I love buckwheat. I love pancakes. Need we elaborate?

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat (I used all purpose; didn't feel like going to the larder and opening a new bag of whole wheat. Sooo lazy.)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder (omitted this)
1 1/2 cups water (used 1 cup water, 1/2 cup milk; not sure why)
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. molasses (I used honey)

Combine dry ingredients. Add wet to dry. Do that pancake thing. It never fails that my first two pancakes are awful. But still tasty. I plug ahead and the last one is always stellar. Sigh.

Yesterday, I tackled the little bag of key limes that my mother sent me. She knows I'm partial to these kind of things. Z and I had fun squeezing all the little green marbles to gather the precious juice. (Not really; I did it while he sat on the counter next to me play mixing in an empty coffee mug. They are like squeezing hard little leathery nuts. I persevered because they needed to be consumed.) I was going to make cookies until I thought of curd, and found this super easy recipe from Coconut & Lime. It really only took ten minutes and it would have come out even better if Z didn't wake from his nap right in the middle of the cooking time, thus making me a tad distracted. My only sub was that I used vanilla sugar in this. It was delicious: not too sweet and super tart.

Lately, there have been a huge flock of turkeys hanging out. They are still lingering, and it's mid afternoon. It's not a great picture--so much grayness these days!--but this is out the dining room window. You can see the neighbor's cat under the tree being overwhelmed by all these large, fearless birds. He initially was creeping up on them, but there must have been twenty of them! Not that it matters. You've got to be a really tough house cat to take on a wild turkey. He soon realized this was not a conquest he could attempt and ran back to his house. Smart cat.


  1. Love those turkeys. Reminded me
    of the family of turkeys I saw when
    I visited laslt.

    Love, Mamou

  2. I'm always happy to see them, too!