Broke Food: Pancakes!
I love Belgium and all, and I don't mean to be a bratty American, but oh man, was my Thanksgiving ever LAME! 12€ (which is twice my daily budget) for mashed potatoes with pumpkin in it and some lingonberry sauce at this terribly hip club for ex-pats. I would have made something myself, but not having the money nor apartment space to cook for everyone, I decided to go where everyone else was going...bad idea. Next year I'm having a real Thanksgiving, come hell or high water, and I will even get a you-tubed version of this year's Macy's parade and some football americano...
I was consoled, however, by a) free drink tickets and b) fantasizing about what glorious good eats I will cook up over my brief sojourn in the USA over the holidays. Not only will I have access to all my lovely cookbooks and pantry staples, but my little brother will be in residence as a sous chef... and you know I will be cooking up some latkes, pot pies, brunch goodies, plus all the goodies I missed on Thanksgiving. So, there's that to look forward to. Plus all the mouthwatering food in the blog-o-sphere... as usual, Team Vegan does not disappoint.
AT ANY RATE... still as poor as a Charles Dickens/ Victor Hugo character, so have been subsisting on many boring and simple meals such as oatmeal and lentils (but not together.) The next few blog posts will explore some new dirt-cheap meal alternatives, and though I still have no camera, I eat these items often enough to have a million pictures of them.
I never realized before how little time and money it takes to make pancakes from scratch. When you don't have any fruits or veggies, a little flour and soymilk and you still have something great. More importantly, when you do have fruits and veggies, you can transform them into something really special (and more crucially, filling and leftover-producing.) Here's my standard recipe (approx, as have no great measuring tools yet), plus variations:
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C. soymilk
1 tbsp. sweetener
1 tbsp. oil or melted margarine
-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until "just mixed." (You can also do the seperate bowl for wet/dry ingredients thing, although my research suggests this does not matter so long as you assemble your ingredients promptly.) Drop by the ladleful onto a medium hot greased skillet. Serve with syrup or whatev.
VARIATIONS: You can pretty much put anything in pancakes, which makes it ideal when you have like, 1 rotting pear on the shelf. You may have to adjust the liquid or flour, but essentially you just need to chop something into small pieces and figure out appropriate accompaniment. Examples...
Apple Onion Curry Pancakes - cut up an apple and a small onion and add to the mix, ommiting the sweetener. Add in 1 and 1/2 tsp curry powder. Serve with mango chutney and soy yogurt.
Banana Oatmeal pancakes- Replace 1/4 of the cup of flour with oatmeal flakes. Mash in a banana with wet ingredients. Add in a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon. (I've also made this with a rotting pear, and it was great.)
Cowboy Corncakes - Recipe here!
Pumpkin or squash pancakes- make like the banana pancakes and add in mushed leftover pumpkin or squash. This one can be sweet or savory depending on what's on hand.
I secretly suspect you can make almost anything into pancakes, and I intend to try it more as I get more and more desperate. Carrot pancakes? Mushroom pancakes? Brussels Sprouts pancakes? Why not... Yes, on my gravestone, please write: "Here lies T, she made everything into pancakes."
Song of the Day: Trude Herr- Ich will Keine Schokolade