There often appear on these pages descriptions and pictures of interesting food items that Calvin and I have prepared and eaten, both at home and abroad. Faithful readers have seen chickens stuffed with egg foo yung, meatballs and hush puppies (separate chickens). There was a French chicken cooked in a pig’s bladder. Laurie Colwin’s Tomato Pie has made several appearances.
It is only fair, then, given my readers’ faithful attention, that I also share a story of a dish that did not quite rise to the level of culinary success.
Several days ago, on “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives,” we saw a restaurant that cooked strips of bacon right into their pancakes. “Hm,” I noted mentally.
Seein’s how we were in possession of some excellent venison sausage provided recently by our friends Pat and Tina, I decided this morning to make my version of meat-cooked-right-in pancakes with thin strips of the cervine delicacy. Out of sheer laziness, rather than make pancake batter from scratch I turned a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix into pancake batter. (Directions are online, not on the box.)
Deploying my Lodge Double Play Reversible Grill/Griddle (griddle side up), I heated the sausage strips, each of them an inch across, three or four inches long and an eighth-inch thick. Once they had warmed up, I piled them on one end of the griddle and began spooning batter on the other end.
Onto each pancake I laid two pieces of sausage, and when the batter bubbles began to pop, I began flipping. So far, so good.
Where things went awry was what I served on top of the pancakes, which, on their own, were interesting enough to make me glad I had made that mental note a few days before.
We had no syrup in the house, at least syrup appropriate for pancakes. We have honey, and honey can do in a pinch as pancake syrup. Or honey mixed with molasses. But we had no molasses.
The diner we had seen on TV served their bacon pancakes with bananas and peanut butter and called the dish “The Elvis” or “The King” or something.
We had no bananas in the house, not that we ever do, but we had peanut butter, and as I mentioned earlier, this is where the train derailed.
I scooped several big spoonfuls of peanut butter into a soup bowl and microwaved it for a bit, just to soften it up. Then into the tan pool I squeezed honey and stirred everything together. If pressed, I’d say the ratio of peanut butter to honey was about three to one. I smeared some of the unctuous goo between the pancakes and on top of each stack.
If there had been much more honey than peanut butter, or if I had used pancake syrup like normal people tend to, this might have been a winning dish. As executed, however, it served little purpose beyond enough caloric intake to sustain us until lunchtime four days hence.
One thing that helped was a generous dusting of powdered sugar, but it didn’t help enough. Still, it was an honest effort.