Julian took this picture. Obviously not on an iPhone, like all the other pictures on this site.
Pancake culture. Have never understood it. Like, why do people put butter and syrup on them? And do you really like pancakes? Are you sure it’s not just maple syrup that you like? Give me an elegant omelet, a dynamically textured granola, a crispy waffle. Anything but the dull and dry pancake.
But the other night, I made some millet and the bottom crusted into golden chunks. One might call them millet cakes. And, if you mixed the millet into batter, one might call them pancakes. I was intrigued.
And so the next morning, I whipped up a millet batter with whole grain flour and eggs (to bond the little guys), flax seed meal (if ancient grains weren’t healthy enough), and blackberries and bananas (because if anything redeems pancakes, it’s fruit awakened by heat).
And they were delicious — a blend between gritty cornbread and the charred rice of your paella and the balmy pop of your banana blueberry muffin. Getting rid of pancake’s boring aspects also revealed what makes them wonderful. The ceremony of tending over a skillet in your pajamas. The way a knife and fork cut into a cushiony stack. The doughy, Sunday morning smell.
RECIPE: Mix 2 cups cooked millet, 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons flax seed meal, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, one mashed very ripe banana, a handful of blackberries, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and a pinch of salt. If it’s too dry, add more milk. Too wet, add more flour.
Heat skillet on medium-high with olive oil. Spoon batter with a small spoon. Despite the grains, these are not leaden pancakes. But the bananas weigh them down, so small pancakes are easier to flip. Cook on one side until steam holes appear on the surface. Then flip.
If it is your custom, go ahead use maple syrup. But I prefer them without.
This is the picture I would have used if Julian did not take a real photo.