Misunderstandings are like thunderstorms that move across our lives, leaving little trace of the chaos they caused once they’ve disappeared. Unless they linger, but luckily most don’t. My reaction to chaos is to do something grounding, to find a simple task that results in something solid and good to counter the havoc.
Making pancakes certainly fits the bill. It’s one of the things I remember learning to make when I was very young, just after toast and pan-fried eggs. I also remember making pancakes for my parents for special occasion breakfasts in bed, along with the aforementioned toast and eggs and cups of instant coffee.
Pancake-making didn’t follow me into adulthood, except for occasionally on camping trips or weekends away with friends. I’m not sure why, because they’re almost impossible to get wrong and there are so many different combinations of batter and toppings that it’s hard to get bored with them. (They also convert beautifully to gluten-free.) I think I’ve made more pancakes since I started French Fridays than I have in the previous decade. All Dorie’s pancake recipes have been keepers, including this week’s Swiss chard version.
These are really Dorie’s take on farçous, a specialty of southwestern France, and her recipe can be found here. The herbs in my garden aren’t ready for harvesting yet, so I substituted dried marjoram and cilantro for the fresh chives and parsley. Those flavours went well with the Middle Eastern-ish lamb burgers I served with the farçous. (I’m still using up the quick preserved lemons I made for the cod and spinach roulades.) I also used a gluten-free all purpose flour mix. I think my pancakes were a little bigger than they should have been, as I only got 25 from a recipe that makes 40, but I liked them at that size.
Making the pancakes yesterday was a welcome distraction in the midst of a small crisis and then, when the crisis disappeared with the misunderstanding that had caused it, I was left with the better part of dinner already made.
You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Swiss Chard Pancakes