Author Archive: Jay

Fish Tacos

This is about food, but not about cooking, since I had it at a restaurant.

I tried fish tacos at the 99 Restaurant yesterday, expecting them to be edible but not much more, ordering to satisfy my curiosity, because I had to make a decision and it’s tough with a 17 month old menu assistant, and because they were at a reasonable price.

Wow! They were fantastic. Who knew?

It also turned out that the aforementioned toddler liked bites of the fish better than the fries

, cheese sticks and chicken fingers on the plate she was sharing with her sister.

Anyway, the combination of the guacamole, fresh salsa ingredients like tomato and onion, fresh cilantro, and sour cream went wonderfully with the fried fish, which itself was pretty tasty. Not something I’d probably ever try to make at home, but I’d order it again. And guacamole… perhaps we should try making that at home sometime? It’d be an interesting addition to burritos.

Bored Now

I’m officially bored. Any ideas?

We have a freezer full of boneless chicken breasts, a few drumsticks, a bunch of hamburger (which I freeze in the form of patties, thaw and use in other ways as needed, like in red sauce or tacos), and a bit of pork, both boneless loin steaks and a couple thin chops. There are some basic frozen veggies; corn, French green beans, peas, and chopped broccoli. There’s a mess of chopped sweet onion and green pepper, frozen for convenience, as well as a large sweet onion in the fridge. At the moment there is no frozen unground beef.

Elsewhere in the house are the normal staples; carrots, rice, dry beans of various types, barley, flour, less than a cup of Bisquick because I forgot to restock, herbs and spices and boullion cubes, etc. No potatoes, oddly enough.

Nothing fancy. I don’t want to have to go buy ingredients, especially stuff like scallions or fresh cilantro or whatever that I have never used.

No baking. We avoid that in this weather. Crockpot, stove top, microwave, even toaster oven are fine.

Any ideas?

I feel like we’re in a rut of Mexican variants like burritos and tacos, pasta with meaty red sauce, plain old chicken fried with random seasonings and served with rice and a veggie, chili, and so forth.

Hannaford Refried Beans

I’ve talked about making homemade refried beans from scratch, using dry pinto beans, and those are certainly amazing, if not like anything you ever get in a can. However, as a matter of convenience, it’s useful to keep on hand some canned refried beans.

We’ve tried different ones, but mainly buy Old El Paso. They’re the best overall, and if bought at Wal-Mart or by the 8-pack at BJ’s, cheap enough. They are mildly seasoned. Refried beans seem to range from essentially plain beans, cooked a lot, maybe with some lard, to something seasoned significantly with garlic, onion, maybe cumin or other seasonings. My homemade ones generally contain actual chopped pepper, onion and garlic, as well as oregano, cumin, red pepper, maybe this or that else, like celery flakes and cilantro. Even plain, though, the beans are tasty, and good with other, stronger stuff, say in a burrito.

The other brand we’ve eaten the most is Taco Bell. By contrast, they are plain or nearly plain beans. The texture is different; the canned brands all vary in thickness and degree to which you might want a bit of water in the bottom of the pan when heating them. At Hannafor

, they are 20¢ a can less than Old El Paso, which led to my buying them a couple times recently when even buying canned beans was a luxury. One thing I regret about the food blogging is that I tend to lack the money to experiment on anything that costs, well, an amount most people would consider no big deal, let alone truly expensive foods. Besides, the point is that I have needed to learn more, get creative, and be frugal as a “married guy cook,” so a lot of what you see here is my adventures, rather than being a true foodie. You certainly won’t find me getting on my private jet and flying to New York because that’s where my favorite steakhouse happens to be. Not sure I’d do that even if I had a private jet.

Last time I wanted to grab a can of beans while in Hannaford, they didn’t have the variety of Old El Paso I like to get, and I noticed Hannaford had a store brand. Either I’d never noticed, or that’s a new thing. Those were 10¢ below even the Taco Bell beans; almost as little as I’ve ever paid. Cool, I’m usually willing to try store brand whatever once. Our favorite frozen vegetables are Wal-Mart’s own brand, and there’s almost nothing Wal-Mart or Hannaford brand we’ve ever disliked. After trying BJ’s own grated parm cheese, we’ve never tried a store brand again, but that was exceptionally bad.

I made homemade tacos last night, which we then had for lunch today as well, before Deb took the kids to the pool and I fired up the AC in my office to work. What; this isn’t work? The tacos are a whole other post. I tried corn tortillas for the first time and they were astonishingly good. Sadie even corrected her mother last night, declaring them very good, as opposed to merely good.

That was where I used the Hannaford store brand refried beans. Not only are they cheap, and not only are they decent, but also they are the best we have tried. In the future, I’ll buy them preferentially. They aren’t plain, and in fact are fairly heavily seasoned, but it’s the tastiest. Your mileage may vary. Thus the whole rambling post reaching this point; they were good enough to want to crow about, and I’m not even getting paid for product review blogging.

Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode 6

The fifth sixth episode of Hell’s Kitchen was all about Melissa and how the mighty can fall.

Chef Gordon Seacrest gave her a second chance, after last week’s implosion. He meant it. In terms of discord, she didn’t do to the blue team what I expected, and it helped the red team even more than I expected to have her gone, but in terms of a competent performance, she was the biggest drag.

The lobster challenge was funny; especially Bonnie’s reaction. Speaking of which, that was one of the top possible names had our third been a girl. No, not Lobster! Bonnie.

Those lobster dishes looked and sounded yummy, as apparently they were. Apple struck me a bit odd, but could have been good. Citrus sounded better, and lost mainly because the lobster wasn’t cooked right. Josh was not allowed to touch the lobster, balancing the teams, but seemed to do awesome at coaching Melissa.

On the other side, I thought Julia did great for being out of her element, and it was only that the delicious lobster was paired with boring risotto that lost her that round.

The cooking challenge was effectively a tie. The red team won because this was the week that the prize was a photo shoot, and the girls always have to win the photo shoot. Heck, for all we know the apple lobster salad really wasn’t as good as the citrus lobster salad. The girls seemed especially funny, and tickled by that, this year.

The punishment wasn’t as bad as Ramsay made it sound, but it was interesting to see Rock’s temper at even the idea of rooting through trash. Then they punished him for losing his temper by sending him to the photo shoot for a bag of trash. Poor Rock! Good thing he’s going to win and will presumably have been worth it.

Of course, it would have been funny for Jen to be on the losing team for that punishment…

Service was no contest. Despite the excitement of Bonnie having a pan flare up and not knowing how to handle it, and the weird, spurious giving a hard time to Julia, they were just on, like a well oiled machine. Bonnie and Jen have both grown on me.

Speaking of Jen, it was funny at the beginning of the episode when they did a big reveal of her skills being far beyond that implied by “pastry chef.” Rock applauded her game playing. I’m starting to see her as the potential other finalist. I can’t see Josh or Brad getting that far; especially Josh. Julia is way better than she is credited with being by some of the others, and is capable of learning, being a leader, and certainly working hard. Yet she still has the weakness of not knowing things or having the experiences that most of the others do. I could see it being her in the finale, but Jen seems like an increasingly large obstacle to that. Bonnie is better than what they edit her as being, but she lacks confidence that would allow her to get to the finale by anything but accident. Then again, her lobster salad did go on the menu, to everyone’s surprise, even if part of the reason was the give Josh an extended punishment of lobster fetching. Obviously my early prediction of Melissa versus Rock won’t happen. I have to go with Jen or maybe Julia versus Rock.

I couldn’t believe the mashed potato scene! That was absurd. When I saw Josh pouring potatoes, I thought it was some kind of batter and wondered why he would be baking something just then. Perhaps I’m spoiled because Deb makes the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had, one of the things I leave to her, but I never envisioned mashed potatoes as pourable. It made me think of a tragic accident involving excess liquid and a box of instant potatoes. Then they ran out of potatoes! Of course, you know certain things like that have to be contrived to a degree.

Compared to that, Brad’s mishearing an order and making an extraneous risotto seems minor.

Was it just me, or did Melissa’s overcooked monkfish look like pieces of light colored hot dog or sausage? Ramsay made much of showing it to us, and everyone there, so we got a good look. The poor fish should have stayed in its monastery under the sea.

Anyway, after they ran out of potatoes on the blue side, and had all six lobster dishes returned from a six-top (using that expression for larger tables reminds me of the circus), they were shut down. The customer who at least wanted dessert was funny.

Gee, hard decision. Could it be that the blue team lost? Hey, Gordon Ramsay thinks so too!

He punished them by making the team overall discuss and put forth two candidates. Sounded like that would have been Josh and Melissa, though they agonized over whether to count tonight or cumulative more heavily. Brad seemed to think he had a worse night than Josh, even though Josh had a bad history.

Then they didn’t even get to say who the two were. Melissa got sent packing summarily, which is good management. That is, he warned her she had one more chance and then she was out of there. She didn’t recover. He did as he’d said he would.

Then Gordon Ramsay put on his Ryan Seacrest hat, saying he wasn’t done yet, having Josh and Brad step forward.

Ooh, could I have been wrong about last week’s non-elimination keeping the number of episodes from being affected by Aaron? Two in one show would put us back to the status quo.

Nope. It was a warning shot. They each got to say why they should stay. I prefer Brad, but he was the incoherent, babbling one who didn’t give a good answer. Josh at least tried to give some reasoning. Then they both got to stay, fair warning that they’re both on shaky ground.

Next week appears to be the one in which each team designs a menu, and it’s red versus blue on how well they do with the menu and then with the dishes they incorporate. That should be interesting. If nobody else crashes and burns, unless the other team loses, it’s most likely Josh’s turn to get booted, but those darn editors can make anything happen.

Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode 5

The fifth episode of Hell’s Kitchen was all about Melissa and how the mighty can fall. I still think she has a lot going for her, but man, the attitude. “Leader” and “bitch” are not synonyms.

The teams had a meaty challenge, starting with shopping for their own ingredients on a budget. This would be the annual “shopping episode,” then. I really don’t envy them, not so much the budget part; $100 isn’t that small for making three sample dishes. My fear would regard the relatively short time available for deciding what to make and getting all the ingredients that implies.

The women came in just right. Despite the appearance of careful buying on their part, the men were not even close; almost 40% over. You would think that putting so much back on the fly would ruin them when it came to the cooking, but not so.

The rest of the challenge was preparing three dishes for review by a couple whose wedding reception would be courtesy of Hell’s Kitchen. The men nailed two out of three, but the big highlight was the dead duck.

You could see it coming, too. Melissa took over, demonstrating she lacks what it takes to be in charge, which is as much what the winner needs as any familiarity with cooking. She insisted the duck, to all appearances finished, go back in the oven to stay warm. When it came to for presentation, Melissa didn’t even want to bring it out, earning Ramsay’s ire on top of his and her teammate’s embarrassment.

I should note that the one dish the girls won, the sea bass, was obviously Julia’s. Collard greens and bacon? Had to be her, and it looked and sounded great. Go Julia!

The girls decorate under direction of a wedding planner I dubbed “Jack,” as in the Jack from Will & Grace. The guys get pampered.

Cut to the service for the reception, which I assumed would go far worse than it did. Melissa now has trouble with potatoes, apparently unable to keep them from oxidizing. Jen to the rescue. She’s really grown on me and seems to be growing steadily in competence and confidence.

The men are “rewarded” with cooking the bride and groom’s order

, which goes slowly enough to gum up the works for the other kitchen. Oops. At least it turned out good.

The wedding planner is a riot.

The women are hands down the losing team, per Ramsay and anyone watching, though Julia and Jen were both good. Jen gets tapped again for selecting candidates for elimination. Could the choices be any more obvious?

Could it be any more obvious who should go? What a surprise, too.

Rock continued on his path of getting better and better, and being more bold and outgoing. He was clearly delighted in anticipation of Melissa’s demise, both because they tangled during the episode, and because he has to know she was his most obvious competition from the beginning.

Bonnie is the other nominee. Melissa gives a lame reason why she should stay, and Bonnie a better one.

But wait! We have to make up for Aaron’s unscheduled departure, keeping the number of episodes up, not to mention making sure one of the prime contenders doesn’t get eliminated when it might ruin the script. Melissa gets another chance… on the men’s team! Poor Rock. That ought to be interesting, if not in an “oh God, oh God, we’re all gonna die” sort of way.

I can’t wait to see the sparks fly with Melissa trying to boss the new team, and see to what degree the other women grab this chance to shine without her. I’m in luck! Since I was late posting this, in a mere matter of hours, I will be able to see what happens. Yay!

Carnival of the Capitalists

Welcome to the July 9 edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. Usually at The Married Guy Cook it’s all about food, cooking, and making fun of the contestants on Hell’s Kitchen. That last being why I am proudly number one for the search Hell’s Kitchen 2007 episodes, even ahead of Wikipedia and TV Guide.

I thought it would be nicely surreal to host here; not to mention being a reminder that you don’t have to be a business or economics blog to host CotC.

You might also want to visit my main blog, Dispatches from Blogblivion, or Deb’s new blog, Neatly Tangled and corresponding Etsy shop.

Regarding this week’s CotC, I didn’t get a host in time and used myself as a fallback. While I looked at all the entries over the weekend and tagged them with Yes, No or Maybe, It’s late enough and I’m busy and hurried enough that I will probably include only the entries that garnered a Yes immediately, without further consideration. I already know I’d leave out the majority of the Maybe entries if I reviewed them, so not like it’s a big different.

The host for July 16 will be Marketing Whore, and for July 23 it will be Small Business Essentials. More hosts are needed after that, so if you might be interested have a look at this page and e-mail accordingly.

Massive Mass Ifs (Part 1)

“Massachusetts’ new mandatory health care requirements are a direct assault on free enterprise. InsureBlog’s Henry Stern explains how.”

As a self-employed Massachusetts resident, this is a topic near to my heart, as you know if you read Blogblivion regularly.

Software Project Management
CEO’s Alter Ego

“Almost every CEO (or company leader) needs an alter ego – someone who agrees on the general direction but differs on tactic. Pushes when the leader wants to slow down and brakes when the leader wants to speed up. That makes their decisions better, no matter which is made at the end of the day.”

Three Star Leadership
Letter to a New Manager

“Advice to a young man who’s just been promoted to his first management job.”

Nice examination of good management in a unique format.

The Time and money Group
Outraged at Oil Companies, but Not Chicken Farmers?

An unexpected comparison of industries, cost increases and public reactions.

Managing Leadership
Creating Creativity

“Creativity is an important element of innovation, and one that business managers are struggling to find ways to incorporate into their businesses. But you don’t just “do” creativity, or delegate it to specific “creative” individuals – you generate it using tried and tested business thinking.”

Atlantic Canada’s Small Business Blog
Every rivet is mission-critical

“Rivets are one of the minutest parts in the airplane, but each and every one of them is critical to the objective of the plane – flying safely. Check your business. Are your rivets mission critical.”

Puzzling over the employment report

Econbrowser’s James Hamilton tries to reconcile the latest solid employment numbers with other indicators of economic weakness in Puzzling over the employment report.

What Bullet Holes in Airplanes Can Teach You About Making Better Business Decisions

From airplane rivets to bullets in one CotC edition! This is a great anecdote about analyzing data counterintuitively and learning from failure.

Blog Business World
Simple marketing: Ideas you can use everyday

“Marketing is one of those big concept departments. Everyone talks about it, but not all business people are entirely certain who to make their marketing work. Constantly seeking the grand slam marketing idea, they miss the easy to use daily techniques. Some small efforts can reap some huge rewards.”

Here’s an honorable mention I thought was a cool post but not really on-topic. It made me think of the Alaska pipeline construction and migrant nuclear plant workers back in the day.

Would you risk your life to get out of debt?

“Shouldn’t there be better economic possibilities for our youth? Instead, one soldier goes off to war to eliminate his debt.”

That’s it for this week!

Drumstick Rub and Grill Experiment

For the drumsticks I decided to try something based fairly closely on this rub recipe. The source recipe being based around a cup of paprika, resulting in three cups of end product, meant adjusting it down in a big way. I jotted down the ingredients in proportions rather than measures, like this:

1 Paprika
.5 Chili powder
.5 Cumin
1/48 Black pepper

And so forth.

My approximate measure mixed together thoroughly were:

1 Tablespoon Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/3 Tablespoon (which is a lot like a teaspoon, eh?) Cumin
1/4 Tablespoon or less Black Pepper
A couple dashes Red Pepper
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (rather than white)
1/8 Tablespoon Thyme
1/8 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1/8 Tablespoon or less Onion Powder
A few dashes Salt
Dash of Allspice
Pinch of Savory

The last two ingredients are additions. Brown sugar is a substitution. based on my experience using it in similar stuff. For what it’s worth

, I didn’t have trouble with the sugar burning on the grill, though I read in recipes that lacked it a warning not to use it for the grill for that reason.

A few hours before we went to the BYOM (bring your own meat) cookout, I made the rub, coated the seven drumsticks well, including under a large bit of detached skin, put them in a sealable plastic bag, tossed in much of the rest of the rub, and shook it to coat them even more. That went in the refrigerator for a few hours, then into the well-iced cooler for what turned out to be a few hours more.

I knew we would never eat them all, but wanted to let other people try them, especially if they turned out good.

I cooked them quite a while on the gas grill, turning them over a couple times. Depending where they were, they ranged from apparently cooked to falling off the bone.

The first one I tried tasted too peppery, and also seemed suspiciously underdone. It was probably fine; just not falling apart as I like. The second one I tried was quite good, but I would change the recipe. Meaning I’d do what felt right, as I usually do, rather than close to what a recipe said to do.

The third one I ate was also tasty. My nephew tried one and approved. Enough so that he ate three more, finally encountering an over-peppered one on his last drumstick and seeing what I meant about that first one.

Mostly, though, a success.

What would I do if I were trying this again? Less pepper and paprika. Possibly more, and additional, poultry seasonings. Possibly more of something like allspice or ginger. Perhaps more lightly applied rub.

I once did a chicken rub centered around orange (I’m amazed I found the recipe so readily to link it). Something like that might be interesting on a grill. Heck, I baked it, but the section has a focus on barbecues and grilling, so yeah. Heck, had I thought of it sooner, I even have oranges in the house because Sadie was with me at the farm stand and wanted them. And I have cloves, which I don’t believe I did when I made that rub before. Even if I do have to grind them myself.

Anyway, that’s the result. I didn’t think of taking pictures, though I could have as we had the camera. Oh well.

Drumming Up Ideas

Chicken is the big sale item this week at Hannaford.

Usually we eat boneless chicken breast, and that is mainly in 10 lb pre-frozen bags purchased at BJ’s. It’s more than the good sale prices of $1.99 and below, like this week’s $1.77, but it’s well below the customary full price, and it’s less work than boneless breasts bought fresh at the supermarket. Those require more trimming. Nonetheless, I regularly buy some when it’s on sale, using it fresh and then freezing the rest.

I happen to like dark meat. For me it’s always been a huge treat to get a turkey or chicken drumstick especially. I also don’t generally mind eating it right off the bone, or being made more rather than less aware of the meat’s living animal origins. Boneless is handy, but not my strong preference. It’s insanely cheap to buy and roast a whole chicken or turkey when on sale (or even not so on sale), so I’m the one who handles that as I am not generally bothered by it (besides having an until recently unknown natural talent for it).

Last week, dinner at my grandmother’s house was drumsticks baked falling-off-the-bone done, as it should be, in approximate no peek chicken style. No peek chicken involves water, onion soup mix, dry rice, other details I am probably forgetting, and chicken baked in a pan, covered with foil most of the time, resulting in strongly flavored rice and chicken that didn’t require a lot of effort or attention. I should re-obtain the original recipe sometime.

It turns out that Valerie loves dark meat. The worse/greasier, the better. It probably didn’t hurt that the chicken was very flavorful throughout, but our little vegetarian rabbit girl singlehandedly ate most of a drumstick.

I recently had a conversation with someone who, to cut back on grocery spending, recently started buying mainly bone-in chicken and boning it, or cutting as much as possible off the bones as the case may be, herself. That made me wonder if perhaps I should do that. But then, it depends on the cost to effort ratio. Is it really worth buying split chicken breast for $1.49 on sale and boning it when boneless is $1.77? How about when boneless is $2.20? How about when the gulf between $2.20 in $22 increments and $1.49 in $5 increments is almost insurmountable, you’re so broke? Guess it always depends.

So when I was buying milk and bread the other day, I picked up a pack of the $1.77 boneless breasts, which will probably get used, with the rest freezer fodder. I noticed drumsticks, nice looking ones, on sale for 59¢ a pound, which either I had missed or was absent from the flier. Or circular. That’s a regionalism, no?

I bought a big pack of drumsticks, costing next to nothing, figuring at least feeding me and the kids something different. Which is the real point of this post; soliciting ideas for their preparation. I’d been musing about the possibility of tossing them in the crockpot, just to sort of cook them with barbecue sauce or whatever without using the oven, or maybe to cook them off the bone and make shredded chicken stuff. Which I’d wondered about doing with other bone-in chicken, like the breasts. It’d feel like boneless breasts would be “too good” for that sort of treatment.

Alternatively, I’d probably cook them in a frying pan, be it in “fried chicken” form or not. Which made me think of a rub, shades of the way I have lately been doing steak destined for burritos. Which made me think of the “bring your own meat” poolside cookout we’ll be attending on the 4th, to which we’d planned to bring mainly hot dogs, perhaps a couple frozen burger patties.

So here I am soliciting ideas, while leaning toward possibly concocting a rub or a sauce or a marinade and bringing the drumsticks to the cookout for proper grilling and sharing with the other people who’ll be there.

Thoughts? On drumsticks specifically or chicken generally? Lacking a grill and it being summer, we’d normally lean crockpot or stovetop methods, which is why the exception of using someone else’s grill is tempting.

Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode 4

I guess I should get around to writing a Hell’s Kitchen post for the last episode. Not that it was that exciting, as Rob Sama noted in this post.

Well, except they did the tasting challenge, which to my disappointment ended in sudden death as soon as the men were in a positiong to be impossible to win. I’d have liked to see how the last pair did on the whole set of three foods. I couldn’t believe how bad some of them were. Not that I’d have known something like bok choy, but really; pears, carrots and egg yolks?

Then there was the punishment. The other punishment, besides doing the prep for both kitchens and being given the apparently untaken opportunity to sabotage the girls. They had to eat offal types of meats, like tongue, tripe and organs. Yuck. I mean, if you gotta to survive, yeah, but they didn’t even prepare it to look that appatizing, just to be cooked rather than raw. As I recall, my grandmother actually developed a taste for tripe from eating it when she was a kid, and would make herself some once in a while through adulthood. Apparently Rock was the one with the weakest stomach for that stuff.

Things were a mess, and Melissa didn’t look so golden this week. Maybe it’ll be Rock versus Julia in the finale, with Rock winning but Julia showing everyone not to scorn Waffle House cooks.

Rock was the only bright spot, and Jen didn’t suck, so with no winning team declared, they each nominate one. They both decide to go with playing the game to get rid of threats or people they dislike or targeted, rather than who was actually bad. Josh was not a bad nominee by Rock, but Melissa was a silly nominee by Jen, purely strategic.

Ramsay overruled them both, no surprise, bringing forward Vinnie and Bonnie. They would have been the correct choices to avoid irritating the chef. Bonnie expected and even wanted to leave, yet gave the better reason why she should stay, Vinnie couldn’t stop being full of himself, or something, and got sent home as well he should have.

One of these weeks real soon, though, Rock will nominate Josh again, Josh will go and we’ll be glad.

Next week will be the shopping episode. Is it perhaps a little wrong that we have an idea what each episode will be like and that they’re already rutting enough that there are no real surprises?

I know it’s a game show

, and it continues to hold some interest as such. Yet I’d still love to see more behind the scenes, more about where they show them how to cook things and boot camp them into being able to handle dinner service even to the extent that they can despite some of their minimal backgrounds.

Oh well. Let’s see what Bonnie does this week to get sent home. Or hey, maybe there will be a surprise!


For lunch today I made blueberry pancakes at Sadie’s request. She’d never had them, but was intrigued by the blueberry pancakes in a Curious George book. The kids absolutely adored them, and they were right to do so. That was half or so of the batter, matched to the amount of blueberries remaining from a recently on sale pint the kids had been enjoying.

While I was at it, I used strawberry pieces in some of the batter, for strawberry pancakes, which are something I don’t recall ever having or hearing of before, though I could be mistaken.

The last of the batter made four plain pancakes.

This is intended in large part to be an audience participation post, and it occurs to me it goes beyond what fruits or other things you might have tried in pancakes, to the very stuff of pancakes themselves.

We buy industrial size boxes of Bisquick at BJ’s and have them around for months to use when the need arises, for pancakes or otherwise. I tend to add far more milk and often more egg than called for by the box recipe, but otherwise it’s that simple and they are pretty yummy. Sometimes we have corn pancakes, made from small boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix, also quite yummy. I haven’t tried making pancakes from scratch, but surely it’d be no big deal. Ironically, I have made crepes from scratch; similar enough. My father has at times made excellent pancakes out of a grainy mix that he further embellished. How about you; box, scratch, something unusual?

The most common fruit pancakes I’ve made, or had as a kid, are banana. Blueberry would have to be next. We had wild blueberries right around the house so in season there would be no shortage, Ditto for both wild and cultivated strawberries, which is why I am intrigued that I don’t recall strawberry pancakes. They were good today. I believe I’ve had peaches in pancakes. Not sure what else. Do you have a preferred addition to your pancakes, or something you tried that may or may not have been such a good idea?

I found myself wondering why we don’t eat them more often, apart from wanting to sleep afterward. We were low enough on syrup, I also used some boysenberry jam on some of mine, and shared it with the kids. That was good! Brings back memories of boysenberry syrup at IHOP when I was a kid.

What do you put on your pancakes? Real maple syrup? Fake or sugar free syrup? Other syrup flavors? Jam? Butter? Something else? Cold or warmed syrup?

Look at how something so simple as pancakes can turn into such a variable culinary delight.