March 9, 2011

Pancakes Anyone?

I love March. The crazy weather withstanding, there is so much to offer. Spring is not too far off and Paddy’s Day is so much fun – even if you’re not Irish. My most favourite day though is Shrove Tuesday.

Ever since I was a kid my mom made pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. It was always so exciting – pancakes for dinner. It continued in university with friends and even when I lived overseas. The year I lived in Poland my boss invited us all over to his place after work for vodka and pickled herring. Not to be outdone, the supervisors made pancakes with some maple syrup they had found at a shop in the centre of town. They weren’t the best pancakes (actually, they were the worst I’ve ever tasted), but they were pleasant reminders of our traditions. Back in Canada my international students were always keen to take part in Canadian traditions and so we’d always head to the Elgin Street Diner. It was one of the few times during the year I’d have wheat and it was worth it. They would always have something funky besides their regular pancakes – one year it was apple pie pancakes and they were delicious.

I only make pancakes for myself as the Honey isn’t too fond of them and it took a while before I found a recipe I liked. Even with a great recipe now it doesn’t happen very often. This year I resolved to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in a big way. Friends were invited, food was thought-out, and of course a visit to the nearby LCBO. Unfortunately, the guest list began to dwindle and we were left with one couple. I began to get paranoid that they too would cancel. My hopes for pancakes with people who enjoyed them as much as I do were set high. The fear was silly and our friends arrived with huge appetites and energy for an enjoyable evening. And what an enjoyable evening it was. Food was abundant, drinks were refilled, and conversation was enticing all evening.

While I made my regular gluten-free pancakes, I used the opportunity to try out a box of gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes from Cherrybrook Kitchen. They were really good. Nice and light with the perfect amount of chocolate chips.

I’d also roasted some pineapple and mango and chopped up some cantaloupe to help balance out all those carbs. I cooked up some bacon and gluten-free breakfast sausage (from Metro!!) for the Honey and my girlfriend to munch on. I tried a piece or two and I’m not sure if it’s for me. We had some nice Vidal wine from Pelee Island Winery and Innis & Gunn beer (not GF and for the guys), which paired well with the sweet maple syrup.

By the end of the evening we were stuffed to the brim. We were also content with the good pairing of good food and good company.

As a sucker for punishment I came home today and finished the box of GF chocolate chip pancakes. It was a nice warm lunch after a wind-swept day. Add on some leftover fruit and some sausages, I had truly overdone it. While everything tasted sooo good, it was just way too much food. It had been a while since I’d eaten that much and also a long time since I had eaten myself sick. I felt like I couldn’t move, but unfortunately I had to and went back out a few hours later. Through the afternoon I felt fat, not bloated, just too big due to food (Note to self: Don’t do that again!!). As a result, dinner was later and lighter with some leftover veggies and dip and goat cheese.

Thankfully, hours later, I feel better.

**Looking for those Cherrybrook Kichen Pancakes? Check out your local health food store as many now carry their products. This was part of my stash picked up at Homesense earlier this year.


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