As you've gathered from my past two posts, there are a number of things I've had to adjust to since moving to the left coast. Most notably, casual drivers, slower sidewalks, and an entirely new climate. And they are probably net positives on my overall health and well being. Another stupendously healthy, albeit forced change of habit is getting my sleepy keister out of bed on the weekends. This city is all about jam packing their days of rest with fresh air and activities.
Our first night in San Francisco was a Saturday night. Exhausted from the drive through the wonderful state of Nevada, my boyfriend and I didn't make it out to dinner until around 10pm - a somewhat normal dinner hour back home. It took us over an hour to find a restaurant that hadn't rolled up their sidewalk - so we settled for takeout, a bottle of bubbly, and a season of Lost. Which can be terrific...don't get me wrong...on a Tuesday night. Admittedly we were in the wrong neighborhood for late night festivities, but over the coming weeks, we found the options for a late night party, paltry at best. Then again, we come from the city that never sleeps, so we tried to keep things in perspective.
And then we discovered why: everyone literally exhausts themselves during the day! Hiking, biking, surfing, sports, wine tasting, music festivals, street fairs, city events, faux holidays - oh, and an abundance of day drinking in the park, on the beach, on a roof, at a game, in a bar...it's no wonder this city is wiped out come nightfall! In efforts to assimilate with the 'friscans (they would crucify me for calling them that. Also for using 'San Fran' I learned the hard way), I have embraced this early bird culture wholeheartedly. And by embrace, I mean found an excuse to eat a gut-busting breakfast.
I have come to appreciate the versatility of the pancake. I awoke last Saturday with an uncharacteristic craving for pancakes, however I had a full day of roof partying ahead of me and I knew I needed a better base than the traditional flour, maple syrup routine. Head still on the pillow, I perused the internet and discovered that one can put pretty much anything into a pancake. The pancake is truly a blank slate. Sweet, savory, hearty, light, gluten free, vegetarian or spiked with meat (do yourself a favor and make sausage pancakes sometime) - just pick your poison. My thought process for the following recipe went a little something like this: "I want pancakes. But not too sweet. I hate when they're too sweet. Maybe I'll use yogurt instead of milk? But I need protein - can't. get. hungry. I have walnuts. What if I pureed some walnuts into the batter? I have apples too! But I love banana pancakes. Well apples and bananas go well together, right?" And voila! A highly sophisticated, scientifically formulated recipe for Apple-Walnut-Banana-Yogurt pancakes, that I like to call:
Lord-Give-Me-Strength (For-This-Hike) Pancakes:
- 2 cups All-purpose flour (substitute whole wheat flour if you have it)
- 1.5 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar (brown sugar is a nice alternative)
- 1t. baking powder (not soda, which caused a second trip to the supermarket. Oops.)
- 1/2t. salt
- 3 apples peeled, cored and coarsely grated (I used Granny Smith - they're quite tart.)
- 1t. Cinnamon
- Canola oil or other cooking oil for frying
- Confectioners sugar for dusting, maple syrup for dunking, butter for patting...to each their own.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl (yogurt and eggs)
- Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder)
- Combine your wet and dry ingredients - lumps are good, don't over stir.
- Heat your skillet over medium/low heat, using a thin layer of Canola oil.
- Drop a spoonful of batter, smoothing out to a fairly flat, round shape to provide even cooking. Top with fruit.
- Using a spatula, peek underneath the cake for a golden brown crust. When achieved, flip and cook other side for about 3 more minutes, until same color.
- Dollop butter, dust sugar, pour syrup and enjoy!
- Go work them off.
Tourist Club Hike: Talk about motivation - a spectacular hike through the Muir Woods that ends at a German Beer Garden?
When I was a kid, I used to think the saying was "Up and Adam" and I would curse whoever that guy Adam was.
Let me sleep.
- The Heat