Sometimes a favorite recipe can be found in unexpected places. My friend and former graduate school roommate, Marett, is a woman of many talents, smart and charming being the two that I think of first. Being part of a family that owns a glamorous travel business, Marett hops around the globe with her adorable daughter, making sure the destinations she is sending her clients to are indeed as fabulous as the glossy brochures say they are. Given she has been peripatetic her whole life, however, she has no culinary skills whatsoever. Since I can be a little territorial in the kitchen anyway, this was of no consequence to our living arrangements (or friendship) and we were a very complimentary pair.
One morning, I awoke to find Marett mixing up a bowl of pancake batter for breakfast. I won’t air-brush it, her few attempts at cooking usually did not end in a joyous note but rather a dull thud. And she wasn’t using Bisquick or any other type of pre-mixed batter, she was making pancakes from scratch! Worry turned to surprise as she served up some of the lightest, tastiest pancakes I have ever had. The recipe, of course, had come from a glamorous source; a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who worked in a safari camp in Kenya.
When I want to showcase our maple syrups, I need some knockout pancakes and these are still the best. The last time I checked, Marett was in San Francisco, having travelled from Africa with stops in Chicago and Las Vegas. Even if I hardly ever catch her coming or going I still treasure the one excellent recipe and the truly fabulous friend.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp grated orange rind (optional)
1 Tb orange juice
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla
Extra butter for cooking and finished pancakes
In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Find a 12” skillet or pan and place over medium heat. Place a small pat of butter in the pan and swirl to coat. When the pan is hot, place medium sized dollops of batter in the pan. Let the pancakes cook until you see the sides begin to dry and a few bubbles have formed, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes to cook the other side. When cooked through, put on a plate with an extra pat of butter and serve with our Sugarmaker’s Cut Pure Maple Syrup or the infused or barrel-aged maple syrup of your choice.