Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sweet and Salty Failure

Warning - An epic culinary adventure is chronicled below, including some rather graphic photographs of great pancake tragedies. If you offend easily, or love pancakes, please proceed with caution. Some images may not be appropriate for hungry children.

I love pancakes. Like, I sort of have a problem with how much I love pancakes. It was one of the first things I learned to cook. Any place that serves breakfast "All Day" will likely serve me pancakes. In high school, we started midnight-pancake-adventures (because it was a good, wholesome place for a high-schooler to go, and it was better than hanging out in clubs... okay I never went to a club. Probably because I was eating pancakes. Pancakes - they're my anti-drug. I digress). 

It’s an “any time” sort of food… What’s for breakfast? Pancakes. Need dinner, but your cupboards are bare? Pancakes! Who doesn’t have flour, baking powder, and sugar in their cupboards?? Heck, who doesn’t have a little dry pancake mix in their cupboard??

Most people can talk about the hardest adjustment when they first move in with or get married to their darling other half.  The toilet paper talk (over or under??), the grocery shopping squabble (once per week, or as needed?), the great dish-washing discussion (clean as you go, or all at the end?). These are important discussions to have! Luckily - the husband and I have agreed on most fronts. Except... the flap-jack fallout. We have not - and probably will not - come to a compromise on this front.

I grew up with Bisquick. Nothing wrong with that - it's a great kitchen multi-tasker for the busy family and would take us from pancakes, to biscuits, to waffles (and beyond!). But seriously - it was perfect for our busy family. To the powder, you add milk and eggs. They were always delicious, fluffy pancakes.

Husband grew up with a local mix called "Snoqualmie Falls". You add just water. Easy! You can make any amount (no messy egg proportions). And you can extra water if you were raised to like thin pancakes.  

THIN?!? Thin Pancakes? When I first saw these, I thought they were a mistake. He was so nervous to make me pancakes that he messed them up. Obviously... Then I realized: he likes these thin, chewy abominations that were somewhere between my holy pancake grail of fluffy pancakes and... well... crepes. I don't like them. And to be honest, I think the mix is bland. But if he insists on buying that mix - then I will fight him to the frying pan to make them fluffy. He won't let Bisquick into our home. Fine. But I got such a hankering for amazing pancakes that I decided to make them from scratch. And I failed. Big fat failure cake of really bad pancakes.

Let's back up a few steps - this particular evening, I was not just craving pancakes, but chocolate-chip-bacon-pancakes. I think I was challenged to them or some nonsense like that. The only other epic battle in my household is about sweet and salty. I love sweet and salty. It's just about my favorite combination EVER. I'm kind of obsessed with it. The hubs... well... he feels his sweets should be sweet. And his snacks salty. And ne'er shall the two combine. (BTW - I have gone as far as making him a special cooking batch without finishing salt so he can enjoy a sweet cookie) So I made some bacon pancakes that I could easily add chocolate chips.

I began by baking some bacon then chopping it out into tiny pieces. I used Alton Brown's recipe for pancakes. I read a few reviews for other recipes and thought I could add the extras I wanted (plus, I've successfully made it before and it's AMAZING). I whipped up the batter and added the bacon bits.

I got the pan hot and the butter bubbly.

Now - I had read about how to add chocolate chips. 

Some sites warned that adding the chocolate chips into the batter could lead to burning the chips after the flip. Oh no! So, another site suggested just throwing them onto shortly after the flip...

This was not a good idea. The chips went everywhere, didn't distribute, and then rolled off and still burned in the bottom of my pan. So I made another round.

And I thought these would be the ones. They would sing. I could smell them. I could feel the love tonight hunger pains. So I went in for the final flip...

Do you SEE that?!? I am a failure. I don't DESERVE pancakes!! I made another batch immediately.

And these looked okay!! I was hopeful. I topped with butter (not like it needed it)...

Little extra sweetness to match the chips...

I couldn't wait for the first bite. I'm going to be honest - I almost didn't take a picture first. Fluffy. Sweet. Salty. Complex flavor. Okay, this was all the build-up in my head. I took a bite.

I failed. Completely. Fluffy, yes. And that's where it ended. The dough was tough - I over mixed. The flavor was lacking - worse than the hubby's damned mix. And while the bacon and chips were the best part, that's still not saying much because, for some reason, they didn't party in my mouth. They were all invited, heck, they even came to the party. But no one danced. It was like middle school. In my mouth. Awkward. Some nice times. But in general, you're really glad it's over.

My pancake journey continues. The pancake battle continues, too - and we will fight it through our children and force them to chose a favorite. Hearts will be broken. But since he's not willing to convert to my delicious ways, then this is the way it must be. But I will find... 
*epic pause*  
*cue theme music*


  1. PANCAKES!!! (perhaps some extra spice - cinnamon - would have been the social lubricant for bacon, chocolate, and pancakes to party!)

    Proud of you for fighting through adversity in your pancake quest - those are some pretty looking final results.

    Oh and for your issue with Husband - a piece of sage wisdom from the East (Boston). Thin or fluffy, a well done pancake is still a tasty pancake.

  2. Oh my god.... I'm emailing this to my husband right now...we had this exact disagreement on Sunday! I saw bacon pancakes on Pinterest and a bell went off in my head.... chocolate bacon pancakes! YES... I tell my husband my plan and he said no way would he eat bacon with chocolate in pancakes SOOO I made chocolate chip pancakes... that were perfect fluffy chocolaty goodness. My husbands says after "ehh I like the thin ones better... add more milk to your recipe." Ok seriously? I wanted to karate chop him... he doesn't know good pancakes if they hit him in the face.