I know you might be thinking that now that summer break is over, this teacher is going to have nothing homemade to blog about. Well, it has been pretty hectic around here. I thought about just blogging about exotic drinks for the next 9 months, but that might be troubling to some of you, as well as my liver.  If you guys can manage another 15 minutes of SSR, I promise I will give you extra credit for returning to my blog…  By the way, yesterday tsp. had its 1000th view after just 2 months of being alive, so thank you for reading, and cooking and eating. 

One thing I have managed to whip up, during this period of back-to-school adjustment, is some pancakes. We have made this recipe about three times now. It is a real hit with all the out-of-towners that have been passing through. I made it with the Texas pears a couple weeks ago, and it was delicioso.  We even made a batch without the sugar for Tazo, and it was tasty too.

My biggest complaint about Good to the Grain is the super-detailed instructions.  Partly because they are long, and partly because, they still leave out what I value most in cooking instructions–really accurate description of what the substance you are creating should look or feel like.  I think telling people how to do something has its limits (you can be bossy, but people stop listening), while describing the result can really make them confident.  For example, the directions for this pancake recipe say that the batter will be “slightly thick” when in fact, it is thick like muffin batter, which is pretty thick for pancakes.  I made it so many times, and it tastes awesome, but it is very thick batter.  Sometimes I thinned it a little, just to make it cook more evenly.  So, dont be alarmed if the batter is thicker than you are used to.  The amount of pear also makes a difference here (size of pears can vary, and the amount of juice).

But really, this is not a hard recipe, and yet in the book it is divided into 9 steps.  9 steps for breakfast?  Lets see if I can cut that in half:

Pear Buckwheat Pancakes

adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce


1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled

1 and 1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 medium ripe pears, firm enough to grate.

honey butter:

4 ounces unsalted butter

1/2 cup honey

1.  Make the batter: Sift the first five ingredients (dry) into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together the butter, milk, and egg.  Peel and grate the pears (using the large holes on your grater) over the milk mixture.  Fold the wet into the dry with a spatula, until thoroughly combined.

2. Prepare the topping: I found the microwave quite adequate for the getting the honey butter ready beforehand.  Heat it on high for 90-120 seconds in a bowl large enough it will not boil over.  Let it sit somewhere warm until you are ready to serve.

3. Cook the pancakes: Preheat your griddle or frying pan to medium high and add a good coating of butter.  Water drops should sizzle, but the butter should not burn.  Drop 1/4 mounds of batter, and spread them a little.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden.  Continuously add butter to the pan in between dollops of batter.  If they get too dark before they are ready to flip (the bubbles in the center are popping), then turn down the heat a little. 

Serve them to a hard worker, such as the person building you a shed all by himself in the 105 degree heat.