The husband and I just returned from a 10-day trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma. It was truly marvelous in every way. I don't think we had one bite of food or sip of wine that didn't send me into a foodie frenzy, babbling on and on about the texture of this and the flavor of that. I'm hoping to share some photos with you soon.
With our return came the complete opposite of a vacation: my first cold of the season and the start of rainy weather here in Seattle. Quite possibly every child I saw in my clinic this week had a cough and sniffly nose. And so, I sit here on the couch, a cup of tea and honey throat drops at my side, the rain pounding sideways into the window. I realize, it's my first opportunity to truly write in months. I'll take it.
The shift in weather has me wishing for warm things. Big pots of coffee and socks on my feet. Long gone are the heirloom tomato salads with fresh basil and burrata cheese I enjoyed so many times last week. It's time now for big pots of chili, trays of roasted butternut squash, and stacks of piping hot pancakes on a Saturday morning.
Yes, pancakes. Let's talk more about those.
Every decent weekend should begin with a stack of pancakes.
Lately, the husband and I have been enjoying them with a simple maple ginger syrup we threw together in a pot one morning. I had purchased a monstrosity of a root for a sudden neurotic obsession I had with Asian and Indian dishes containing lots and lots of fresh ginger. After a week of that, I think the husband was about ready to chuck the rest, but I was determined to find a new use for it.
This syrup has just enough "differentness" about it that makes you say, "What IS that?" And I'd like to think, at least for today, that the fresh ginger root is helping me battle this cold with all its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial goodness.
We still had a couple pints of fresh blueberries lying around for these pancakes, but anything will do here. Pull berries from a stocked supply you may have in your freezer or caramelize some apples or pears in a skillet to spoon on top.
I love this pancake recipe made with whole grains and yogurt, but use whatever you like. French toast, waffles, crepes - all will welcome this syrup brilliantly.
I think I may be feeling better already...
maple ginger syrup // makes 1/2 cup
This is a simple recipe to build from if you like. Depending on the season, add some zested orange or lemon or maybe a pinch of spice like cinnamon or nutmeg.
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated/zested fresh ginger root
Place syrup and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then promptly lower heat and stir as ginger dissolves. Keep warm on stove over low heat as pancakes cook. Drizzle or pour on top to your heart's content.