Despite my somewhat pathetic state I did read tons of magazines on the ferry, include Gourmet's Holiday Special Addition. Holy deliciousness. I have a habit of manhandling magazines - folding down corners and ripping out recipes. This one really got it. Almost every page has a note, crease, or tear. In the sea of roast chickens, holiday pies, and root vegetable soups I decided to start with these Whole-Grain Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce.
Pancakes are a safe start to toddler-kitchen-helper land. They involve big bowls, wooden spoons, cracking eggs, and stirring. The perfect combination of interesting steps but nothing that could set the house on fire.
Whole-Grain Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup
Serves 4-6 from Gourmet Holiday Special 2012
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus additional for brushing griddle
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups blackberries - sub in fresh raspberries or frozen wild blueberries if you like
Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl, then add buttermilk, eggs, and oil and whisk until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes (batter will thicken). If batter is too thick to pour easily, thin with additional buttermilk, 1 Tbsp at a time, or 1/4 cup water.
Bring syrup with berries to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, then boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Brush a griddle with oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Reduce heat to medium. Working in batches, spoon a shy 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle to from rounds. Cook until bubbles appear on surface, edges are set, and undersides are golden, about 1 minute.
Flip pancakes with a metal spatula and cook until undersides are golden and pancakes are cooked through, 45 seconds to 1 minute more. Transfer pancakes to plates and brush griddle with oil between batches. Serve with warm syrup.