Bananas are always in my fruit bowl lately because these Banana Buckwheat Pancakes are my new favourite weekend breakfast. They’re made with buttermilk, which keeps them light, and the buckwheat provides a nutty backdrop to the gently sweet bananas. Topped with a drizzle of maple syrup and a squeeze of lime, these pancakes take me right back to our long ago holiday in Bali, eating buttery pancakes at Windy’s Warung…only these ones are much easier on the waistline. I’m not a big fan of sweet breakfasts but these pancakes have won me over. They are a great way to start your Sunday.
Weekends are also for catching up on my favourite food blogs. I follow lots of blogs that I regard as key recipe resources where a constant stream of reliable recipes keeps me coming back, but there are many others that I enjoy for the sheer pleasure of reading. Most food blogs follow a standard format of a recipe + photos + some sort of back story. It’s logical, and it works but it’s also nice to see blogs that try to offer something different. These quirky examples are a few of my current favourites:
A recent niche emerging in food blogging is the use of illustrations instead of photographs. Fidget and the Rowes is a blog about the “superdog” Fidget and his housemates. Amusing cartoons feature the trio getting up to all sorts of mischief – Fidget using the last of the cannelloni to curl his hair and Salmon getting nervous about another of Trota’s experiments. Equally endearing is The Cat’s Whisk, which chronicles the adventures of Clementine the Cat Baker as she bakes beer into cupcakes and hangs out with King Kong. Finally, We Ate Hipsters offers a refreshing take on food news, presenting informative restaurant reviews with gorgeous illustrations.
Another genre I enjoy is literary blogging, which takes culinary inspiration from well known books. The Little Library Cafe recreates fictional dishes like the Chocolate Cocktail from Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Crab & Avocado Salad from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Green Eggs & Ham from Dr Seuss. Another favourite is Stroking the Monster’s Back which explores “how food, drink and literary works intersect to form a complete and unique sensory experience”. Whether it is Flannery O’Connor and Chocolate Milkshake or W.B. Yeats with my own Orange & Pistachio Granola, this blog always intrigues in unexpected ways.
I also love reading food bloggers who have a unique personality and writing style. Dana from I’ve Got Cake makes me laugh almost every time I read a post. She’s a sassy one alright – her Valentine’s Day post has to be the best anti-Valentine writing that I’ve ever read (and I would love to be a guest at one of her Sunday Dinners). Nicole from The Foodgasm Guide is equally funny, offering up risqué reviews of the best buns in San Fransisco and sexy recipes guaranteed to please. And then there is Morestomach, a perennial favourite for Lan’s dreamy photographs and habit of writing her posts as poems. Try Savoury Sticky Rice for a delightful introduction.
Finally, I have a soft spot for blogs that focus on the cultural history of food, working to preserve and cherish the food of past eras. Retro Ruth writes at The Mid Century Menu, remaking vintage dishes and cocktails with true commitment. Some of the results are pretty bad (7Up and tomato sauce cocktail anyone?) but for all your Spam Pie and Jellied Potato Salad needs, Ruth has got you covered. Another favourite is Long White Kid, a New Zealand blogger who presents thoroughly researched accounts of iconic New Zealand foods like Hokey Pokey ice cream, Surprise Peas, and the old-fashioned Sally Lunn Bun.
Now, next Sunday make yourself these pancakes then settle in for a good, long read. Have a great week everyone!
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup plain flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 large, ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or plain yoghurt thinned with milk)
To serve: maple syrup, lime wedges, berries
Whisk together the buckwheat flour and plain flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and whisk together. Mash the two bananas in a medium bowl, leaving them slightly lumpy. Crack the egg into the bowl along with the buttermilk and whisk together with the mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir with a spoon or spatula. The batter will be quite thick, but add more buttermilk or a splash of milk if it seems too dry. Be careful not to overmix – a few lumps are ok.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Swish the surface with a few drops of oil then wipe it off with a paper towel. Using a 1/4 cup measuring utensil, ladle the batter onto the hot pan and shake the pan to encourage the batter to spread out (it will be fairly thick). Cook the pancake for 2-3 minutes, until the surface is covered with bubbles and the edges look dry. Flip over and cook for another minute or so on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes with maple syrup, berries and a squeeze of lime.