Saturday, February 2, 2013

These Are Not The Pancakes You're Looking For

In our house we have a giant, green Tupperware bowl. It goes by various names. It's been called The Popcorn Bowl. Also The Puke Bowl. (Think about that the next time you're tempted to feel sorry for me because I no longer eat popcorn). Currently, it's the compost bowl.

When I was a youngster, my dad thought that composting was the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. (Thanks to Douglas Adams, we now know the answer to be 42, but my dad was without that knowledge.) We could never just throw away waste, be it kitchen or yard waste. It needed to go back into the soil! In our back yard he built himself a two-stall compost producer. And being of the "do it right, or don't do it all" school of thought, he built it out of concrete. He made forms and poured concrete so that he had two concrete bins, open on the top,  resembling stalls for small Shetland ponies, so that he could fork the rotting humus from one bin to the other.

In his quest for the optimum composter, he'd forgotten one itsy bitsy, teensy weensie factor. Oxygen is kind of important for composting to happen. And 6 cubic feet of compressed leaves, grass, and dead tomato plants does not breathe well. My dad ended up getting rid of that compost bunker (I'm not sure but I think he might have had to use dynamite) and replacing it with something less sturdy and more breathable.

That whole attitude left an indelible stamp on me. The 11th commandment subliminally implanted in my brain is Thou Shalt Compost! And for many years I did. I dutifully heaped, forked, turned, sifted, and lovingly applied my beautiful dark, worm-ridden soil to the garden. But when we landscaped the yard to turn it into a wedding venue, sadly there was no room for a compost heap. So I've resigned myself to tossing my kitchen scraps into the yard waste bin provided by the city and letting them do the composting.

With our new diet, though, we produce a LOT of kitchen scraps. We fill the compost bowl at least once a day with quality, organic leavings. It pains me to consign them to the green bin. Surely there must be some way to reuse!

I was thinking this the other day, as I looked at the juice leavings. We juice carrots, kale, celery, spinach, and apples (and whatever else we think to toss in) and produce about 4 cups of dry waste from that daily. I had the leaving on the counter as I was preparing to make GAPS pancakes, whose ingredients are squash, eggs, and nuts. And then I had an AHA! moment. I used the juice waste in place of the squash to make the pancakes, adding a little coconut milk for moisture.

(These are King Arthur Flour Pancakes. They are prettier than mine. Plus I was too lazy to take pictures of mine.)

Were these the light, fluffy pancakes like those I used to make with white flour and sugar? No, no they were not. But they were a lot like the squash pancakes and since my family is used to those, they didn't complain. Did they squeal in joy, asking how soon we could have them again? No, they did not. But these days, any meal which they will eat without gagging or complaining is a victory.

And I got to have the pleased glow all day of having rescued some perfectly good kitchen waste from the bin.

Apr├ęs Juice Pancakes

Dry leavings from juicing - about 4 cups worth
2 cups soaked and dehydrated walnuts
6 farm eggs
about 1/4 cup coconut milk
Coconut oil or tallow

1- Into a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients (the dry leavings last - unless you want to burn out the motor on your blender. Don't ask how I know. Just trust me on this one.)

2- Process until you have a smooth, creamy batter. Add more coconut milk if it seems to thick.

3- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil or tallow to coat it. You want a lot of grease in there!

4- Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto the hot pan, spreading with the back of a spoon to an even thickness.

5- When the underside is done, flip carefully with a spatula and cook the other side. If the consistency is off, the pancakes may break up. No worries. Go with it and call them scrambled pancakes and hope to do better next time.