Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday Morning Pancakes

A few years ago my hubby decided to start a Sunday morning tradition of making pancakes. My thought at the time was, "Really? Like, every Sunday?" I was still begging for every possible moment of sleep I could get and this sounded like more work than a bowl of Cheerios (recall: Cheerios don't have BHT).

So it began. But, come to figure out it's not so bad! You can make a big batch and freeze them for the week and when the boys want pancakes during the week: 2 minutes later, they are on the plate! Bottom line: homemade pancakes (not from a box) any day of the week. Note: to my knowledge I've never had pancakes from a box, but I'm guessing these are way better!

Buttermilk Pancakes (I normally triple the recipe)
1 C flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt (roughly 1/4 teaspoon)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 C buttermilk (you can mix 1 Tbsp lemon juice with 1 C milk & let sit 5 min if you don't have buttermilk). Sometimes I add a little more buttermilk to get the right consistency.

Put the griddle on the stove over low heat (so it's nice & warm when you're ready). Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients & mix. Add a little oil to the griddle & put batter on. Flip when middle starts to bubble.

Variation: Banana-pecan: Mash a very ripe banana & add with wet ingredients (do a 1/2 banana if you're only doing one batch) and add chopped pecans at the end. I also throw in chocolate chips at the end (often I just toss a few to each of their pancakes after they are on the griddle) for the boys. They love them!

When you freeze: put a small piece of wax paper between each of them & place in a big Ziploc.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hedge Apples...they do have a purpose & it involves bugs!

My mom recently told me about a friend who collects hedge apples every fall, takes them to Oklahoma & sells them. What? Why? She claims there are a bunch of Oklahomans who believe these things are spider-deterants so they put them in their basements. To clarify: hedge apples are those large lime-green balls that look like brains and fall out of large trees. I'm extremely thankful I've never been hit on the head by one!

A few weeks after hearing this story, I took my kids to the botanical garden to take Christmas pictures. And what just-so-happens to be on the ground that my kids decide to turn into a toy while mom tortures them taking pictures? Yes, hedge apples! In my later efforts to distract them from a melt-down I tell them what their granny told me about hedge apples getting rid of spiders. So they insist on bringing these things home & putting them in the basement.

About our basement...I've done some things to make it fun & slightly inviting if you're into riding bikes, crawling around in tent-tunnels or working-out (for me & the hubby), but it is officially unfinished & we get lots of bugs down there. Mostly rolly-pollies, crickets and a few spiders. If I don't sweep every couple weeks there will be dozens or hundreds (depending on the time of year) of dead rolly-pollies down there. Gross!

They put 2 hedge apples down there about 3 weeks ago & I swear I haven't seen a live bug since! There are maybe a handful of dead rolly-pollies, but as big as our basement is you have to go searching for them (as I did). I'm finding this truly unbelievable! For a girl constantly on the look-out for chemical-free ways to get rid of bugs, can it really be this easy? The hubby insists that the weather has gotten colder & this is the reason the bugs are gone, but really there have only been a few random cold days so far this fall. I think he's just a skeptic. Time will tell! I'm just wondering when the hedge-apple anti-bug super-power will wear off or when they will start to rot. I wonder if you can freeze them & get a new one out when you need it? If anyone from Oklahoma is reading this, please share the secret & shame on you for not telling the rest of us about this sooner!!!