Cooking Gluten-Free Pancakes with Anne: a.k.a. How to not break a washing machine

I wasn’t planning on doing a breakfast meal for one of these blog entries, because it’s breakfast, how complicated can it get?? But this blog isn’t about getting complicated, it’s about learning.

I met with my friend Anne at 9:30 in the morning. I’m pretty sure I woke her up when I texted her that morning. She said it was no big deal, but I think we both wished we were sleeping.

Anne has been a good friend of mine ever since our sophomore or junior years in high school (I can’t remember which.) For this meal, she chose gluten-free pancakes. I was hoping for gluten-free ice cream cake, but that doesn’t fly at 9:30 AM.

Anne has an allergy to wheat and gluten is a protein in wheat. While this may suck for most people (like me and my bread addiction,) Anne has made the most of it. Since she learned about it, she has become a fantastic cook for herself and her husband, Jeff. Almost every restaurant has gluten in their food or all over their stations that prepare food. This has forced Anne to cook for herself and healthy meals at that. In her words, she has to put in extra effort to cook unhealthy (though this has not stopped her. She once cooked Bacon and Cheddar stuffed Pork Chops. Calm yourself meat eaters.)

We started with the pancake mix. It is called Pamela’s Pancake mix.

To make the batter we just added egg water and oil.  Nothing crazy.  Anne used vegetable oil.  I am accustomed to Olive Oil.  When I suggested it, Anne noted that using olive oil will make the pancakes taste like, well, olives.  Now this is weird to me because I pretty much use only olive oil.

Pause.  My dad at some point heard somewhere that olive oil is healthier than regular oil and ever since then, all we had in our house was olive oil.  If someone hadn’t told me that olive oil tastes different from other oils, I probably never would have known this (yes, I realize and idiot probably could have figured this out on their own.)

Resume.  So the night before, Anne had partaken in Gin and decided to make drunk pudding.  This would be totally irrelevant to the story if it weren’t for the fact that we needed a whisk to mix the batter and it was currently dirty.  We resorted to a fork.

After sufficient mixing, we heated good pan and greased it up with vegetable oil.  I didn’t know there were good pans.  Anne got hers from Costco.  Apparently nice pans are thicker on the bottom and as a result, distribute heat more evenly.  This is why when I cook on my own, I get the middle pancakes all super cooked while the ones on the side are still runny.  Also, Anne has no Teflon pans.  Her pans are all metal.  Apparently Teflon lets off fumes that are kind of bad for humans but deadly to birds.  Also, did I mention Anne has a pet bird?  His name is Kermit.  He is a sweet bird you might say.  I’ll add a picture soon.

Apparently, the first couple pancakes always end up weird and/or bad because the amount of oil.  This is something that was also news to me.  I never thought twice about how the first ones looked.  Perhaps it was because I was always pigging out on pancakes with Gretel to notice what shape they were.

Anne had also made soup the other day.  Because of this, her ladle was dirty as well.  We resorted to a spoon and made mini gluten-free pancakes!

Whilst the pancakes were cooking, we had some tea with the meal.  Being the genius that I am, I forgot what brand and type of tea it was, but I know it was purple!

When I get that information, I’ll fill you all in.  I hate to leave any missing information.

Once complete, the mini pancakes looked delightful.

We had them with target syrup.  Apparently the “real stuff” tastes a lot better, but is not packed with preservatives and sugar, so it doesn’t last as long.  And really, who eats pancakes consistently enough to go through a big thing of legit syrup?  Chris Farley?  Mama Cass?  William Howard Taft?  This isn’t rhetorical, I’m asking.

After finishing the first batch, Anne’s husband Jeff joined the party.

When starting the mixing, he asked “Where’s the whisk?”

When starting the frying, he asked “Where’s the ladle?”  See, there was a reason I mentioned those.

Upon finishing, Anne said, “Oh!  I should have made you wear the apron!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with aprons.  I’ll use whatever tools are helpful with cooking.  Plus I think it would be sweet to get one with this image on it.

But I’ll be damned if I was going to be made to wear this atrocity.

What I learned:

A gluten-free lifestyle can be hard to get adjusted to, but once settled in, the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Also, regardless of how much healthier gluten-free pancakes are than regular pancakes, if you eat too many, you’ll feel like William Howard Taft later (too soon?)

Non-cooking related learnings: There are people who let their clothes soak in the washer.  Don’t do this.  Also, almost every homeless person has a cellphone now.  Go figure.



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