DROPPING SCONES FOR A PANCAKE BREAKFAST…LITERALLY!!

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll

Drop Scones with whipped cream & mango

There are some meals that leave a mark on you, a stamp in your mind (or as in my case, on the DH’s)! The memories of the quintessential American breakfast my sister stirred up for us in Dallas last year is a case in point, & features in our foodie conversation ever so often. Whinge, whinge the man goes…why don’t you ever make pancakes? There is some block in my brain where I stubbornly DO NOT wish to get up early, hit the kitchen & make pancakes. But sometimes there are compulsions, & I had mine…a chef singing to me to make sure I delivered my promise of a ‘breakfast under 15 minutes’!! Heavens…I swung madly between mangoes, stuffed baked peaches, parfaits, smoothies! Then again, it had to be challenging, & something special. Was just a coincidence that night I was reading a very old baking book I had bought in 1986 (over 20 years ago!!)…‘Baking Course’, edited by Isabel Moore. Turning pages I stopped at scones…hmmm! A further read led me to Drop Scones (Pancakes) & my ‘breakfast under 15 minutes’ sang back to me. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone the brain said…have DH singing like a canary & have the Singing Chef join the chorus too! YAY!!

Quick ‘n’ Easy… Scrumptious Scotch Pancakes

This recipe was EASY. Say it loud, yell it out…EASY! I joined the chorus too, & was singing by the end of making my pancakes. The daughter was very excited, was up early & helped whisk the batter…2 minutes & it was done. Dropping them onto the griddle to putting them in the basket was a matter of minutes. Still my heart was beating like a timer for ‘the singing chef’s‘ 15 minute deadline for the call for an ‘Express Breakfast’…what absolute madness! I served these lovely pancakes/drop scones with unsweetened whipped cream, chopped mangoes, peach preserves & jam. Didn’t have maple syrup, but that didn’t matter.
DH said they reminded him of the ones he had had for breakfast at The Oberoi’s in Mumbai a while ago, & mine were better! WOOHOO!! They sold out like hot cakes, & the kids had a blast putting theirs’ together. Crossed another invisible barrier of stuff I stubbornly wouldn’t try…& now I wonder why?

Making them…

Pancakes are a type of flatbread prepared from a sweet batter that is cooked on a hot griddle or in a frying pan. They exist in several variations in many different local cuisines. Most pancakes are quick breads, although some are also made using a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Pancakes similar to the North American pancake but smaller (usually about 3.5 in / 9 cm in diameter) are known in the UK as Scotch pancakes or drop-scones (after the traditional method of dropping batter onto a griddle (a girdle in Scots)), and in northern England, Australia and New Zealand as pikelets. They can be served with jam and cream or just with butter. In Scotland pancakes are served at teatime but mostly as breakfast. Scottish and Irish pancakes, locally known as drop scones, pancakes or griddle cakes, are made from self-raising flour, eggs, sugar and milk with Irish pancakes being made with soda-flour and buttermilk.

THEY WERE GREAT…EXPRESS PANCAKES!!

I have pages of a zillion books of pages bookmarked, enough to bind into more books, I have pages on the net bookmarked, I have blogevents to participate in bookmarked….& I have this one life to do it all & more in!! A day has 24 hours & the blessed month only about 30 days. Phew… to top it all off, the firm intent to make sure I leave a footprint at The Singing Chefs event at WBB for sure. I promised & then got to know of the theme…‘Express Breakfasts’ ie ‘in UNDER 15 MINUTES’!! O boy… it took me a good ten to calm the palpitations down & begin thinking in an organised manner; the next few hours were lost in futile searches online. My old book came to my rescue; ‘Baking Course’ is a quaint little book, just about 60 odd pages, on pastry, cakes and bread. Talks you through the processes & techniques of making each of these, & puts down a handful of recipes on each of the three.

Dropping scones for the chef who sings…

This recipe is especially for Raaga, the Singing Chef, who is hosting the 2nd anniversary of Weekend Breakfast Blogging this month. WBB is an event that started almost 2 years ago. The brainchild of Nandita of Saffron Trail, this event to popularize breakfast has been hopping all over the blogosphere. Thank you sweet Singing Chef; had it not been for you, I would have never attempted these wonderful pancakes!! GRACIAS!!

Kids @ Work – The boy……& the girl!!

The recipe as adapted from ‘Baking Course’, pg 45
Ingredients:
Flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsps
Pinch of salt
Golden (light corn) syrup – 2 tbsps
Eggs – 2
Vegetable Oil – 2 tbsp
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp (I had to add this; but can be omitted if you are not ‘eggphobic’)
Milk as required

Method:

  • Sift the flour + baking powder + salt ( or use 2 cups self-raising flour).
  • Lightly grease the griddle with a little oil. ( I used a non-stick griddle).
  • Put all the ingredients except milk in a bowl & whisk with as much milk as required to make a thick batter, of a consistency like thick cream.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the batter on to a heated griddle & cook for 3 minutes until bubbling.
  • Turn over & cook the other side till golden (2-3 minutes more).
  • Remove the cooked scones & cover with a clean cloth. Use the remainder of the batter in the same way.

  • Makes about 24 drop scones / pancakes.
  • Serve with unsweetened whipped cream, chopped mango (of seasonal fruit), peach preserves, jam, butter, fresh mint etc.

SINGING FOR MY BREAKFAST!!!

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MANGOLICIOUS MORNINGS with FRUITY BEGINNINGS!!

“Marriages are all happy; its having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.”
Irish Proverb Mango Fruit Salad with Apricots, Melon, Cherries & basil
It’s the month of May, & MANGO, the king of fruits, rules the roost here in India. As far as the eye can see, it’s mangoes all the way. In the midst of this, Arundati @Escapades is hosting this month’s Weekend Breakfast Blogging (WBB) #22; it’s has been aptly christened ‘May Mango Madness’. As she dramatically states, “Melting moments of May have turned up the heat a notch higher…WBB, the event started by the lovely doctor at Saffron trail, stops by at Escapades this month.” With mangoes going for less than a dollar a kilo here, it is complete madness. To add to it, the Escapades lady has been on my case to send her an entry & soon. SMSing, googling, calling…I am now stressed enough to post this immediately! Oh, the pressures of modern day existence & blogging are enough to give me sleepless nights; throw in the IPL cricket matches day after day & you lose track of time!! That’s my life, but since my conscience has now got the better of me, here we go…
I am not a very elaborate breakfast sorta person. With 3 main meals in a day, breakfast is always light & quick. Once in a while, DH rues the fact that I don’t make pancakes. I had some bookmarked from Nandita’s blog @ Saffron Trail; never quite got there. I had wild thoughts pass through my head…mango nightmares; would a frozen cheesecake sound too bizarre for breakfast? Could I pass off the ‘Mango Fool‘ the daughter made for dessert on Mother’s day? Maybe I could sneak in an ice-cream & no one would say a word…hmmmm! Arundati’s persistence got the better of me & googling led me to yummies like Mango, blueberry, and ginger fruit salad, Fresh fruit platter with ginger-mango sauce, Mango parfait! Thoroughly inspired & thankful for the shove to widen my horizons, I made this fruit salad with a ginger-lime-basil dressing.
What a great beginning to the day this was…a treat for the eyes too!
These days North India is seeing an abundance of the Safeda’ mango, which is juicy & absolutely delicious. Alphonsos, Safedas, Banganpalli, Neelam, Dusheri, Totapuri, Langra can be seen across local markets during the mango season. These are all local varieties & one variety eases the other out of the market as days go by.
That’s the sons’ bowlful…he had it with just mangoes & cherries, basil & dressing!
When we were young, we would visit family friends in Benares, a holy town on the banks of the river Ganges, almost every summer. Summer being prime mango season, every meal would begin or end with mango in some form. Breakfast was usually mango pureed with a small amount of milk or cream, served chilled in porridge bowls…absolutely delicious. Lunch & dinner would be wrapped up with each of us being given individual platters, knives & mangoes (which were chilled in huge tubs of ice water), & we would devour them with great excitement….with no one particularly concerned at the juices dripping or the royal mess we created.
Mangoliciously good memories!!
The onset of summer also means the appearance of fruits from the hills from the state of Jammu & Kashmir, a state often referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’. Peaches, apricots, cherries are mesmerising our taste buds too these days, & found place next to the mangoes in our bowlfuls for breakfast! Melons too jostled for space in the bowl; I used the melon baller for them.

Luxuriating in a walnut wood bowl that my mother got from Srinagar when we visited the ‘Paradise‘ decades ago…

Now for the recipe…very simple & full of flavour.
Ingredients for the dressing
Water – 1/3 cup
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Zest & juice of 2-3 limes
Grated fresh ginger – 1-2″ piece

Method:

  • Boil the zest + water + sugar + ginger & simmer it for 3-5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat. Add the lime juice & let it rest for 20-30 minutes for the flavours to marry!!
  • Strain & chill until ready to use.
  • Chop up 3-4 mangoes, deseed & quarter 10-15 apricots, pip the cherries (I didn’t) & ‘ball’ the melon (I did).
  • Chop up a handful of fresh basil fine. Gently toss everything together in a big bowl, drizzle the dressing over the fruit & toss again gently. Chill well & serve in individual bowls with a sprig of basil each. Top with chopped crystallized ginger if you like.

There you go Arundati…this is for you @ Escapades!! Thanks for pushing (read stalking) me to stretch my limits. A sweet thought on the side, this bowl makes for delicious dessert too, served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. We tried that too (obviously!!!).

Delicious, both to begin, & end the day!! Howzzat for a ‘bowlful of mangolicious options’?

BALANCING THE BREAKFAST ACT…WBB / GRILLED TOAST!

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”
John Gunther

O the perils of months’ coming to an end & blog events piling up sky high. I’m huffing & puffing to catch up…for Mansi @ Fun and Food has chosen “Balanced Breakfast Meals” as this month’s theme for WBB#20.WBB, short for Weekend Breakfast Blogging, was started by Nandita of Saffron Trail almost a year ago with the aim of collecting interesting recipes for a weekend breakfast. Preparing balanced meals is not as difficult as you think. Its just mixing up all the good stuff and packaging in a way that’s visually appealing and good for your body too!

I agree totally…but time, deadlines & camera batteries doing the number are the big issues in my little corner of the world! Mansi says…A balanced and wholesome breakfast is something that combines 2 or more of the food groups below to fulfill nutrition needs.

  • Fruits or vegetables (dried fruits are fine too)
  • Grains and Cereals (whole grains, oats, high-fiber foods)
  • Dairy (skim milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese (paneer)
  • Proteins (eggs/egg whites, peanut butter, beans, nuts, sprouts, protein isolates)

…& her rules are…”Your breakfast should contain at least one item from the above list. But I’m really expecting all you fabulous foodies to come up with entrees that have more than 2 items from the list!” O boy…can’t believe I actually achieved 3!! How wholesome is this - veggies + grains + dairy…BINGO!!!

This is something I put together with bits & stuff that I had in the fridge. Nothing exotic, but quite tasty. It’s grilled toast with olive oil & garlic, topped with tomatoes…& then a burst of colour with bell peppers, crumbled cottage cheese & basil!! Sorry the pictures aren’t good because the battery really misbehaved that particular day & with tummies rumbling I couldn’t do much! But this was yummy stuff!! Would have been better if I had laid my hands on some GREAT garlic flavoured olive oil at Amy’s @ Familia Bencomo. Check that out guys & you’ll be sold on it!!

Ingredients:

Multi grain bread – 4 slices (I keep mine in the freezer for this toast)
Tomatoes – 1-2 / sliced
Juliennes of red, yellow & green bell peppers – of 1/4 pepper each
Olive oil – 1-2 tsps
Garlic pods – 1-2
Cottage cheese – roughly crumbled – 100 gms
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Method:

  • Put on the grill ( I have a small front opening toaster for this); otherwise preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Halve a pod of garlic lengthwise & rub all over the frozen bread. Its a lovely way of adding flavour.
  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the bread; top with sliced tomatoes; season with salt & pepper.
  • Add the crumbled cheese & juliennes & grill for a couple of minutes till the base is crisp. keep an eye out so you don’t burn the toast.
  • Once done, give it another dash of freshly ground pepper, top with basil leaves & ENJOY!!!
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