Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Killer Pancakes and a Cozy Mystery

To be perfectly honest, the only thing "killer" about these pancakes is the calorie count. On the other hand, six of them provide enough fuel for a day's hike up North Pack Monadnock Mountain in southern New Hampshire--one and a half miles trailhead to summit, with a net elevation gain of 1000 feet. 
This recipe is based on one found in Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich.

Killer Pancakes (serves 2 generously, 3-4 lightly)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rye flour (whole wheat or all-purpose may be substituted)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk plus a little extra
1 Tbsp molasses or honey
2 Tbsp oil or melted butter, plus some for the skillet
Extras: chopped nuts, seeds (chia, sunflower, sesame), chopped dried fruit, shredded coconut, small fresh fruit (berries, sliced bananas, chopped apples)

Stir together the dry ingredients and make a well in them.
In a different bowl, beat the eggs well, stir in the milk and oil.
Pour the egg mixture and the sweetener into the dry ingredients. Stir just until the batter is smooth; do not beat. Beating makes the pancakes tough. If the batter is thick, stir in a little more milk.
Heat the griddle or skillet (I prefer my electric griddle set at 375 degrees; yours may vary) and add the oil. 
Drop about 2 Tbsp of batter onto the griddle for each pancake; top each with one or two "extras." I like to use one crunchy and one sweet, for example coconut with banana or walnuts with dried cranberries. Cook about 1 minute on each side, just until golden. Serve hot with softened butter and warm syrup.

Excerpt from Framed, coming soon from The Wild Rose Press.

“Were they lovers?” Jenna asked, wide-eyed. “You always hear that about artists and their models.” Then she blushed.
“Oh, no! Jerry never had any interest in Abby as a woman,” Ginny answered.
“But they died,” Jenna prompted, absorbed in the story.
Ginny nodded. “Ten years ago last winter. They went missing during a snowstorm. The police went nuts trying to find them. At first, everyone assumed they had just run off together, but it wasn’t like that. Mike, her husband, really stirred things up, insisting something had happened. He forced the cops to look into it. 
“It took the authorities about three weeks to find them. A hunter came across them in the snow.” She looked rather sick. “The coyotes had been at the bodies, but it looked like he killed her and then himself. Mike moved out west and never came back.”
She sighed and returned to the present. “All of which means this painting may be a gold mine, Jenna. Let us clean it up, verify it is what I think it is. There may even be a signature under all the grease and smoke. Would you feel better if we came up with an agreement about what happens then?”
Sue and Elsie excused themselves and went to the workshop down the stairs from the gallery. “I’d forgotten he killed himself,” Sue said. 
“Don’t you believe it,” Elsie replied. “Jerry wouldn’t hurt a fly. That was no murder/suicide. It was a double murder.”