Pandemic Pancakes

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Pandemic or no, man’s still gotta eat; the question is where. Since March 15 (except for a handful of meals), that’s been at home.

As for breakfast, with nowhere to rush off to (and Zoom meetings in pajama bottoms), it’s an opportunity to start the day with something creative. Raise your hand if you’re like me, and you drift off to sleep anticipating what you’re going to eat in the morning. 

Last night it was pancakes. I’ve been a fan of the stuffed variety ever since I tasted the granola pancakes at Ann Arbor’s Café Marie - sadly now closed. Over the years I’ve experimented with different versions, including a more savory one with corn grits, and others with fruit. I’ve settled on this take that includes both blueberries and a good almond granola.

Because I don’t often have milk around the house, I use a non-fat Greek yogurt such as Chobani. I use plain, but vanilla would likely work wonders. You can thin it out if necessary with a touch of water, or almond milk if you have it. Serve with real maple syrup and you’ll be rarin’ to Zoom through the rest of your day.   

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

 1 1/4 cups plain or vanilla yogurt

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

almond milk or water as necessary to thin batter

Directions

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the yogurt, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth; thin as necessary.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over no higher than medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip when edges brown and bubble. The finished product will be slightly cake-like. Serve hot, with warm maple syrup.

I must close a serious note; I hesitated in writing this column. I don’t want anyone to think I am making light of the pandemic, or that I don’t recognize the extreme hardship of millions of Americans in putting food on the table. This has been a dark and challenging year in so many ways. For those of us, like me, fortunate to still be working and having the means to do so, a good breakfast is a way to start the day on a good note.

During that day, I hope you are doing your best to give back, help others, and instill hope in all of us for a better tomorrow.

Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil rights litigation. He has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and wrote a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at Twitter or Facebook @nickroumel, or Instagram @nroumel. He is also a candidate for Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge (nickforjudge.com).



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