Gardening season has begun! Well….kind of. I should clarify and say I’ve tilled the compost into our garden spot and tilled up the other side of the yard to grow a corn patch. I’ve made it to my heirloom dealer and bought my tomato and pepper stash…….but nothing’s made it into the ground yet. It has been cold, then rainy, then windy, then cold some more but I do get a tinge of excitement every time I walk past the spindly green plants that sit patiently by the window.
Norma, who has been heading up the Farmer’s Market since before I was born gave a gardening talk at the local mom’s group a few weeks ago and I asked her where one would find heirloom tomato plants near by? She said they had some Brandywines down at the Cenex (a pop-up garden store from May to July and a gas station the rest of the year). After the meeting my friend Susan pulled me aside in a covert kind of way and said I know where you can get some heirlooms. I know a woman. I’ll call you.
Two weeks later I find myself meeting Susan in a empty church parking lot in Fargo and following her through twisty back roads to Karen’s house. Karen, it turns out, is a nurse, who loves gardening, has a cat, and turns a corner of her living room into a greenhouse every spring.
She grows more stuff than she knows what to do with and had some plants to share. I was happy to take a few off her hands. I got three different cherry varieties, a variegated roma, a Dakota hybrid, and a couple of others along with some hot peppers that Armando will love. So now I just sit…and wait….for this North Dakota spring to cooperate.
While I’m waiting, I’ll make some pancakes. The berries have been extraordinary this spring and I find myself putting them in everything—and eating them by the handful, slightly damp from the strainer. They feel right at home in these hearty whole wheat pancakes, adding a touch of tartness to an otherwise sweet breakfast treat. Pile some more on top if you like more berries than could every possibly fit inside, but don’t forget the butter (which by the way no longer makes them dairy-free), and the syrup…warm maple syrup.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups rice milk (any type of milk will work here)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- Baking spray for greasing the pan
- Heat oven to 200°F and place a large tray or plate in the oven. Heat a large nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps. Combine milk, egg, oil, syrup, and almond extract in a separate large bowl and whisk until egg in completely incorporated. Add dry to wet in one fell swoop and whisk to combine (it's okay if a few lumps remain).
- Spray hot frying pan with baking spray and test to see if the pan is hot enough with a few drops of water (they should disappear within a couple of seconds). Adjust the heat of the pan if necessary and ladle the batter into the pan (1/2 cup for larger pancakes, 1/4 cup for silver-dollar sized). Drop a couple of blueberries, a couple of raspberries, and a couple of pieces of strawberry onto each pancake and cook until bubbles form around the outside, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side a couple of minutes more or until browned and crispy.
- Transfer pancakes to the tray in the oven to keep warm while the rest of the pancakes cook. Serve with plenty of butter and maple syrup.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 7gSugar: 20gProtein: 10g