ricotta pancakes

Sometimes I feel way older than my twenty years. You’d think it was because I’m spending the summer at the apartment on my own, having now set up a system to go grocery shopping every 4 days, vacuuming once a week, planning home cooked meals around when I get home from work/interning, and generally having to be a functioning, self-sufficient person.

But you know, I figure, it’s about time I was left utterly and solitarily to my own devices, considering last year of college is looming and soon I’ll be unpreparedly thrown into the world of actual adulthood. Not that some days aren’t lonely, mind you, but that’s what friends-taking-summer-courses-on-grounds are for. So, actually, it’s been absolutely wonderful. I’m gone most of the day as it is (‘professional obligations’ and all that), so I revel in the time I have to myself here.

…Really, I’m just glad I finally have some time to read a damn book.

But no. All of this, I happily accept. But I do feel old. Not ‘old’ like ‘adult’ old, but ‘old’ like ‘frail grandmother with 18 grandchildren’ old.

Not because I’m actually that frail, but because I’m just so…lame.

This time three years ago, I’d still be asleep. Yes, it’s about 11:30 AM and I’d be asleep. Deeply asleep, in fact, with no plans on waking up until at least 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Which seemed like a totally appropriate time to wake up, considering I’d have gone to bed around 5 or 6 in the morning. What on earth could I have been doing until 5 or 6 in the morning? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Television, out with the cousins, video games, even more television. I would guess, anyway.

(Okay, so maybe I do recall spending three nights watching all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender until close to 8 AM, but I mean, they were about 20 episodes a season and how could you expect me to stop at just 3 or 4 episodes at a time?)

What I’m trying to say is, you literally could not pay me enough to stay up until 4 AM on my own volition. I mean, it is truly a feat if I manage to stay lucid until 3. And usually, by then, I’m not that lucid. I just…can’t keep up anymore. It’s like my body’s slow disintegration into elderliness has begun already. And I’m not even 21 yet!

If you had told me three years ago that today, I would happily call myself a ‘morning’ person and revel in waking up at 7:30 AM after going to bed ’round midnight, I’d probably laugh. And then punch you for even suggesting that I wake up at such an ungodly hour.

I mean, I just had way too much energy back then to actually go to bed at midnight. Midnight for me was like, afternoon for adults. My day was barely half over! Quite literally, too, considering I would only have been up and about for about 8 hours. And, please, waking up at 7:30? More like bed-time.

(Oh yes, I definitely feel like I have 18 grandchildren now.)

But, such is life, and here I am. Totally awake. Oh, if my past self could see me now, I wonder how disappointed she’d be.

Usually I’m not this free in the mornings, of course, but today I’ve got a few internship meetings in the afternoon so my work schedules have been shifted a bit (typically I intern in the morning and work part-time in the afternoon). Having been blessed with some actual free time, I figured it was only appropriate that I make an actual breakfast for once. Something a bit more solid than a green smoothie.

(Plus, brunch is quite possibly the greatest meal of the day, so I had to do something special for the occasion.)

So…here we are. It is 11:30 AM and I have been awake for about 4 hours. And you know what? It’s been wonderfully productive. An hour at the gym, half an hour in the shower, an hour making breakfast and taking photographs, and now alternating between the laptop and a novel. It really couldn’t have been a better morning.

Even if all the cool kids are still asleep.

Ricotta Pancakes
Loosely adapted from Sophie Dahl’s Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes
Serves 2 hungry people, or 3 comfortably

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (use full-fat)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp sugar

Method:

In a large bowl, whisk ricotta, milk, and egg yolks. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to just shy of stiff peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter.

Heat a nonstick pan over low-medium flame. Melt a tbsp of butter into the pan. Pour enough batter into the pan to form pancake-sized pancakes. (I don’t know, it’s up to you. I typically like smaller pancakes personally, but it’s your prerogative.) Once batter forms pinpricks over the top, gently flip the cake. Pancakes will take 1.5 mins to 2 mins per side, depending on size.

Serve with maple syrup or honey. Sliced fruit is also lovely.

The pancakes are wonderful. Light and gooey from the egg white and ricotta (I also just adore ricotta cheese in sweet dishes), but unbelievably filling. I used a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose (making the entire dish gluten-free), but all other quantities held. Of course, feel free to play around with the flour and almond meal; eliminate the almond if it’s not your fancy (and consequently increase the flour to a full cup), or substitute spelt for the all-purpose. Similarly, the almond milk can be substituted for regular milk.

Now, if only I had time for this every morning. But unfortunately, I’ve only got about 30 minutes until I need to be off, and I’m not so sure sweatpants and an oversize tee-shirt are appropriate internship attire.

I guess my lazy morning couldn’t last forever.

Still, only 4 days until the weekend.

And you know what? I might even sleep in.

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