Follow your own recipe


Changing the year is always a good time to examine one’s possibly outdated beliefs and replace them with something more useful, so I decided to tackle one of mine head-on. Namely having always thought I’m not very good at making pancakes. I have wanted to be good at making them because when they’re delicious, they’re simply divine.

I realised, in the Light of this new year, where I’ve always gone wrong with my pancakes. Every time I’ve been trying to follow someone else’s recipe. This time, I thought it would be a useful exercise to create in the kitchen like I do in my art studio…  Why indeed couldn’t my creative process apply to cooking too? I have plenty of experience to draw from. Finding out how to make something my own individual way. A bit of this, a dollop of that… how do the elements resonate together? Is there something else needed for balance? Yes, my kind of approach – feeling my way through the process one detail at a time. It is intensive, though, for if you leave out the concentration, focus and emotion for just a moment, then no, it won’t work.

So I began my first experiment of the year with this basic recipe:

  • 4 dl milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 dl plain white flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Looking at what I had available, I concocted a mixture that I reckoned might taste good, fingers crossed. I ended up with more or less this:

  • First, putting 3 tbs of natural Greek yoghurt into a container that had measurements marked on the side
  • Adding to the yoghurt, sparkling mineral water up to the 2 dl mark
  • Adding to that, milk up to the 4.5 dl mark
  • Adding 1 egg, and whisked it all well

In another container, I put 1 tbs of sugar (or a pinch more…), a bit of salt (ok, half a teaspoonish…), and a hint of Cinnamon (or a bit more…) and I mixed those up (just because it’s fun to see how the colour of the Cinnamon blends into the sugar). Then added 2 dl of self-raising flour and mixed it all again.

I poured the liquid mix into the dry mix (and whisked well with a hand whisk for even consistency) just because the liquid container I had was small, and the dry mix container could fit it all – I call that ‘streamlining the process’, saving time and not making more dishes to wash later. Some proper cooks out there might cringe, after all, I was always taught to do it the other way around (dry mix into the liquid). But since this is my own artistic recipe, I’m allowed to deviate from any past assumptions…

It’s good to let the mixture rest for a while, I remembered from some distant cooking lessons at school when I was around 14. I just waited until my patience ran out (not long, that is). And for the fun of it, I decided to bake them in a wok pan! Must. Use. Butter. That’s the one single ingredient that cannot be compromised. A dollop of butter into the wok and off you go. I happened to have a ladle which I could fill with the pancake mixture, pour into the wok and it neatly covered the base just perfectly. Most likely the first pancake breaks, but once the heat settles and you find your own rhythm, all should be well.

And I cannot gush enough about how utterly yummy the results have been. When you next make pancakes, consider experimenting with natural yoghurt and sparkling water in whatever quantities you might feel inspired to. Soft, airy… the pancakes just melt in the mouth! We eat them simply with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of sugar, but your personal deviation may of course include jam and cream, or syrup or honey, or ice cream… depending on the strictness of your new year’s resolutions!

The most important thing, this year and onwards, is to have courage to change the recipe. Not to just believe what you’ve been always told, even by so called professionals. To use your own innate skill to feel, filter and assess what is true to you and what does not resonate. Sure, your pancakes might end up unpalatable, but I doubt it whenever one of your ingredients is genuine joy in the process. Proceed from the heart, and let yourself discover the most incredible and miraculous whatever-it-is you’re creating in your life this year. In 2013, Be in Joy!