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Political Pancakes, or, Why is Borders flogging so much lard?

Why Borders is not getting my business this week

Why Borders is not getting my business this week

I know–highly unappetizing. I don’t think even a full teaspoon of salt would help here. And I’m getting back to actual food as of today, I promise.

But I just had to “share” my inbox this morning before I get started. Borders has now closed its Pasadena store but keeps sending me these fabulous discounts in the pretty hope that I’ll schlep to Arcadia to check them out. What does it say when a huge business that’s trying to stay afloat after two decades of leading the field misses so blatantly in its one-to-one personalized marketing?

For that matter, what does it say (reading the tea leaves here) when Newt Gingrich looks like the most coherent and readable (and properly-dressed) selection? I mean, I was there–in 1995 I started working at NIH and promptly got caught in the federal furloughs when he lost his budget armtwisting attempt on Bill Clinton.

What does it say when the Gritch is allegedly trying to run for president and his soon-to-be-available tome is grouped with those of three other deeply discounted “authors” who have no actual public service background, just a penchant for loud titles and  army drag (of various centuries)? Where the hell did Laura Ingraham get that hat? No wonder she’s not keeping up with Patt Morrison. And I thought French food was a no-no for today’s discerning ultraconservative trougher?

I do also wonder at the significance of Ann Coulter’s latest effort being discounted just that six percent more than everyone else’s…maybe it’s the fact that she’s jumped (appropriately) on the vampire-empire bandwagon? Too bad there are no handsome devils on the cover (almost guaranteed there are none inside either). I’m sure they’d sell like hotcakes. Maybe she’s included an actual recipe for hotcakes (with blood sauce or fava beans or something)?–You never know.  Can she actually cook? Without fatback?

Given the deep and undoubtedly thorough marketing research Borders has done (by sending me of all people this fabulous selection of deals), I’m sure they’ve already figured out which way the wind is blowing. I can smell it from here.

In honor of this great selection, I’ve decided to pull out the stops and dig into the older of my cookbooks for an appropriate response.

Semi-Patriotic Pancakes–No Lard AND No Blood (well, at least no added salt)!

Makes about 16 3-4″ diameter pancakes, enough for 3-4 people

  • about 1 c. bread flour, whole wheat flour, matzah cake meal, buckwheat flour, or any mix of these as desired (to preserve our individual freedoms. Put that gun down, Jeb! We’re talking first amendment, not second!) Generally if you’re using buckwheat or whole wheat, it’s better to go half-and-half with regular flour so the pancakes aren’t too heavy or grainy
  • 2 large eggs, separated–I usually toss one of the yolks but keep both whites
  • dollop of plain milk-and-cultures-only yogurt (for that Mediterranean touch)
  • milk or buttermilk (depending how sour you are, and if you use buttermilk skip the yogurt)–about a cup, but might be more to make the batter consistency come out right
  • 1 T sugar (any color, even green if that’s all you’ve got and can stomach the results)
  • 1 capful vanilla extract AND/OR a shake or two of cinnamon (keep it small)
  • oil or butter –1 T for the batter, the rest for frying

Optional mix-ins: blueberries or raspberries (fresh are good, but if you have frozen ones leave them frozen to add when you fry the pancakes; otherwise make a sauce of defrosted ones to serve at the table instead), chopped peeled apples, pecans, chocolate chips, etc. etc. NO: liver, fava beans, or blood-anything!

1. In a large bowl mix the the flour, sugar, flavoring(s), egg yolks, the tablespoon of oil or butter, the dollop of yogurt if using,  and enough milk or buttermilk to make a thick but just-pourable batter. If you’ve got chopped apples, nuts or chocolate chips, you can mix them in now.

2. In a second bowl beat the egg whites to reasonably stiff peaks, then fold them gently into the batter to lighten it. Start frying as soon as you’ve got this done.

3. Fry 3-4″ dollops (about 2-3T each) of the batter in a large (preferably nonstick) frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. If you’re adding berries, add a few to each pancake as soon as you’ve spooned the batter into the pan, and let the pancake batter rise around and over the berries a bit before flipping to the other side.  You’ll know to start flipping the pancakes when you see the bottom edge start to look solid and a ring of small bubbles appears just above it–but I sometimes go a little longer to make sure because the leavening is egg whites-only, which makes a pretty delicate batter. You don’t want the pancakes to collapse completely.

4. “Stick a fork in ’em, they’re done.”–The late, great governor of Texas, Ann Richards, July 15, 1992, in an interview with David Letterman about the Republicans’ chances, and quoted on page 61 of my swiss-dot cookbook… Incidentally, she was wearing an outfit that puts any of Ann Coulter’s to shame–she had her very, very white hair up in a classic Texas beehive and she was wearing a hot pink miniskirt that she actually had the legs for. I miss her still.

4 Responses

  1. Yogurt is either foreign or librul — it’s commie, anyhow. 😉 Buttermilk is more all-Muricn.

    There aren’t any Borders or B&N near me now either. Amazon it is. When my local Borders was down to 50-70% off everything and most of their traffic was people buying the bookshelves and fixtures, they had a whole lot of Newt, Beck, etc. left over. Stacks of this ilk, whereas the good stuff was long gone. Guess this stuff is so discounted just to get it out of there and juice up the sales figures.

    • Hi! hope you’ve had a more with-it spring than I have so far! Sorry to be so indigestible on my own blog, but I couldn’t resist. My philosophy is, wait 6 months after one of these authors comes out with their new diatribe, go to your local library Friends of the Library Bookstore, and pay the more appropriate 50 cents to a dollar if you really want to risk your eyeballs (uncrossing them after reading, that is).

  2. The downtown Borders in my city closed recently, and I didn’t feel a second of regret (this coming from an obsessive bookworm). Not due to any political bias, but their book selection was that bad.

    And I would have thought that Laura Ingraham picture was photoshopped somehow…?

    • And I would have thought that Laura Ingraham picture was photoshopped somehow…?

      Oh yeah–somehow I saw that hat and thought “Napoleon-wannabe”, not “Washington-wannabe”. Hence the thing about French food. Still, most French food (except of course for MacDonalds and anything from the EuroDisney center) beats swimming in the Potomac or attempting to row across it in a silly hat and … red coat? I think she needs a remedial course in American history.

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