Friday, November 25, 2011

Yes you CAN get great pancakes in Israel

At least you can while I have anything to say about it.

Look, I'm all for embracing new cultures. I mean, I left my country of birth, for new people, new places, new language, even a new alphabet.

New food.

And I love the food of my new home: shakshuka, hummus, falafel, sabich (mmm, sabich!), and plenty more. But you can embrace the new and still miss the old. And what I miss most is my Saturday morning breakfasts at Brother Juniper's. During the week I usually skip breakfast: roll out of bed, make coffee, and head straight to work. Which made Saturday that much more special.

And I'm sorry, but if there are good, American-style pancakes in Israel I haven't found them. And I've looked. What you get when you ask for pancakes are either limp, underflavored crepes, or thick, heavy, oversweetened monstrosities buried under whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter, and god knows what else. Dessert, not breakfast.

Until now.


I decided to take matters into my own hands, in my own kitchen, and on my own rooftop, and today for the first time served a Friday morning pancake brunch on my rooftop in Florentin. It meant a couple hours of increasingly-frantic cooking prep, but it was well worth it. By eleven o'clock I had assembled a pitcher of mimosas, a pot of coffee (my favorite blend of Columbian and Papua New Guinea beans), a cast-iron skillet brimming with my special recipe of home fried potatoes and, yes, a humongous pile of pancakes. And real Grade A amber maple syrup.

Nine people joined me for a leisurely meal and conversation. And it was pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself. The potatoes were an unexpected hit; next time I'll have to make more. And I think there will be a next time; this was too much fun not to do it again.

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