I grew up slowly and then all at once. A cicada soul, a heart that I kept in soil, in old husks. Jewel-toned eyes and an incessant buzzing. I was old and feeble, gravity left me awkward on 6 feet or two wings.
A year ago I was buying my car in Colorado, six months ago I was chasing Milo in melted snow and getting my hair cut. Nothing ever felt like home, and I thought that boys were archipelagos, their sternums small islands to cradle my head and then crack when they woke up and stretched. I’ve moved more times for love than for opportunity, more times because of strangers than for myself. And each time, I would recreate a space, a home, a candle in the window to signal I’m waiting. And each time the wick got wet, the light went out, I stopped keeping my window open.
And when I went to drop a check in the mailbox, I got stung twice. And when I forgot to tell my brother, “Happy Birthday,” no one seemed to notice. He’s having a boy in December and I’m not sure if I’ll be around. If I’ll miss it, if I’ll even be in the same city, time zone, or country in time for it. He’ll name him Matthew. He won’t look like me or my sister or my dad.
But right now, I have to pack. Gone for two weeks, to New Orleans for work. Two bags and four suits. A boy to follow. Creating another home, however brief this one will be. In a flooded bayou, a Pittsburgh Marriot, or a Chicago terminal. And before it all hits at once, I made pancakes to relax and enjoy a moment at the table, staying warm in front of the stove. These were covered in caramel from a recipe my mother gave me, and topped with peaches. The orchard down the road is only a mile away and my mind doesn’t wander too much farther than that on mornings like these.
Oat Pancakes with Spiced Orange Caramel Sauce
Ingredients for Pancakes
- 1 egg, separated + 1 additional egg white
- 2 TB honey
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 TB butter, melted
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 1 cup AP flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 1 TB baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 cup oats
Directions for Pancakes
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, whip your egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside
- Put yolk in a large measuring cup. Add honey, buttermilk, milk, butter, and vanilla and whisk with your egg yolk until fully homogenous. Mixture will be a pale, pale yellow
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sugar (do it twice if you want them even fluffier). Stir in oats with a fork to gently aerate the mixture without deflating
- Using a wooden spoon, create a well in your dry mixture and slowly pour in the wet mixture, stirring as you do so. Do no over stir!
- Finally, take a rubber spatula and fold in the egg whites you have set aside and gently stir until just incorporated
- Put a tab of butter in a skillet or griddle on medium heat and all the butter to melt and the skillet to heat up
- Using a half-cup measuring cup, scoop your batter into the middle of the pan. Do this one at a time, so you do not crowd your pan
- This is a thick batter with oats, so the pancake will be rough on the edges and a little softer in the middle. Your pancake is read to flip when the edges begin to brown and bubbles dot the top of your pancake
- Using a wide spatula, flip your pancake and cook for an additional minute or two—like salmon, this side will take less when flipped
- Repeat with remaining batter, may have to re-butter your pan
Recipe for Spiced Orange Caramel Sauce (adapted from my duck fat caramel)
- 1 ½ cup half and half
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Squeeze of half an orange
Directions for Spiced Orange Caramel Sauce
- In a premium saucepan (my favorite is, of course, my Falk saucepan), heat your sugar, half and half, and butter and allow for butter to melt without stirring more than once or twice to coat the sugar
- Allow to simmer your mixture and bring to a gentle boil. It will begin to thicken and caramelize slowly and will take on a nutty smell, about 5-8 minutes (faster in a copper or cast iron pot)
- Begin stirring and your caramel sauce will be thick, yet very pourable (if you are using a thermometer, it should be at around 235-240*F, but it is not necessary to use one for this recipe, as you want the caramel to be viscous)
- Quickly stir in remaining ingredients and remove from heat
- Allow to cool slightly before pouring over your pancakes
- Can keep in an airtight container or jar for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator
Assembly: Put your stack of pancakes on a plate. Chop a peach into roughly equal cubes and roll in 1 TB of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Top your pancakes with this peach mixture. Then, pour over your desired amount of caramel sauce. Serve immediately.
This post was created in partnership with Falk USA copper cookware. Since 1958, this brand has established itself as one of the most trusted names in the culinary world. With its timeless designs and its multi-use products, every kitchen can benefit from Falk--I know mine has. You can learn more about Falk USA by visiting their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.