Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
The island adventures continue, and this time they’re all about food!
At my parents’ place, the adventure comes not in the act of finding food - the garden is only a few steps from the house - but rather in what it is that you find. See, in addition to growing teeny tomatoes and pounds of PEI potatoes, the garden is home to behemoth pink beets (face-sized, truly) and Franken-carrots (frightening and delicious!).
Off “the property”, we pulled up brightly-coloured chairs to lunch on amazing salads, sandwiches and coffees at the super-cute Leonhard’s Cafe & Restaurant, and used the break between my cousin’s wedding ceremony and reception to visit the PEI institution, Cows Ice Cream, for scoops of Wowie Cowie and Mooey Gooey.
Our edible adventures have taken us further afield, to farms and forests. On Friday, we headed to Wheatley’s, where we tied 2-litre buckets around our waists and headed out into the fields to battle mosquitoes for blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Tasty times were had by all, mosquitoes included.
On Saturday, while I stayed home to read, my more clever traveling companions popped into the Charlottetown farmers’ market, and indulged in the fish & chips and beer sampler at PEI’s brewery, the Gahan House, before heading out to the woods to forage for a PEI delicacy: the golden-hued, umbrella-like chanterelle mushroom. Chanterelles are super-tasty, but so finicky to grow that you rarely see them in stores and those in the know are keen to keep their source a secret. But, thanks to a tip-off from an aunt, persistence on the part of my dad and brother-in-law and a willingness to risk death by poisonous mushrooms, we feasted on chanterelles sauteed in butter all weekend long.
Oh, and I finally cooked! Dipping into the pounds of blueberries we brought home from the U-Pick, I made a few batches of blueberry pancakes. Super-fluffly, scented with cinnamon and vanilla, and packed with juicy blueberries that happily exploded with the heat, they were a hit with the adventuring team, so I’m passing the recipe along to you too! I know blueberries are on the way out for the season, so feel free to substitute in whatever you have on hand - chocolate chips and diced bananas are next on my list - and adjust the spices accordingly.
And tune in later this week, when I may finally get around to doing something with those apples and tomatoes.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
Inspired by allrecipes.com
Makes ~12 3-inch pancakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries*
1. In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, oil/butter, and vanilla. Make a small well in the flour mixture and pour wet mixture into well. Stir with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are almost fully incorporated into wet. Add blueberries and fold until berries are evenly distributed through batter.
2. Heat a small pat of butter (a tsp or two) in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter into pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook pancakes until their edges are dry and their tops are covered in bubbles, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more, or until pancake bottoms are golden. Repeat with remaining batter, storing cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep warm.
*You can use a frozen blueberries in place of fresh, though they’ll likely dye your pancakes green. Not a big deal by any means - just a heads up!