I spent the weekend camping in No Man's Land, Pennsylvania with my parents in hopes of forgetting the fact that my betrothed was over one hundred miles away and we'd spent a total of four hours together in two weeks, but my efforts were in vain. I found myself zoning out in lawn chairs, going to bed early, staring into the campfire without blinking and desperately climbing on top the RV trying to convince my phone to produce one single bar of service for the sake of a text message.
Sometimes loving a police officer is very, very hard. They work ridiculous hours into the wee morning and sometimes they work eighteen hours at a time when the Redskins are playing and they need extra security. Sometimes, when you're finally home from camping and you've spent the afternoon making chocolate cupcakes and baked chicken meatballs for his dinner, he'll call just before you walk out the door and say he's going to be late. Then you might feel like crying because you've already waited a really long time to see him and if people would just STOP breaking the law, you could be together all the time.
A girl can dream, can't she? When we can't be together, I do the best I can to not change my routine, to keep doing things we'd do together anyway even though it's not nearly as enjoyable without him there. Heck, my days just don't have the same spunk as when he's around. Like these pancakes, for example. The first time I ate them, Justin made them for me. I forget where we were going, but it was early on a Saturday and we had somewhere to be and I still hadn't taken a shower. Being the peach that he is, he fried 'em up in the kitchen while I shampooed and they were hot and syrupy and delicious by the time I bounced back down the stairs.
These are a bit unconventional as far as pancakes are concerned. You start with a bowl of raw oats, slosh a good amount of buttermilk over the top and let them rest overnight. The buttermilk coaxes the oats into a soft sort of oatmeal to which you add normal pancakes things like flour and a little salt and melted butter. They are not the fluffy, pillow-like sort of pancakes that Bisquick makes, they are hearty without being heavy, and boast a toasty oat flavor and delicate chew that I'm starting think could cure that mild case of loneliness that creeps up each morning when I know he won't be around.
This past Friday morning started the long weekend apart and I started it with these pancakes. At ten o'clock in the morning, I leaned across the cold counter onto my elbows and hoarded these pancakes all to myself. Swishing down each bite with gulps of ice cold milk is the perfect way to start what otherwise might've been a crummy day. Thanks, pancakes.
Adapted from Orangette
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
Vegetable oil or spray, for greasing the pan
Maple syrup, for serving
Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Take the bowl of buttermilk and oats out of the fridge. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Add the eggs and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.
Warm a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and brush (or spray) with vegetable oil. To make sure it’s hot enough, wet your fingers under the tap and sprinkle a few droplets of water onto the pan. If they sizzle, it’s ready. Scoop the batter, about a scant ¼ cup at a time, onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side has browned.
Re-grease the skillet, and repeat with more batter. If you find that the pancakes are browning too quickly, dial the heat back to medium.
Serve hot, with maple syrup.