It was with great excitement I received a pile of parcels yesterday. Just like Christmas, everything comes all at once. The mail must get held up in Edmonton or Yellowknife, then Buffalo finally gets the chance to bring it up to Norman Wells.
I’ve already mentioned how exciting mail is. But unless you’ve experienced isolation like this I doubt you can truly empathize. It’s contact with the outside world. It’s a reminder that our friends and family still remember us. It’s a mix of things we have ordered and patiently waited for (no instant satisfaction here – you have to really consider if you’ll still want it in 2 weeks when your order finally arrives) along with gifts we are blessed with from people we love, and who clearly love us. Just to up the excitement a little, Jesse was home after another one of those “Surprise – cancel all our plans this week, I’m outa town” unexpected weeks away. So we threw a little party.
Crackers and cheese, presents and online orders. Jesse even chanced upon a bottle of Stoneleigh (Marlborough New Zealand wine) in Inuvik which he bought home as a treat. We may even have tried on every piece of winter gear we received (woollen socks! waterproof pants!). This time, when the snow comes again, we won’t be so ill prepared.
And we had pancakes. For dinner. With a glass of wine.
I have no issue with pancakes for dinner. Sweet pancakes, drizzled with blueberries and maple syrup. But I did feel compelled to pack them with nutrients, fiber and protein for a complete, satisfying dinner. Oh how fondly I recall the first time we made the oatmeal pancakes from Good to the Grain. We have never gone back to the all-purpose flour, white sugar, “I can eat ten of these and I’m still not full” pancakes we once adored. Packed with prepared oatmeal (or porridge as I called it then) they were so hearty and satiating. So for our date night meal, I improvised. I got a little creative. And I had no idea if it would work. But these pearl barley pancakes were a great success. Thick, fluffy and delicious, with nutty barley throughout, and drizzled with a simple blueberry sauce and well toasted coconut. A wonderful dinner, leaving no room, nor need, for dessert!
Pearly Barley and Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 8 thick, filling, hearty pancakes
This recipe requires a cup and a half of cooked and cooled barley. We used leftover barley from a recent meal, but alternatively just cook about 1/2 cup dried barley with 1 cup water for 30 minutes or until al dente.
1/2 cup wholewheat flour (or oat, rye, spelt…)
1 tsp baking powder
1 scoop unflavoured protein powder (2 Tbsp)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp molasses
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cooked pearl barley
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp maple syrup
coconut, well toasted
Preheat the oven for warming (200˚F) and place a tray on the center rack. Whisk together the dry ingredients and put aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg and whites until foamy. Add molasses, applesauce and milk and whisk together. Mix through the barley and add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Stir through blueberries.
Heat pan over mdoerate/low heat. These need to cook slow and low. Melt a dab of butter. Pour 1/4 cup mounds of batter into pan and cook until browned on either side. They may be a little soft in the centre, so transfer to oven to cook through and keep warm while preparing the remainder.
Meanwhile, place berries and maple syrup in a small saucepan and heat until simmering. Squash berries with a wooden spoon and stir until thick and syrupy.
Serve warm with yoghurt, blueberry sauce and toasted coconut.