I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Nostalgia, pain, joy, sadness, exhaustion, exasperation, peace, ambition, complacency, anxiety — it’s been quite the week, the month, the summer.
You can imagine that, with all those things floating around in my head in addition to normal day-to-day life, I’ve been doing a lot of staring into space. In short, my brain needs a break.
While I’m sure any sane person would take the opportunity for down time to read, or sleep, or go for a bike ride, or sit in front of the television all day watching a “Mad Men” marathon (which I, too, am wont to do) — when I need to decompress, I go to the kitchen. And when I need to feel comfort, I make pancakes.
These zucchini corn pancakes found themselves being made in my kitchen this last weekend, after a particularly long bout of drooling/daydreaming/wide-eyed space-staring (JOKES. About the drooling, that is. The uncomfortably long period of space-staring, not so much). I wanted to make something slightly different than the old standby, but nothing too difficult. This recipe fit the bill. And it was perfect, with crunchy sweet corn, soft, fresh zucchini and tangy sharp cheddar cheese. I topped mine with salsa and sour cream and I was done for — for the first time in a great while, I could think of nothing else but finishing my plate.
And that, my friends, is why you make pancakes when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Because for one, albeit brief, moment, all you need to — all you can — think about are pancakes. Yummy, fluffy, delicious, simple pancakes. And perhaps that will bring you more joy than anything else you’re feeling in these busy days.
Zucchini Corn Pancakes
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yields: About 10 pancakes
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cups grated zucchini (about one large zucchini)
1 cup fresh sweet corn off the cob or frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Whisk to combine.
Add the zucchini, corn and cheddar cheese and stir thoroughly with a spatula.
Add the flour and stir until thoroughly combined and there are no pockets of dry flour hiding in the batter.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium-high heat, adding a very small amount of oil to the skillet/griddle. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop 1/4-cupfuls of batter onto the skillet and flatten, if necessary, with the back of the scoop into a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Cook on each side about 3-4 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings (I’m partial to salsa and sour cream).