Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brown Sugar Pancakes with Grape Syrup

Everyone I've ever known has weeds growing on the side of their house. Even the people who decorate their side yards with concrete have weeds there. There's something about the side of a house that makes it really under valued, and under appreciated. It's not the front of the house so it doesn't warrant the careful maintenance and attention to detail as the front yard. Its also usually not big enough for entertaining so it doesn't get all the fun add-ons that the backyard gets (who's ever been to a pool party or BBQ in someone's side yard)? Nope, me neither. The side yard has the unfortunate and unloved task of being regulated to a storage facility, or at best a glorified hallway. If it gets any grass at all, it was probably put there to make it easier to get the lawn mower from the back to the front or party guests from the front to the back. And right there, against the house are probably some weeds. You know the kind, the ones too close for the lawnmower to get, big enough to be a major eye sore but going totally unnoticed to anyone but you because everyone else is focused on getting to the punchbowl next to the BBQ on the other side of the pool. Now most of you know the weeds we're talking about. The rest of you probably just ran outside to go look. We'll wait.

Any time now.

Okay great your back! So yes, we found one of these weeds the first summer we were in our house. The thing had become a bit of a monster, sprouting up like a vine with nice big leaves after a particularly wet spring. We were assessing all the weird things that had grown up all around our house while we hunkered down inside, staying dry and warm. So while hacking through the jungle of weeds and strange plants we came across this fellow and Eric went to get his patented, fool proof way of digging up big roots (his axe). While he was rummaging in the garage, Charisse was on the phone with her mom because the plant seemed to look decidedly un-weed like. By the time Eric got back, Charisse was giddy and sitting there petting the weed. "Thats no weed" she said, "thats a grape vine"! Thats right, we have a grapevine growing on the side yard. Who knew? Well last year the grapes didn't make it (see related topic: things the dog ate) but this year, the dog was a bit older and we were a lot more attentive (and the grapes grew up higher) and we ended up with 10 lbs of grapes. In case you are wondering, thats a lot of grapes. After all the projects (and snacking) we ended up with a small pile last weekend around breakfast time, and decided to throw an impromptu morning in. Charisse pulled out a recipe she's been itching to try and grabbed her new cookbook (all about jams, jellies, syrups and other stuff like that) and put together Eric's new favorite pancake a brown sugar pancake with grape syrup. Less than an hour later we set our plates down over a new purple stain that we're sure will come out someday and dug in.






Grape Syrup 
What You Will Need

About 3-4 cups concord grapes
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar

In a sauce pot cook the grapes on medium heat until they start to break down and give up their juices.  Mash them with a potato masher to really get them broken down.  Strain the grapes, so that you get just the juices and not the seeds or skins. Bring the juices to a light boil with the corn syrup and sugar and then simmer until thickened.  

Brown Sugar Pancakes
What You Will Need

2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter
3 tsp baking powder

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until creamy, add the flour and milk, mix well.  Whisk in the butter, vanilla and baking powder and mix until completely incorporated. 

Heat a griddle or a large skillet and coat with non stick spray, shortening or butter.  When hot, pour batter into circles to make desired size of pancakes. When the top gets bubbly and the edges are set, flip and cook the other side until browned.  Serve hot with syrup. 

15 comments:

  1. Mmmm...looks mouth-watering. I assume you could do the same thing with any berry like blackberries or raspberries as well? My husband doesn't like grapes that much, but loves berries!

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  2. You're so lucky to have a concord grape vine! They are so hard to find in Oregon... terrible for when I have grape pie cravings (I can say that even though I am currently up to my elbows in blackberries). That syrup looks sooo luscious, and the pancakes sound good too. :)

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  3. I've never had grape syrup, but it sounds great! I love the idea of that with the brown sugar pancakes :)

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  4. Wow...grape syrup...just made pancakes even better.Thanks

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  5. That grape syrup looks absolutely delicious! I've never had a syrup like this before and it looks so good!

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  6. Our side yard is a bit of a storage center - someday we will get it cleaned out. Anything with brown sugar peaks my interest - and in a pancake - yummy!!! This is on the list for the weekend. Have a wonderful week.

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  7. It's great that you don't have to pit those grapes. That would take forever! This would be good with peanut butter pancakes too. Or waffles. :)

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  8. a mouthwatering idea -- great pics! theresa

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  9. This looks gorgeous! Must try the grape syrup recipe.

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  10. Now that's creative! Totally lovely idea!

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  11. What a great idea to make syrup out of grapes! Yum:) Those pancakes look perfectly fluffy too:)

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  12. Great idea to make grape syrup-yum, looks like you've got the technique down:)

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  13. Mmmm…amazing and i can’t stop looking!!!

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  14. You are lucky to have access to concord grapes. the syrup and pancakes look yummy!

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