Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Comfort Food

You know you like to cook when you find yourself using a hotel ice bucket for mixing pancake batter.

My last hotel room, at a Comfort Inn in Vermont, featured a kitchenette. Apparently that's French for "kitchen that isn't actually functional." Still, my traveling companions were excited by the prospect of me making them breakfast the next day. Since one is vegan and the other vegetarian, and since they were going to pay me, I accepted the challenge

When starting from zero, you realize just how many little supplies you're used to having on hand at home, like salt, or white truffle oil. I solved this problem by shopping in the bulk section of a natural foods store, where I could buy as much or as little buckwheat flour and maple syrup as I wanted. I also pared down the pancake to a lumber-jack style of simplicity, minus the beaver tail fat (not vegan). The other major challenge is adapting to an unfamiliar mis-en-place. Hence the ice bucket.

I must say that, despite these hurdles, I turned out a perfectly good and entirely vegan pancake breakfast from scratch. Sure the sausage tasted like sawdust, but that's Tofurky's fault, not mine.

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