Cocaine. Crystal Meth. Nicotine. Gambling. Windsurfing. Alcohol. Coca-Cola. Shopping. Coffee. The Internet. Maple Syrup. Pancakes. Money.
Addictive, all of them.
I've flirted with some of them, but only two have talons deep enough to get under my thick skin: windsurfing and maple syrup. Today, I'm going to address maple syrup, in a roundabout way. I actually want to talk about pancakes, somewhat of a Sunday morning tradition in my camp.
I feel that I have unlocked the secret to cooking the perfect pancake. Of course I'm not going to share that with you. Julian knows, but you might as well try to get an honest answer from Brian Mulroney as get Julian to give up the family secret. In the meantime I'm going to offer you the second best pancake recipe that I know, because it is magnificent...
It comes from a restaurant called 'rebar'. This should have a lot of engineers scalp scratching. Type 'rebar' into Google and you're just as likely to find information about structural steel reinforcements as you are to find details about this restaurant. Rebar is located in Victoria, B.C. and though I've never been there, I've got the cookbook. To be fair, I've never cooked a damn thing from the rebar cookbook, but Wendy has. Everything has been scrumptious except for the green rice with cilantro and spinach, which was horrid (IMHO).
Rebar's pancake recipe is called 'orange yogourt hotcakes - with fresh raspberries', which sounds a lot sexier than flapjacks with Aunt Jemima in a squeeze bottle. Or does it? I do take offence that rebar neglected to mention the necessity of real maple syrup. I like raspberries, but come on!?! What is a pancake without maple syrup? It is Donny without Marie. Sonny without Cher. Brian without Karlheinz.
A great pancake deserves maple syrup, real maple syrup, not that stuff from Jemima. Here's what's in Aunt Jemima's table syrup: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.
I'd rather eat green rice with cilantro and spinach.
Is it just me (it usually is), or does it seem odd that syrup could come from corn? It just doesn't seem natural to me. I like my syrup to come from deciduous trees...now that's natural! I'm highly suspicious of what's going on in Aunt Jemima's kitchen. I haven't got sodium hexametaphosphate or cellulose gum in my larder. Sounds to me like she's building a bomb in her basement or, to be more generous, she's confused her lawn fertilizer with her baking supplies. Maple syrup, in contrast, contains maple syrup.
I mentioned that I was going to give you the recipe to rebar's hotcakes but I type very slowly and I haven't got the energy, or time, to reproduce it here. Rebar has a cookbook and it's worth the price for the pancake recipe alone. You can buy the book for about twenty bucks.
If you'd like my secret pancake recipe, then I'll make arrangements for us to meet three times in New York and Montreal hotels. I'll be expecting an envelope full of cash at each meeting. After the third meeting I'll give you the recipe. It's not easy when you have an addiction. Addictions can be taxing, for some of us.