Rain. Pancakes. Music.

Rain.  Pancakes.  Music.

Rainy Season Morning Pancakes

Sorry I haven’t put up a post here in a couple of months. I have been putting a lot of time into the other areas of my photography (like cute things and women in corsets). Still, I have been experimenting in the kitchen and listening to good music.
Those who haven’t lived in Japan, might not know the pleasures of the fifth season: rainy. Your clothes smell like sweat or mold. You wish for a sunny day, not so you can go to the beach, but so that you can do your laundry. For a California girl, Japan’s summers are too rainy, even outside of “rainy season.” But rain has its nice points, other than being good for the crops and flora. For a person like me who plans about 5,000 things in day, rain often forces me to stay inside, write songs, jam, edit photos. I also often make one of my favorite things in the world: gluten-free pancakes!

Flour Substitutes
In Japan, I haven´t found gluten-free pancake mixes, so I´ve experimented a lot with different things I´ve found available here.
Rice flour (komeko).
Potato flour (katakuriko).
Sorghum flour. Natural House has both sorghum flour and sorghum pasta, and it´s not ridiculously expensive.
Buckwheat (soba) flour. In specialty markets I have found soba flour, but you have to double-check because soba is often mixed with wheat.
Corn flour or polenta. Yeah I was surprised how awesome this tastes.
Mill oats into oat flour. I know that some people don´t eat oats, and I haven´t really found any here that are certified gluten-free, but I personally take the risk with oats occasionally.

1 egg.
1 cup of flour. I usually mix two of the above, depending on what I have around.
¾ cup of milk. I often add a little bit more since gluten-free flours can sometimes suck up the liquid more than regular flour). I also have used coconut milk, rice milk, or mixtures.
1 tablespoon of olive oil in the batter and enough to coat the pan, but not too much!
1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Optional Goodies
1 tablespoon of honey or sugar If you´re going to put something really sweet on top, it´s not necessary.

Dried fruit or fresh fruit. I´ve found that fresh fruit usually works best when you put a couple of slices on top of the still-raw side of the pancake before you flip it over. Dried fruit is OK to mix in and having it in the liquid few minutes makes it soften up. I really love raisins in pancakes.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or allspice, or a combination! I almost use cinnamon because I´ve read that it helps our bodies better cope with insulin spikes, and all of these spices are good for digestion.

Nuts, either whole, broken into chunks, or pureed, depending on your taste.

Vanilla extract.

• Mix all of the ingredients together (except for fresh fruit) until it´s not lumpy anymore.
• Heat up a skillet with a thin layer of olive oil about medium-high heat. Let the griddle heat up a little so that the heat becomes more even. In any case I´ve often found my first pancake is not as pretty as the rest.
• Fill up a spoon ladle about ¾ full with the batter and spoon it on the hot griddle. This makes it easier to control the mixture if you want tidier, round pancakes. If you want to put fresh fruit, you can put some on the top (raw) side. *You can also add spices to the raw side instead of mixing them in at the beginning. I often do this with cinnamon.
• When little bubbles are on the top side of the pancake, flip it over with a spatula. It´s difficult to say exactly how long to cook it, but the first pancake is always a bit of a trial for me. The key is to not let it get too burnt on the inside, but not still raw on the inside. You can poke it with a fork to check.
• Once you´ve cooked all the pancakes, put some syrup, honey, and/or fruit on top. You can serve them by themselves or with other sides. The bacon pictured above is apple-smoked bacon I found at Yamaya market in Shinjuku. Also, those are Hershey’s kisses on top, even though it kind of looks like unchi or eyes on a weird abstract table face. Just chocolate, I swear.

Music and Pancakes
So enjoy the pancakes, take your time to eat them. Grab a partner and put on some good music, or just leave the doors and windows open and listen to the rain. My playlist are some songs for relaxing on rainy day mornings. (Click on the photo above for a link to the list on Spotify.)

“Walkin’ on a Pretty Day” Kurt Vile
“Lips lips lips” Indians
“Harsh Realm” Widowspeak
“The Flower Lane” Ducktails
“Sunlight” Seapony
“You Won’t Be Missing That Part of Me” Melody’s Echo Chamber
“Knot Comes Loose” My Morning Jacket
“Into a Dream” Shannon and the Clams
“Sweepstakes Prize” Mirah
“Boyfriend” Best Coast
“The Summer” Coconut Records
“Take it Easy” Surfer Blood
“Caring is Creepy” The Shins
“Say Yes” Elliot Smith
“First Day of My Life” Bright Eyes
“Peace of Mind” Mikal Cronin
“Fineshrine” Purity Ring
“Fall Creek Boys Choir” James Blake, Bon Iver
“Casper (1995)” Speedy Ortiz
“Shelia” Atlas Sound
“Til the Morning” Bahamas
“Morning” Iron & Wine
“One Sunday Morning” Wilco
“Saturday Morning” Real Estate
“Sunday Morning” Velvet Underground
“Impregnable Question” Dirty Projectors
“She Don’t Use Jelly” Flaming Lips
“Friday Night, Saturday Morning” The Specials
“All the Sun That Shines” Peaking Lights
“Marilyn on a Train” The Cleaners from Venus
“Ghost Mouth” Girls
“I Set My Face the Hillside” Tortoise
“Sun in Your Eyes” Grizzly Bear
“Myth” Beach House
“House of Leaves” Salvia Plath
“Leaves Fall” Mansions on the Moon
“Acid Raindrops” People Under the Stairs
“Morning Fog” Dangermouse, Daniel Luppi
“Cloud Generator” Tycho
“Raincoat” Bibion
“Yuba Source Part II” Date Palms
“Backwards Berlin” Jagwar Ma
“Vur Hildegard Von Bengen” Devendra Banhart
“I Want the World to Stop” Belle & Sebastian
“Rad Pitt” Egyptian Hip Hop
“Penelope” Pinback
“Like a Stranger” Bodies of Water
“Motor City” Sand Circles
“Air Conditioning” Kisses
“Not So Blue” Quantic
“Golden Light” STRFKR
“Miasma Sky” Baths


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