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Sunday, October 12, 2003

Fruity Yogurt Pancakes Recipe

What makes American food, American? I've been thinking about this recently. There are a few obvious answers--it's made in America, it uses American ingredients, the recipes were developed in America. There's also the whole "melting pot" thing. But I think it's actually something else.

We are blessed in this country with a plentiful and huge variety of wonderful foodstuffs. In the San Francisco bay area there is so much that I can find that inspires me to cook. While there have been times of frugality and poverty, Americans have often lived lives much richer than their counterparts in other countries. Immigrants have brought their traditional recipes here and made them American by being more generous with ingredients than they might have been in the old country. Just look at pizza as a good example of this. For better or for worse, it is often much "richer" here than in Italy. So I think bounty is one important element in American food.

The other is individuality. As Americans we value this more than other cultures, in my experience. And look at the way we cook! Everyone has their own recipe for the most standard of items. Even things like meatloaf or mashed potatoes or apple pie. While these are classic American dishes, I'm not sure that there is a definitive version of any of them. There are seemingly endless variations on these dishes. We value individuality and so we celebrate it in our cooking.

Here is a twist on an American classic--breakfast pancakes. You customize it to taste by using whatever flavor of yogurt you like. Suggestions for fruit flavors: Strawberry, raspberry, lemon, banana, boysenberry, cherry, peach. I haven't tried this recipe with vanilla yogurt but I bet it would be good too. If you do try it with vanilla, I'll leave it up to you to change the name!

Fruity Yogurt Pancakes


1 egg (or egg substitute)
1/2 cup fruit flavored yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Mix all the wet ingredients plus the sugar in one bowl. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the liquid and mix. The batter will be fairly thick and a little lumpy. Grease a pan or griddle and put one tablespoon of batter on to cook at a time. Cook slowly over low heat until the pancakes bubble, then flip. Serve with a dab of yogurt and sliced fresh fruit on top.