I am possibly the least sporty person ever, and I can name the sporting events I follow on one hand: The Boat Race and the Winter Olympics. (I don't think Dancing on Ice counts as a sporting event.) I've been to a rugby game at Murrayfield a couple of times, but I just don't get sport.
I attempted to stay up for the opening ceremony of this year's games in Vancouver, but there was no way I was going to make it. So instead, I decided to watch the highlights while tucking in to a Canadian themed breakfast.
Buttermilk makes all things better and pancakes are no exception. That magical acidity reacts with the heat, flour and eggs to get things really light and fluffy. Buttermilk is traditionally the leftover liquid from churning cream in to butter, but most stuff you can buy on the high street is made by adding bacterial cultures to milk. You should be able to get buttermilk at any large supermarket, farm shops, delicatessens or healthfood stores. However, if you can't find it, you can substitute it for milk soured by 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per 250ml of milk. I've also subbed plain yogurt diluted with milk to a thick pouring consistency, with similar results.
Normally I'd want these pancakes with berries and yogurt, but fresh berries just don't seem right in February. Instead I made simple spiced apple compote to go with my pancakes. The spices give it a warmth, and I used vanilla sugar to give the apples a bit of extra oomph.
Spiced Apple Compote
2 eating apples
A good lump of butter
4tbsp vanilla sugar (alternatively use caster sugar and a dash of vanilla extract)
1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, and peel, core and roughly chop the apples.
2) Add the apples to the melted butter, along with the spices and sugar. Stir everything up, and cover with a lid.
3) Gently cook the apples for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The butter should start to brown, and the apples will be soft enough to cut with a spoon, but still retain their shape.
Canadian Buttermilk Pancakes Makes about 12 medium pancakes
150g plain flour
0.5tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1) Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt in to a large bowl, and make a well in the middle.
2) Dilute the buttermilk with 75ml water and pour this in to the well. Gently whisk in to the flour.
3) Add the eggs one by one, whisking until you have a thickish smooth batter.
4) Heat a large non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat, and coat with vegetable oil or butter.
5) Pour a small ladleful of batter into the pan, and cook for around 1 minute on each side. The pancake should puff up and be nicely browned.
6) Serve immediately.