Friday, November 28, 2008

Making Everything from Scratch

In Chinese cooking, everything is done from scratch, so I have been learning how to make things we were used to buying in the stores (such as syrup, butter, baby food, etc.) from ingredients I can find here. We love this easy maple syrup recipe. It's very easy to make and tastes a lot like normal syrup. Since we love pancakes and French toast, we just couldn't live without syrup, so I looked on the Internet and found this recipe:

Heloise's Homemade Maple Pancake Syrup

1 c. brown sugar - I use white because the brown sugar here taste like molasses and has very hard chunks that are literally like rocks.

3/4 c. water

1 tsp. maple flavoring (only available in the States or in a foreign food store in Beijing)

1. Mix sugar and water in saucepan
2. Bring mixture to a boil; simmer for 15 minutes (don't let it boil again or over cook).
3. Add maple flavoring; chill. Use more or less flavoring to your personal taste.

I'll also share our favorite pancake recipe. We've been using this since shortly after we got married two years ago. Jeremy and I had different views on what a pancake should be like, so we compromised and searched for a new recipe that would become our family favorite. Jeremy liked his pancakes to be small, light, and flat. I liked my pancakes to be large, thick, and chewy. This recipe is right in the middle and we both love it!

Plain Griddle Cakes

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

Beat and add:
1 egg (optional)

1 c. milk (scant)
stir gradually to make smooth

1 tsp. melted butter or oil