Thursday, February 14, 2008

Inspiration: Good Fortunes & Pink Pancakes

I normally don't celebrate Valentine's Day. I like the idea that you can tell all those important people in your life that they are special any time of year. It was very unlike me to actually do something on Valentine's Day but I got inspired by two blog posts this week (see Absolutely Plum and LotusHaus). The result was me making PINK pancakes and paper fortune cookies. As you can see the paper fortune cookies turned out great and they were really easy to make. You find directions here. I was just using stuff that I had around the house last night so I had to use ric-rac to write little message using a sharpie pen.

The pink pancakes were not such a successful endeavor. You can find the recipe
here. I made the beet puree and mixed all the "blender" ingredients together the night before so that I could get up in the morning and make the pancakes without making a ton of noise. In the morning, I added the liquid ingredients to Bisquick pancake mix. The first problem was that the batter was incredibly thick. I must have added 1/2 a cup of extra water to thin them out. The next problem is that our stove is a little wonky. Many of the burners have dysfunctional heat adjustment knobs so they only heat up once the dial is at 6 and the next option is "HI" after that. I burned 3 or 4 pancakes before I got the temperature right. Lets just say that this put me in a grumpy mood before I even got to taste a pancake.
I came to the conclusion that I did not like pink pancakes but TEB said they tasted good and were a neat color. I think maybe I just could not get over the fluorescent pink shade of the short stack on my plate. It is strange how such a little thing like color can change your perception of what you are eating.

This brings to mind the science of molecular
gastronomy, which is about investigating how food is cooked to change taste. A restaurant that has been on my list for a few years now is Alinea in Chicago, which takes molecular gastronomy to another level that seeks to alter our perception of the foods we normally eat. For example, below is there dish caramel popcorn. Notice that it look nothing like popcorn but I bet the liquid tastes just like caramel popcorn.

photo credit: CNC 02.14.08; Alinea Gallery

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