Saturday, November 17, 2007

Philip's Fast and Vegan Pear Pancakes

We Orthodox began our preparations for the Nativity of Christ on November 15th. Western Christians call this period, Advent, and sometimes we do too, but it is more commonly called Philip's Fast, after St. Philip the Apostle, whose feast day immediately precedes it on November 14th. In our home, we always call it Philip's Fast, made all the more poignant by DD's dear Uncle Philip's absence. He fell asleep in the Lord more than a year ago.

For Orthodox, fasting is a spiritual tool handed down through the centuries to allow us to gain control over our passions, and to free up money and time for charitable works and prayer. During fast periods, we are encouraged to strive toward the goal of eating only vegetables, legumes, grains and refraining from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. For more about fasting, click here to be taken to one of my prior posts.

I've just received my third CSA box. When we lived in California, I had a CSA share and received wonderful organic fruits and veggies on my doorstep every week. Here in Georgia, even though 15 minutes outside the city boundaries the land becomes very rural and agriculture, community supported agriculture is just now getting off the ground, so to speak. As in most parts of the US, organic, sustainable agriculture is a hard sell here as well. I got lucky, because after years of searching, a chance comment on a homeschooling e-list led me to Heritage Farms and their bi-weekly box of organic fruits and vegetables. So far, I've found that spending $25 on fruits and vegetables every two weeks has drastically reduced the number of trips to the grocery store, and I have spent about 25% less than I was already spending for our near-vegan diet. Anyone who says that eating whole, fresh, healthful foods is too expensive, is just plain wrong.

The last box had some pears which we loved, but I lost one since they are so fragile. Last night, I saw that there were two firm pears and I decided right then and there that both would get eaten before they turned brown. So... when DD finally woke up this morning, I told her I was making waffles for breakfast. She loves pancakes better, and promised to vacuum the living room floor without complaint if I would just please, please, please make pancakes instead. I'm no fool. That floor needs vacuuming! Pancakes it was. I was going to slice the pear up and artistically arrange the slices on each pancake, but when reality set in, I realized that was too Martha Stewart-ish for me. I grated one of the lovely firm pears into the batter. Yummy!

Vegan Pear Pancakes
1 firm pear, grated
1 C all purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C soymilk
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 heaping tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger powder (I ran out of fresh ginger in the freezer)

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix in the grated pear, then mix the wet ingredients in just until barely combined. Do not overmix because you will develop the gluten and end up with rubbery pancakes. Its ok if there are little clumps of flour.

Heat a frypan over medium heat, spray with oil, and drop 1/4 Cup dollops of batter onto the hot pan. Cook until there are lots of little bubbles on the surface of the pancake, then flip over. Keep warm until all the batter is cooked.

DD ate 7 pancakes. Luckily, she still was able to squeeze herself into the front seat of my car when I drove her to work at noon. I guess she liked them. Maybe you will like them too!


NoMorales said...

This was my first time visiting this blog, but I will definitely be back. I made these and they turned out fabulous. I did add more pear though. I added pureed pear, grated pear and chuncks. I must admit I prefer a lot more fruit to my pancakes, but I eat them without syrup so it all evens out. You definitely should try chunks of pear next time, gives a stronger taste of pear.

Anonymous said...

Amazing recipe - great way to persuade people towards fasting/ veganism. Thank you.