I woke up yesterday with a one-track mind: must. make. pumpkin. pancakes. A craving like this is one of the only things that can break through the wall of laziness and exhaustion that currently surrounds me at all times. I haven’t cooked in like a month, but this was an emergency.
I broke out Vegan Brunch and set right to mixing and measuring. Almost immediately, I noticed that the batter looked a little thin.
But I got my griddle nice and hot, sprayed my cooking spray, and added the first scoop of batter. When I eventually tried to flip it, however, it basically completely crumpled, and started to tear. Even after cooking for a few more minutes, it was really hard to get it off the griddle and onto the spatula, and it still seemed kinda gooey.
Immediately I started running through possible causes for the problem. Did I somehow not measure my ingredients correctly? Is my flour too old? Was the first pancake too big?
For round 2, I tried making two smaller pancakes. Still no dice. I ended up with these too-soft, crumply messes:
At this point, I figured I had just done something wrong, but I was determined to finish cooking the rest of the batter (waste not!). And I decided that I was NOT going to settle for mediocre pancakes. I would keep trying different tweaks and approaches. If they turned out mediocre anyway, at least I’d know I tried.
My first fix was to switch out Earth Balance for the cooking spray the recipe recommends. I noticed an almost immediate difference in the way the pancakes were cooking. The edges were getting golden and crispy and, while still very thin, they were much easier to flip over without crumpling.
Second fix was to use slightly less batter. Third, let them cook longer than I had previously been doing.
I ended up with a plate stacked with beautiful pumpkiny goodness, which I served with a dab of vegan cream cheese and some dried cranberries. It was absolutely perfect.
At some point, I realized that this pancake-making process was like a little analogy for so many of the things I’ve experienced in life so far, and so many, many things that I will experience in the near future when I become a parent.
Life lessons, people. Sometimes you just have to adjust your approach. Follow your instincts. Sometimes the instructions you are given aren’t the be-all and end-all.
Adjusting your approach won’t always necessarily yield the result or reward you initially were going for, but maybe you will be pleasantly surprised when you find that you end up with something just as good, or maybe even better, than what you set out for.
Bottom line: don’t be so hard on yourself if things aren’t perfect, but also don’t just throw up your hands and give up–take action and make it better!