When Marv took up the hobby of meat, I was pretty unschooled in the ways of southern food. But, them southerners are quite good at meat, thus that’s where our travels took us. We’ve gone to Texas for brisket, Kansas City for burnt ends, North Carolina for pork and, of course, Memphis for dry rub. The dry rub wasn’t my thing, but that city completely changed my mind about breakfast. See, I’m not a breakfast person, so I generally don’t bother with much more than a granola bar. But for He Harkni, my relatively consistent traveling companion, breakfast seems to be the closest thing he’s got to a religion. Thus one ends up eating a lot of breakfast when traveling with him. This, my friends, is how sweet potato pancakes came into my life. I had to have them from my own kitchen.
To those from the north, southern food is a strange and mysterious thing. It’s filled with an alchemy of cheap processed food mixed things dug straight out of the ground or recently killed and cooked with a blind determination that their way of cooking is not only the best way, it’s the only way to cook. In a world of increasing homogenization, this bull-headed arrogance is music to my ears.
The quest for reproducing the pancakes began. And it was freaky difficult. Difficult enough that talk of driving to Memphis and capturing a fry cook from Arcade and procuring the secret by any means necessary. But, in the end it’s just more fun to figure it out ourselves. (Oh, and it’s a lot less violent.) To help things along, I switched them to pumpkin pancakes. Canned pumpkin is just more reliable than canned or fresh sweet potato which cuts down the variables. The rest is a conglomeration of ingredients that could only come from a southern kitchen. Then it’s put together the way that I find works best. The recipe isn’t perfect yet, but it’s getting there.