Desert Heart pancake recipe
Some time ago, I took part in a fun event called the Cowboy Crazy Christmas Rodeo, sponsored by the Cowboy Crazy facebook group. Authors not only shared some great holiday stories, but also their favorite recipes. I like mine so much (as much for the hero who serves them up for his true love as for the pancakes themselves) that I think it’s worth saving here.
Just for you – a recipe cooked up by Cowboy Delicious (as the heroine’s sister likes to call Rick, the hero of Desert Heart) on the morning of Christmas eve. He and his true love, Tina, have just rolled out of bed. He leads her to the kitchen and…
“Rivera family tradition,” Rick announced with a bittersweet smile. “Pancakes on Christmas Eve.”
Tina paused in the doorway, her breath caught in her throat. The table was set with a blue and white checkered cloth and matching blue napkins in silver rings. A clutch of tiny lavender flowers stood in a glass in the center—handpicked from down by the creek, no doubt. Jars of jam, glasses of juice, a bowl of sugar. On the counter, a bag of flour stood next to a mixing bowl.
By the time she caught her breath, Rick had a fire going in the stone hearth. “This is beautiful,” she whispered.
His eyes twinkled as if there were no greater pleasure in life than to bring her joy. “Gets better. You have the stockings?”
Of course she had the stockings. He’d insisted that she bring both.
“Well, unpack them already.”
The bulge in the green stocking proved to be a bottle of maple syrup, and the round shape in the red stocking, a tiny flask of alcohol. “Grand Marnier?” She gawked at the label.
“Sure,” he said, already sprinkling cornmeal into a bowl. “Now, don’t tell me you’ve never poured Grand Marnier over blue cornmeal pancakes and lit a match?”
“Cornmeal pancakes?” She was practically drooling already.
A dimple formed in the hollow of his right cheek. “Cook’s son, remember?”
Pro ballplayer, ranch manager, all-around stud. The man could have called himself any of those things, but which label did he wear with the most pride? Cook’s son.
That’s just a short except from Desert Yule, a heart warming Christmas story that visits all the heroes and heroines of Twin Moon Ranch (psst! – it’s only 99¢!). If you missed Rick and Tina’s beautiful love story, well, that’s waiting for you in the pages of Desert Heart!
And now, the recipe!
Rick’s Blue Cornmeal Pancakes
¾ cup blue cornmeal (medium grind)
¾ cup white flour (unbleached)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter (unsalted)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of boiling water
½ cup milk
First, mix the blue cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Slowly stir in the boiling water then cover, and let stand for five minutes (the perfect time to kiss your true love). Next, combine the milk, beaten egg, and butter. Stir those wet ingredients into the cornmeal mixture. Then combine the flour and baking powder and stir them into the cornmeal mixture. If the batter is stiff, add a little more milk until it flows off of the spoon (it might be thick and slow, but it should be smooth).
Grease a cast iron skillet with a dab of butter and heat it over a medium flame. Use about two tablespoons of batter for each pancake. When the entire surface of the pancake is covered with bubbles, flip it over and cook until golden. Serve with maple syrup, homemade jam – or top ‘em with a little Grand Marnier and light a match. The perfect lazy morning treat!