If you're wondering why you're seeing so many pancakes all over the food web today, don't think it's just because IHOP is giving away free pancakes. They are doing that, and blogs are posting pancake recipes because today is Pancake Day, another way to commemorate Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday. Today is called Pancake Day because people would make pancakes to use up butter, eggs and milk before Lent.
For all the other times when I was a good girl, when I was cautious – hell, I’ve basically been abstaining for the last two years – it would be just my delicious luck to go unprotected the one time when it actually matters, and get infected. Once. Just once! As if almostsharing my Asian heritage with Semi-ho Sandra because her last name is Lee weren’t enough, now I am diseased. Tainted, if you will. I have been (self) diagnosed with . . .
The Emeril Epidemic.
Technically, he’s a pandemic because he’s basically everywhere, but I have this thing with alliteration.
The only reason I ever watched tv was for the Food Network, and truth (that will reveal how old I really am) be told, I even loved watching the original Essence back when Emeril was still a relatively unknown chef who always looked into the wrong camera during taping. I loved the Food Network and could even say I had an unhealthy addiction. As expected, there were changes as the the years went by. While I liked some new shows and personalities like Ina Garten and Loverboy Bourdain, far more new shows reflected a whole new direction that didn’t appeal to me. Overall programming on the Food Network was declining.
I gave them the benefit of the doubt, though, and convinced myself that the magic would come back. Like a battered wife, I made excuses, telling myself it was my fault that I couldn’t stay up late enough to watch re-runs of A Cook’s Tour that the Network had relegated to 3 AM slots. Given my bloggy, work-at-home schedule, it actually worked better for me to have uninteresting shows during the daytime that wouldn’t distract me. I even argued that Emeril was a case study in celebrity marketing brilliance. I was fooling myself but finally, cancellation of the original Iron Chef (Japanese) was the epiphanous moment that forced me to take drastic action.
I cancelled cable.
I’ve abstained from the Food Network for almost two years, and I don’t regret it one bit.
But that’s the danger with these things. You could have been exposed to it long before you ever started taking precautions, and once you’ve been exposed, you’ve got it. You may not know you have it, but it’s in you, somewhere deep down in the dark, scary place. It can remain dormant for years, and it's possible that it may never develop into a full-fledged affliction, but when you least expect it, it could flare up like a cigarette butt in a field of tumbleweeds. When your mental defenses are down, when you’re under psychological duress, when your emotions are hitting lustlovey highs and workstress lows like it’s that time of the month every day of the month, it’ll rear its ugly head that looks strangely like...Emeril Lagasse's.
Suddenly you’ve metamorphosed from a shy, quiet food blogger with simple taste to a chubby, pink-cheeked troll of a showman tv celebrity chef. A breakfast of a simple stack of pancakes metamorphoses into a chocolate pancakes with Bam! homemade vanilla ice cream hurled on top and you toy with your own emotions by Bam! sending a deluge of warm cherry sauce to carve deep crevasses in a vanilla matterhorn that's already cascading in creamy rivulets over cocoa cliffs, and then you're caught up in the excitement, you've crossed the line, you've gone too far, so why hold back now?! You can't! You just can’t hold yourself back from by Bam! drizzling hot fudge all over the deep, dark, dirty delicious mess.
It took everything I had to not spank powdered sugar like virgin snow all over the stack, the plate, and the countertop.
There's some sort of prescription treatment for this, isn't there?
Resources from Around the Web:
~ Boston Globe's Simple Cherry Sauce with Kirsch
~ EatingWell's recipe for Chocolate Pancakes (and they serve theirs with a raspberry sauce)
~ CDKitchen has a recipe for chocolate pancakes with the kick of Kahlua
~ a good, basic recipe for Chocolate Pancakes at Recipezaar
~ Better Homes & Garden recipe for Chocolate Pancakes via Everything and Nothing
** this post originally published on 08.11.07 **