Memorial Day began after the Civil War to commemorate fallen soldiers. These days, we think of it as a day to remember all veterans and loved ones, as well as the unofficial start of summer. Parades, barbecues, and long weekend trips are all on the agenda.
My father served as a medic during the height of the Korean War. Every Memorial Day, up until his last, he would decorate his old Model T with American flags, don his Korean War Veteran cap, and jump in the car to join at least three town parades. He would just as eagerly attend the local picnics and barbecues that followed.
Dad would have gotten a kick out of this patriotic short stack – red velvet pancakes are topped with white crème anglaise and a few fresh blueberries. Crème anglaise, a light pouring custard, is delicious but fussy. Skip the bother, if you like, and replace it with fresh whipped cream for an easy, impressive holiday breakfast.
So, before you secure your parade-viewing spot, or begin that long drive to the shore, treat yourself to some quiet time for memories. Then enjoy a red, white and blue breakfast in bed.
Red Velvet Pancakes with Crème Anglaise and Fresh Blueberries
1 cup half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
Add half and half and vanilla to a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just simmering, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Slowly pour hot half and half milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return to saucepan, and stir over low heat until custard thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Strain crème into bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate, up to two days.
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon red food coloring
4 ounces (one half stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
Additional butter for frying
Fresh blueberries, for garnish
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in large bowl. In separate bowl, stir together milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in food coloring. Gradually add milk mixture to dry ingredients. Slowly add melted butter to batter. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into batter. Place pan or griddle on burner over medium to medium high heat. Melt a small amount of shortening in the pan for the first pancake. Ladle batter into pan and cook until small bubbles appear throughout pancake. Flip once with spatula and continue cooking until golden brown, one to two minutes, adding more butter and adjusting heat as necessary. Keep warm while making the remainder of pancakes. Top with crème anglaise and a few fresh blueberries.
Makes 12 to 14 4-inch pancakes
In remembrance of my Dad, and all the other brave veterans who served our country.