Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Carnival Fun!

We came on the wind of the Carnival, a warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hotplate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter.
-Joanne Harris, Chocolat

I love that story, and it's become almost an annual read for me. It's so rich - just look how much is packed into that opening sentence - the food, the atmosphere! Yesterday I drew a bath and settled in for a soak, starting Chocolat once again to pump me up for Carnaval, as it's called in Spanish.

waiting patiently for cake
At school today we celebrated the last day of Carnaval with a costume parade in the playground, chocolate milk and special cakes, a tribute to the traditional last day of indulgence before Lent. Let me tell you, there is indeed a special wind that comes with the carnival each year, a wind that picks up everyone's spirits, especially the children's. There was no containing their excitement, and even Baby seemed extra active! Fun, yet exhausting, and I'm looking forward to forty calmer, reflective days.

iron man and two batmans
After a catnap bear-like hibernation session on the couch, I read a little more of my book and spent some time searching for a new pancake recipe. I decided on one for fluffy buckwheat pancakes by londonbakes, and they are officially my new favourites. I love the flavour of the buckwheat and they are, rather than fluffy, dense and tall. I left out the sugar and corn flour (didn't have any), used almond milk (out of cow's), and they turned out just fine. Local strawberries are starting to appear, with nary a peach to be seen, so I topped ours with yogurt, berries and maple syrup (wouldn't be a real Canadian if I didn't have maple syrup for my pancakes!). As I left out the sugar, I suspect these would also be good with creme fraiche and smoked salmon, or maybe chicken and mushrooms. 

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