Spicing up that pancake

by Eszter Hargittai on December 2, 2012

Years ago, a friend I hosted made me pancakes with over a dozen ingredients. This was an interesting concept that had never occurred to me. The plain ones had never really appealed to me, but I’d only experienced the simple addition of chocolate chips, which, while making a bit of a difference, had still not converted me to this American tradition. While my palette does not seem sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate over a dozen ingredients at once, I have since adopted my friend’s approach of adding 4-5 items to the mix and now look forward to this treat on weekends. (I’m no purist, by the way, I just work with pancake mix from a bag.)

In addition to chocolate chips, a hint of mint turns out to be an excellent ingredient. (You really do want to be careful with it though as more than a drop or two can overwhelm all other flavors.) I’ve found dried fruits such as dried cranberries and pineapple work well, too, chopped up into little pieces. Various nuts are other fun options, also chopped. In particular, I recently started using some gingersnap almonds (courtesy of Chicago’s very own Mama’s Nuts) that has been delicious (they’re great on their own as well, but that’s another matter..). Right after Thanksgiving, adding some pumpkin pie filling to the batter was a good way to make something of leftover ingredients while varying things up a bit.

Another tweak that I have not tried yet, but came recommended by my friend David Figlio and sounds very intriguing is the idea of sprinkling one side with some Old Town spiced sugar right before turning it over. Apparently this gives it a little bit of brulee crunch and just the right amount of sweetness (especially helpful if you don’t like to use syrup, which I don’t). This approach is definitely on my list to try in the future. What are your favorite twists on traditional pancakes?

Jonah Goldberg : “If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more ‘racist.'” Yes, if there’s one thing black voters are waiting for, that might bring them back into the warm embrace of the GOP, it’s the enticing prospect of attending an endless pity party with a ‘liberals – and blacks! – have wrongly accused the GOP of racism’ theme. (Because, after all, the Davis-Bacon Act was totally racist!) But Charles Murray gave Goldberg a run for his money, in the anti-Dale Carnegie sweepstakes, with his hypothesis that the reason Asians don’t flock to the Republican Party is that, as a group, they have a ‘ludicrously inaccurate’ view of … well, of political reality.

Goldberg and Murray – and others I could mention – are casting about for a way for the GOP to win over minorities without saying ‘sorry’. Indeed, they are looking for a way to win over minorities while saying ‘you’re welcome!’ in an aggrieved, long-suffering sort of way (this white man’s burden hasn’t been lifting itself, y’know!) [click to continue…]

Thomas Jefferson: American Fascist?

by Corey Robin on December 2, 2012

It’s Old Home Week in the American media. First there was the welcome back of Abraham Lincoln (and the brouhaha over the Spielberg film). Now Thomas Jefferson is in the news. But where it was Lincoln the emancipator we were hailing earlier in the week, it’s Jefferson the slaveholder who’s now getting all the press.

Yesterday in the New York Times, legal historian Paul Finkelman wrote a bruising attack on Jefferson titled “The Monster of Monticello.” This was a followup to some of the controversy surrounding the publication of Henry Wiencek’s new book on Jefferson, which makes Jefferson’s slaveholding central to his legacy.

Finkelman’s essay has already prompted some pushback. David Post at The Volokh Conspiracy (h/t Samir Chopra) wrote: [click to continue…]