My friends Adrianna and I have been close since the first grade. Through elementary and jr. high, we went to the same school, and aside from petty arguments every preteen girl goes through, were best friends.
Come high school, we were at different schools. Rival schools actually. I remember our first few weeks of school we'd call each other every night and compare notes on the bizarre experiences of life in a big school. Our jr. high after all, only had about 50 students. Our graduating class was 17 kids we'd known since preschool. Through high school, we remained close, even when we finally made friends at our new schools and didn't need the nightly phone calls anymore.
Now in university, majoring in journalism and music, we still get together and try to maintain our sanity with two huge course loads. Two weeks ago we got together (our belated Christmas get together) and realized how lame we've both gotten. All we really do is school, all the time, and once we'd both talked about our classes and which profs we liked, there was an awful lull. So we decided we were going to make time for our hobbies. Adrianna is reading non-textbooks again and knitting a purse. I'm painting again taking time for my creative writing.
But to really make sure we stuck with this idea, we've decided to get together every other Friday and work on another hobby; cooking. I pick her up after my class on Friday afternoon every other week and we cook something. Our first time was yesterday, and we made Gingerbread Pancakes with Butterscotch Apples, as pictured above.
We got the recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which I think is a book everyone should have in their kitchen. They turned out very well. If you like gingerbread but find it too hard, make these. The pancakes are basically like soft gingerbread. I would also suggest making a larger portion of the apples, as people pile them on their pancakes and they don't come out even.
As a result, I am a huge advocate of hobbies. Sure I may not have the perfect GPA I had last year, but I'm happier, and I have a life.
Needless to say, my family is also a huge fan of hobbies. They get to eat the leftovers.
Try our pancakes for yourself! I've included the recipe below.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 &1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1&1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1&1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
1. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally until tender (about 10 min.) Stir in brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl stir together flour, sugar, ginger, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine 1/4 cup water, egg, molasses and oil. Add to to flour mixture and stir till just combined but not smooth. Add additional water as necessary to reach consistency of pancake batter.
3. Brush a non-stick skillet with a little oil, heat over medium heat. Add gingerbread mixture in tablespoons and make pancakes.
NOTE: We tripled this recipe, as it only serves 4. And again, make a bigger portion of apples if you want to come out even. Enjoy!