Anticipation Turns to Despair & Zucchini Pancakes

Pleasant_Lake_Winter_Mist_02Oh, that fickle Möûll! Once again, the Viking snow goddess has all but ignored us. To make matters worse, she delivered a beautiful blanket of white to the west and north. For days, meteorologists were almost dancing with excitement. They promised up to a foot, no eighteen inches, wait, make that two feet of snow. Snowmageddon was coming! The news filled skiers with joyful anticipation. The kind of anticipation that makes it difficult to think, read, write, eat or sleep. Restless but with hope in our hearts, we searched the sky for clouds and the first flakes.

Finally, exhaustion took over and we fell into bed. We dreamed of snow but woke to rain. Yes, that steady pitter-patter on the skylight was cold, miserable rain. As the day slipped into midmorning, always the tease, Möûll offers a glimmer of hope. No not sunshine, but the rain turned to big, fat flakes of snow. Optimism and goodwill abounded in this skier’s heart. It didn’t last long, my high hopes were dashed an hour or two later when those big, fat flakes turned back to rain.

Yet again, anticipation turned to despair. During one of the coldest winters in history, it rained and rained some more. Sometime in the middle of the night, the temperature finally plummeted and snow began to fall. Too little, too late, we missed out on the foot or more so eagerly promised by the weatherheads. What little snow we had, piled up into massive drifts under the force of twenty-five-mile-an-hour winds. Yes indeed, after a miserable wet day, the dreaded polar vortex returned.

To summarize, here’s what we got: first lots of rain, followed by not much snow and, finally, adjusting for wind-chill, seriously cold, way-below-zero temperatures. So Möûll, to borrow a phrase from Bob Dylan, what did we do to offend you?

And just like that the answer came to me. Obviously, we are not following the six easy steps to ensure a snow day. It’s something that most kids know but do you? Here goes:

1. Do your very best snow dance. Nothing halfway, dance like no one is watching!

2. Do your homework. Whatever the commitment, act like it will happen and prepare as usual. If it’s book club, read the book. If it’s an important sales call, review your pitch. Volunteering at the thrift shop, fill the car with that load of gently worn clothing. If you have kids, make sure they do their homework too.

3. Flush at least six ice cubes down the toilet. More if you are really serious, which you should be. (Stick to six if you have temperamental plumbing. In any case, if you end up with a problem, don’t call me, call your plumber.)

4. Wear your pajamas inside out and backwards. You must do both, inside out and backwards, or the charm doesn’t work. If you work from home, keep those jammies on all day.

5. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand.

6. Sleep with a spoon under your pillow.

I don’t know why or if these steps work but kids across the northeast swear by them. The penalty for not following these six simple rules; the storm will blow to the north or south and miss us or fall as rain. If you hate the snow, don’t worry, we’ll be putting away our skis in early April. After that, we can all beseech Idun or Freya, Artio, Brigit, Flora or Persephone for sunny days and the first flowers.

In the meantime, dream of snow and bon appétit!

Zucchini Pancakes
Wonderfully versatile, serve these pancakes as a main course or appetizer. They’re delicious at dinner with pasta or for lunch with a fresh, green salad. Alternatively, make smaller, one or two bite pancakes for your next cocktail party. Enjoy!
Makes about 24 cocktail-sized pancakes or 12-16 large pancakeszucchini_pancakes_01

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, coarsely shredded
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped, fresh mint
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon or to taste hot sauce
Olive oil
Garnish: Tapenade and/or sour cream or yogurt

Make the Tapenade and let is sit for at least a couple of hours to mix and meld the flavors. Click here! for the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Put the zucchini in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and toss to combine. Let the zucchini sit for 5 minutes, squeeze out as much liquid as possible and transfer the zucchini to a large bowl. Add the scallions, garlic and herbs, season with pepper and toss to combine.

Whisk the baking powder into the flour. Add the flour and cheeses to the zucchini and toss to combine. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk in the hot sauce. Add the eggs to the zucchini and stir to combine.

Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, working in batches add spoonfuls (a small ice cream scoop works well) of zucchini batter to the skillet and fry for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through.

Drain on paper towels, transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Serve with small dollops of sour cream or yogurt and/or tapenade.

The pancakes can be made in advance and reheated on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Print-friendly version of this post.
Print-friendly version of the Tapenade recipe.

One Year Ago – Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Two Years Ago – Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons
Three Years Ago – Grilled Strip Steak with Gorgonzola Sauce
Four Years Ago – Linguine with Sundried Tomato Pesto & Roasted Eggplant
Five Years Ago – Fettuccine with Classic Bolognese Sauce
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What are your thoughts on the record cold and, in some parts of the country, record snowfall? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good.

© Susan W. Nye, 2014

2 thoughts on “Anticipation Turns to Despair & Zucchini Pancakes

  1. I know these will be great, but it would be very helpful if you would add either something like “2 medium zucchini”,or “approximately 3 cups,” or whatever one and a half pounds would be.


    • Liz – Many thanks for the suggestion! Since supermarkets sell by weight, I gravitate to that measure. Not to mention, all the years I lived in Switzerland where all recipes are built around weight. I have a kitchen scale and it comes in very handy – I use it almost every day … several times if I’m cooking up a storm. Take care – and dry this weekend – Susan


Leave a Comment - I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s