Thy y y yme is in my sauce

Yes it is!  Summer with all of it’s bounty occasionally presents us with a supply and demand problem.  I had an overabundant supply of berries and while I love them, unless they are strawberries, the demand amongst the rest of the tribe is fairly low for straight raw fruit goodness munching.  In an attempt to increase the berry acceptance factor around here, I used one of my favorite methods: incorporating a less than favorite food into an undeniable favorite to ensure that there is at least an honest attempt to eat the former.  As it is the weekend, a berry sauce for pancakes seemed a natural fit for this particular supply and demand problem; I was hesitant as the miniature members of the crew objected to the last berry sauce pretty vocally (they are pancake purists I’m afraid), but I thought perhaps with different berries producing a different color, and a different flavor profile just might get us to the starting line for breakfast (a lot of work just to get to the starting line, eh?).  Pondering this question I was confronted with my second supply and demand challenge: my thyme garden.

In a rebellious moment a few years ago I planted four very small thyme plants (as well as another herb that is either oregano or marjoram) in my front yard as my first step in flouting my HOA’s regulations about growing food anywhere but in the back yard.  I figured the plants would do well there and would raise little in the way of objection as they flower and folks who aren’t either avid gardeners or avid cooks would likely fail to see them as anything but small shrubs.  Well, they have thrived, which is great, although they’ve happily consumed the space that I was intending to use for the next step in my suburban yard gardening subterfuge.  As a result I almost always have fresh thyme for cooking, YAY, and I have so much that I can also dry a large jar full for when there is too much snow to get to the thyme (this is rare here in mid-Maryland, but it has happened).  I have not kept up with my abundant and delightfully aromatic shrubbery this summer and it has continued happily producing, spreading out in a bit of a woody carpet.  It’s wonderful, and now I have the pleasure of playing with thyme in just about any dish that tickles my fancy.  Hmmm…. would thyme work in a berry sauce?  Yes, yes it would, it does, and it was fantastic.  And so it was this morning.  A little economics experiment, a new flavor profile, and a whole lot of yum.  And so I bring you without further overly wordy ado… Pecan Pancakes with Herbed Berry Sauce.

Pecan Pancakes

This is simply a riff on my usual pancake concoction.  I’ve left out the buckwheat this time as the more adventurous of my two was expressing objections, thought I’d cut him a break.

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • .5 c all purpose flour
  • .5 c corn meal
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 3 eggs ( I used flax)
  • 6 T oil
  • 3 c buttermilk or soured milk (I used almond)
  • a couple of handfuls of pecans, toasted if you’ve time and broken or cut into large chunks

Prepare as usual.

Herbed Berry Sauce – inspired by Emmy’s Summer Berry Sauce

  • .25 c water
  • 1 t corn starch
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 c berries ( I used blackberries and blueberries)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 small sprigs fresh thyme

Whisk water and corn starch together in small saucepan.  Add sugar and berries and cook over medium heat.  Stir occasionally to prevent sugar burning and to help berries break down.  Add thyme and lemon juice, stir and allow syrup to simmer until it reaches a thickness you like.  There you go.  Sweet and tart and fabulously complex because of a few twigs thrown into the mix.  Awesomeness in a bowl, or small pitcher, or glass if nobody’s looking. Delish.

17 responses

  1. I am so grateful our HOA is fine with front yard gardening. All they care is it looks neat. And no dead cars/moss on roof. My front yard is lined with culinary lavender 😉 I love it!

  2. I’ve never thought of trying thyme or other herbs with a berry sauce, what a lovely, light idea! And yeah, that empty plate sure is a good sign of success.

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  5. Pecan Pancakes… now I am going to dream of these all night long! Maybe I will find a few minutes free in the morning to try the recipe myself, they sound amazing!

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