I had my dinner plans set tonight. We had a bag of Parmesan bagels from Costco that needed using, and we always like open-faced bagel sandwiches under the broiler; deli meat and cheese for everyone, as well as sliced tomatoes for everyone to top theirs with, and bread and butter pickles or banana pepper rings for those who choose. (If we have lettuce or spinach, that’s an everyone topping as well, but no such luck tonight.) In the past I’ve put some of that flavored butter Costco sometimes has on the bagels before topping them with the meat and cheese–that’s really very tasty–but we were out, so I was going to sprinkle a bit of seasoning on top of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (Light)” and call it good. This was absolutely my dinner plan, you understand. I got the girlies going on the clean-up in the boy’s room and the living room–when you and a friend are working on a Halloween costume prop together and your 1-, 2-, 4-, and 5-year-olds roam freely, they can create quite the chaos–and I got out the baking sheet and the bagel slicer (a handy item I inherited from someone), and then came the death blow.
The bagels were moldy. The entire bag.
Now what? It was Red Ribbon Night at the school tonight, and my hubby was planning on taking the girlies while the boy and I hung out at home; I didn’t want dinner to suddenly become an incredibly late affair. Luckily, I was on the phone with my friend when I discovered the mold, and she’d already searched her Pinterest boards for dinner options. What she’d chosen had sounded good enough that I’d already had her message me the link, and suddenly, hey presto! I had a new dinner plan. Thus–in a bonding moment–both of our families had these Pumpkin Cornmeal Pancakes for dinner.
I must say, they went over exceptionally well with the kiddos. My oldest happily ate her usual portion of dinner, but the middle and the boy just kept eating. And eating. (In the boy’s case, to be fair, he didn’t get much else. He flatly refused to try even a tiny bite of plum, even for Veggie Tales, and so he didn’t get any other fruit until the very end. Thankfully, he snacked on enough grapes this afternoon to make me more or less comfortable with that.) And let me tell you, these were filling pancakes. There were only 6-7 left over, partly because my hubby wasn’t feeling great and didn’t have any, and I was kind of shocked at that; I almost halved the recipe because it looked large enough that I wasn’t sure I felt like standing there flipping that many pancakes. I’m glad I didn’t!
As for me, well, hmmm. I really love the taste and texture of cornmeal, and I liked that aspect of them; they were just a bit on the pumpkin-y side for me. I tend to like milder pumpkin flavor; I tend to prefer milder pumpkin flavor mixed with dairy fat, whether whipped cream or cream cheese; and I like chewy. I loved what there was of the cornmeal effect, but I’d almost have preferred oatmeal in them, since the thick smoothness of the pumpkin partially obscured the loveliness that cornmeal usually brings to the table. I did, of course, like them better with maple syrup soaked in; I can’t help thinking, however, that I’d almost prefer them as part of a vanilla ice cream sandwich. What it boils down to is this: if you like pumpkin unreservedly, you’ll love these (unless, I suppose, you’re anti-cornmeal or anti-maple syrup). If you have reservations about pumpkin, well, look at it this way. Fall is all about pumpkin anything, and these really were a perfect Plan B!