I had a sense of deja vu this weekend. But not in the typical I’ve already done this sense. Rather, a ‘why haven’t I learned my lesson yet’ kind of deja vu.
We visited friends in Horseshoe Valley for a weekend filled with friends, food, games, adventure park fun (o-go ball is highly recommended) as well as a trip to the beach. While I am not too fond of beaching, I was excited when my friend, Greg, suggested we bike to Wasaga Beach instead, which was 45km away, he said. Rob checked: it was 27km away.
While Rob and I haven’t done many long-distance cycling trips since our big adventure to Kingston, 27km would still be a quick stroll for us. An hour, maybe an hour and a half, I told myself. We packed light for the trip, with just a couple bottles of water. Our snack would be waiting for us at the end, at the beach, when we would arrive for an early lunch and meet up with the girls. We could easily cycle back, too. Greg, our fierce leader, wasn’t keen on cycling back. OK, no problem.
As soon as we pulled out, I was reminded that this may not necessarily be as flat as I had predicted. We were starting at the bottom of the valley. We only could go up! Greg suggested taking smaller side roads to circumvent the huge hills on Horseshoe Valley Road, which we thought was a fabulous idea.
We twisted up the side roads and meandered through lovely rolling hills. After 13km, I needed a break and nonchalantly stated we were half-way to the beach.
Not so. Rob, plotting our progress through GPS on his phone, said we were now further from the beach than when we started!
I’ll spare you the details, but yes, we had lots of rolling hills with challenging uphills. The wind was fierce. We added detours to forgo traffic-heavy roads. I broke out my emergency larabar. Thankfully, the last 15km was mainly flat, maybe slightly downhill to the beach. The flat 27km bike ride ended up being a very hilly, very windy 57km.
We were greeted by a mild sand storm at Wasaga as the strong winds pushed sand around ruthlessly. Greg still jumped into the lake, cycling clothes and all. We arrived for a late lunch. The girls had already eaten without us and warned us there was probably sand in the sandwiches. ;) My quinoa salad had fared a bit better.
Steph made delicious vegan cupcakes for dessert – matcha green tea with marzipan flours. It had been a while since I had a cupcake yet I devoured it for dessert. Sometimes crazy cycling can do that to you!
It was on the way back home that Rob and I picked up the corn on impulse. Where else would we get such freshly picked corn?
Using three different forms of corn – fresh corn kernels, corn meal and corn flour (masa harina) – these are a seriously corn-stuffed pancake. With corn as the flour base, it was reminiscent of a sweet polenta. Flavoured with both vanilla and lemon, it was an exotic twist. Slather it with Earth Balance for pure simple bliss, or top with your favourite compote or salsa.
Triple Corn Pancakes
1 cup unsweetened soy, almond or coconut milk (from a carton)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive, preferably organic
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (preferably organic)
1 cup organic corn flour (preferably organic)
1/4 cup organic cornmeal (preferably organic)
1 Tbsp finely ground flax seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla and stevia. Stir in the lemon zest and corn kernels and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir just to blend (do not overmix–it’s okay if there are a few dry spots here and there).
3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the pan, spreading the pancakes slightly with a silicone spatula or back of a spoon.
4. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the pancakes begin to rise and puff up and the tops look almost completely dry (the bottom should be lightly browned). Gently flip the pancakes and cook another 3-4 minutes. Keep the prepared pancakes warm as you continue to use all the batter in this way.
May be frozen.
Makes 6-8 pancakes.