Our family has decided to kick off the Dark Days Challenge by making a local breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage.
The eggs and sausage came from our Amish dairy source. Delicious, easy, and filling.
The pancakes were more complicated. Although the wheat was not grown locally, we bought it in bulk and ground it ourselves with a little human-powered grinder. (You can see which human we're talking about in that link.)
We then made a sourdough starter with that flour. The jar of starter lives on the counter of our very cold kitchen. We feed it regularly and when the half-gallon jar gets too full...
...we pull out a two cups of the starter, add sugar to taste (a tablespoon or two is our usual, depending on the cook) as well as three or four tablespoons of melted butter or oil. Throw in a pinch of salt. If the mixture seems too loose for pancakes, add enough flour to thicken it up a bit. If you like, stir in an egg, or some grated apple, or blueberries, or whatever. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda to the batter. You can dilute it in a tiny amount of water first or you can just pour it in. Stir it and let the batter foam for a moment as you heat up a skillet.
Remember those volcanoes we made in elementary school with baking soda and vinegar? These pancakes work on the same principle. The sourdough starter mixed with soda causes the release of gas which allows the pancakes to rise without baking powder.
The flavor is a bit different from "sweet" pancakes, but we think they are absolutely delicious with farmer's market maple syrup!