The day had announced itself as a grey one, but it was our Monday-weekend, and we were determined to set off on a spring hike. By the time we made pancakes and hit the road, the sun was starting to peak through, and ended up treating us to a beautifully bright afternoon in Gatineau Park. Though the falls themselves are only about 300 metres from the parking lot, it’s a nice uphill meander on the Luskville Falls Trail to the top. The recent spring thaw had the water rushing down the escarpment; on a Monday, it was almost the only sound accompanying our climb up.The falls run over the Eardley Escarpment, which is studied by every first year geology student in Ottawa, so it was cool to go back with those little academic tidbits floating around in my head. Tristan got to hear my semi-informational outbursts as they came back to me over our hike: “We’re walking over Precambrian rock! There’s a microclimate here! It’s a very biodiverse ecosystem!”
The best views from the Escarpment comes halfway up this trail, where the whole Pontiac region is laid out in front of you. Keep trekking upwards and you’ll reach the fire tower, which was where rangers used to sit and monitor any flames that might endanger the fragile ecosystem. Though the only leaves left in the forest are those withered fighters that managed to cling through the winter, we spotted armies of buds ready to take over the forest canopy; it will all be green soon.(All of this from the girl who grew up proclaiming she hated hiking…I guess I’m a convert. Thanks, parents!)
Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
These are basically just a variation on my mum’s buttermilk pancake recipe, but with the banana mashed in to the batter, it kind of lends them a banana bread quality. Makes for a nice wake up. Nuts and other dry add ins (coconut here) are easily interchangeable or leave-outtable.
Makes 9 6″ pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp canola oil
3 bananas (1 for the batter, 2 for slicing into pancakes on the stove)
Lightly toast the shredded coconut. Then toast the walnuts.
Mash one of the bananas and mix it together with the wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, oil).
Heat griddle. Whisk dry ingredients together with the toasted cocnuts and walnuts. Add the banana mixture and whisk to combine. (Batter should have small to medium lumps).
Heat oven to 175 F. Grease griddle.
Use approximately 1/2 cup of batter and pour batter in pools about 2″ apart.
Place several banana slices in the pancake batter on the griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes, flip the pancake and cook for another two more. Keep finished pancakes on heat proof plate in the oven until serving. Serve with a pat of butter, some maple syrup, and enjoy!