Every October for the past four years, my dad and I have run the Army Ten-Miler together. All 40 miles, side by side. It's the biggest ten-mile race in the United States, with 30,000 registered racers in 2010. 2008 was marked by a surprise finish by my little sis, Mary W., who amazingly managed to come in strong, despite having maxed out her training at a three-miler (Mary has put her racing career on hiatus, while currently serving in the Peace Corps). In 2009, we had a guest entry by my Aunt Joanne, who, ten years my dad's junior, dropped us at mile 8 and sprinted to the finish! But alas, Aunt Joanne had some hip problems and so in 2010, it was back to just me and D. We were going to crush it.
And nothing says "I'm gonna crush this race!" like a get-psyched breakfast of fresh strawberry cornmeal pancakes with pure maple syrup. Warning: I'm not advocating eating a breakfast like this on the day of a race (for that, I stick to oatmeal or toast and PB), but for the day prior to race day, pancakes are super. Or better yet, serve them as awesome celebratory brunch. So please don't send me cranky emails about why you should never stuff your stomach with pancakes and syrup immediately before competing in an athletic event. Thx.The addition of cornmeal to these pancakes doesn't make them taste like corn (I know, I was surprised too). When I first tried this recipe, I was looking for a cornbread style of pancake. Although that's not what I got, I did find a new go-to recipe for pancakes. I think the cornmeal helps get that crispy crust on the outside and the high yogurt content keeps them moist in the middle. And don't even get me started on the strawberries. They are so perfect in pancakes, that I don't understand how blueberries ever became so popular. The inn where Travis and I got married (John Joseph Inn) served up the best breakfast I've ever had (bacon thicker than my arm!), including my first-ever strawberry pancakes.
We topped the pancakes with Shepherd Sugar Bush pure maple syrup made by our friend Laurie's family in Michigan! This syrup put the pancakes over. the. top.
Sidebar: For the second weekend in a row, we had houseguests of the four-legged kind (my parents' dogs, Luna and Spike). They're very small and potentially smooshable. They like to sit on you and snuggle up in your armpits, so you have to be careful not to roll over on them or squish them when you reach for a drink. Travis and I are large-dog people (and sadly lost the best dog ever to doggy cancer in February), but I can't help but miss these little guys (ok, I don't miss the yapping, but I DO miss the snuggling).
Strawberry Cornmeal Pancakesadapted from this Cooks.com recipe