I don't want anyone to start thinking that we're particularly religious around my house--although we both grew up Catholic, we're not really any type of faith anymore. For example, we didn't go to church on Easter. As Brian would point out, it's stupid to only go one day a year, sort of meaningless in the big picture. You should probably just go the week AFTER the holiday if you're going to go at all; at very least you'll get better parking and at very best you won't be a hypocrite. However, there is nothing hypocritical about regular observation of the holy tradition of Easter brunch, and with that in mind we decided to make pancakes and invite some heathen friends over.
Grated the zest off one lemon (have I told you all about organic lemons yet? Use them if you can because pesticides pervade the oils in lemon peel so thoroughly that you cannot possibly wash them off) with a microplane (have I told you all about microplanes graters yet? Best damn graters out there), juiced the lemon and set aside. Mixed 4 cups flour with 2 tablespoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt. Separated 3 eggs and had Molly work out her aggressions by beating the whites separately into a fluffy froth. When they were quite fluffy, added 2 cups milk, the yolks of the eggs, a drizzle of melted butter and the lemon juice and zest. Mixed very well and slowly added to the dry ingredients, being careful not to overbeat once the wet got into the dry. Pancakes are fragile creatures. You should beat them as minimally as possible after you have combined dry and wet to keep them from becoming tough. It's important to mix very well the separate groups, but once they've been combined, just barely incorporate them and then set aside or you will have juvenile delinquent pancakes that drive hotrods and hang out on street corners smoking cigarettes with their hotpants girlfriends. I'm just saying. Heated up a very large, flat griddle and melted butter all over it. When it was sizzly, added pancakes in 1/4 cup dollops, smoothed them into roundish shapes and watched them puff up beautifully. Kept warm in the oven until it was time to eat.
Banana topping is made by cutting up 5 bananas into chunks and dumping them into a pot with a bit of butter to toast. Browned them slightly, then added 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon each cardamom and cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg & allspice. Mixed up until bananas were falling apart slightly but still keeping shape, then added 1/4 cup orange juice. Cooked another minute or two then removed from heat to serve with pancakes.
We also had vegetarian breakfast sausage, a frittata that Molly brought and really really good, totally from scratch Bloody Marys made by Katie. Later on Brian and I ate jelly beans from Malley's candy company in Ohio, so it was a completely successful Easter.