Buttermilk Pancakes

Blogging is so depressing.  My top post is the one that got ONE view over the past week.  ONE.  So I guess I’ll stick to what I’m good at and post some recipes.

This is pretty much the pancake recipe my mother made when my brothers and I were growing up.  Dan and Claire have a copy up over at their blog, and I modified that slightly.  I guess this is my take on their take on the original.


  • 1.5 c. flour (consisting of 1 c. white and 1/2 c. whole wheat)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 banana, mushed up
  • 2 eggs
  • buttermilk as needed


  1. Mix the dry ingredients (including sugar) in a bowl.  If the bananas are frozen (see note below), thaw in the microwave.
  2. Add the eggs and the bananas.  Mix.
  3. Add buttermilk until you get a batter of pancake-like consistency.
  4. Make pancakes in a frying pan, keeping temperature to medium-low.  OR on a griddle, keeping temperature between 300-350.


  • If your household eats a lot of bananas, I recommend putting the overripe ones in the freezer at the end of the week.  Then when you have a couple accumulated, you can make banana bread or pancakes.
  • You can sprinkle chocolate chips on the pancakes if you want to be fancy.

Marathon Wrap-Up

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get to writing about this.

In short, the first 15 miles were great – very fast.  I hit the 13.1 mile point in 1:58:something, faster than I’ve ever run a half-marathon.  Despite the fact that I was having stomach cramps from the shot bloks I was trying to eat, I had a great time.  Then, somewhere between 15-17 miles in, my left knee’s iliotibial band began to ache, a pain which only got worse over the next several miles.  By mile 23 I was nearly in tears, hobbling through Crystal City and wondering if I was going to have to walk the last three miles.

Fortunately, after I stopped to stretch several times, the pain began to recede and I was able to lurch back to a run (though my stomach protested with a wave of nausea that slowed me down again).  I finished in 4:20:34, about 20 minutes faster than my first marathon.

Lessons learned:

  1. Marathons are about dealing with the unexpected.  As a runner, I tend to have tunnel vision – I like to do things by my plan and not deviate from them.  While running a marathon, things will come up that need to be dealt with immediately.
  2. I probably went out a bit fast.  Should have reined myself in a little until the 5k mark.
  3. Should have ditched the shot bloks (which I hadn’t used much in training) and brought another GU.

All the speed work I did leading up to the big day totally paid off.  I’m pretty glad of that.

The Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women

Excerpt from Some of the Reasons Against Woman Suffrage, by Francis Parkman, possibly published around 1910, but written before then:

Woman suffrage must have one of two effects.  If, as many of its advocates complain, women are subserviant to men, and do nothing but what they desire, then woman suffrage will have no other result than to increase the power of the other sex; if, on the other hand, women vote as they see fit, without regarding their husbands, then unhappy marriages will be multiplied and divorces redoubled.  We cannot afford to add to the elements of domestic unhappiness.  (p. 3)

A small pamphlet issued, as it says in the title, by the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women.  Lovely.

T-4 days until the Marathon

The average daily temperature in Madison has been about 40 degrees, sometimes cooler during the time that I have been out running.  There were even a few flakes of snow when I was out doing 13 miles two weeks ago.

This coming Sunday, the temperature in DC is forecast to be 62.  I am in so much trouble.

When ultrarunners are training for some of the more extreme races (races like the Badwater which goes through Death Valley, CA, or the Western States, which is known for its temperature extremes), they do what’s called heat training – wearing long sleeves and trousers even in warm conditions, sitting in saunas, driving around with the heater on (during the summer, mind).  The idea is to raise your core temperature up to what it might be during the event so you can start to get used to it.

When I first realized what the temperature differential was going to be, I started trying to do something similar – running in long sleeves, a sweatshirt, and tights even when the weather was in the 50s and I didn’t really need these accouterments.  But when it’s 35 degrees out (thank you, bank clock in Verona), will the concept really work?

I suppose we’ll find out on Sunday.  I have a couple of advantages working for me: I have a strong base, having run about 40-50 miles per week since January, and I acclimate to heat a lot more readily than most people.  My goal is to come in right around the 4 hour mark, but finishing at all will be great.

I think in general it should be a better race than last year.  Here’s hoping, anyway.  We fly out Friday morning.  Wish me luck!

Apple Muffins

This worked surprisingly well…there were a few glitches, all my fault.

Recipe from here with some alterations (most notably the egg was omitted, other changes are bolded, compare to original recipe).

Makes 18.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • a pinch of ginger and pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup margarine (I use yoghurt-based margarine so I won’t die of trans-fats)
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar omitted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten omitted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease muffin tin.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices).
  3. Cream together the margarine and 1/2 cup brown sugar (setting the other 1/4 c. aside).  Add buttermilk and mix, not too hard.
  4. Add dry into wet, adding more buttermilk to thin batter as needed.  Mix in apple pieces.
  5. Spoon about 1/3 c. of batter into each muffin compartment on the muffin sheet*.  Sprinkle a little of the remaining brown sugar on top of each one.  These don’t rise much, so don’t be afraid to fill the muffins pretty full.
  6. Bake 10 minutes at 450 F, then reduce temperature to 400 F and bake another 5 minutes or so.  Let the muffins cool for a while (10-15 min?) before removing them, since they will be fragile until cooled.


  • I wanted to use up some apples, so I doubled the apples in the recipe without doubling the rest of the recipe.  That was a mistake…there was so much apple that the muffin part didn’t hold together well, especially when I first took them out of the oven.  So I would say if you want to use more apples, make a 1 1/2 batch, not a single.  That would probably handle the additional 2 apples well.
  • Leaving out the egg was not a problem.  Usually in quick breads and stuff that uses buttermilk, eggs aren’t really necessary.
    And I don’t really cook with them much, so I didn’t feel like buying any, since if I bought half a dozen eggs, five of them would wind up sitting around.  This did fine with just buttermilk.
  • Also, the reduced sugar was good.  They were more breakfast-y muffins, not really the tiny apple cakes I’d been hoping for.  Next time if I’m making these for dessert, I might add a little more sugar.  But the apples are so sweet it hardly needs it.  I guess it’s dumb for me to complain that something is too healthy.

*Is there a better name for this?