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part I is here: Erica’s Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

She was working as a translator. Grew up in France, then moved to Spain, then Germany, now Scotland. Never met her father, her mother here and there, they don’t talk anymore. Her teeth didn’t show when she smiled. She had 7 beauty spots on her right shoulder and 3 on her left palm. She hated dogs and loved lemon pancakes.

She talked to me. She really talked to me like if I was an adult, for the first time in my life. She gave me books and CDs, she chose the movies we watched. I was holding her hand in the dark, she was grabbing my ass in the elevator. It was too good to last.

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My teacher called my mom. I was missing classes for a month now, none of my excuses worked anymore. Sitting at the kitchen table, her eyes scanning mine. “What’s wrong Ted? Friends? Drugs? A girl? You know you can tell me anything.” Oh no, I can’t. Not a word, just staring at the clock hanging on the wall. “Alright then, but whatever it is, it needs to stop now, you hear me?” Yes mom. I knew she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Pretending obedience and regret worked wonders though.

It was hard, but Erica got it. She did not want trouble either. Saturday and Friday nights were still good. Not going out too much, spending hours on sweaty sheets, reading to each other, photographing each other. I combed her hair in the shower, she was helping me with my French homework. We were living like an old married couple.

to be continued

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Erica’s Lemon Pancakes

I wanted an intense lemon flavour in these pancakes, so I used two different ways to get it: half the lemon zest was used to infuse the butter, and the other half was rubbed with the sugar. Absolute success! Combined with Greek yogurt and the strawberry-vanilla jam, these tasted like cheesecake pancakes! 😀

makes around 15 pancakes

  • zest from one organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons brown rough sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk, mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

to serve: 1 bowl of greek yogurt, strawberry-vanilla jam, fresh strawberries

1. Melt the butter in an iron skillet in medium-high. Once melted, bring heat down to medium and add half the lemon zest. Let the zest infuse the butter, shifting the skillet to prevent it from burning. This should take around 3 mins. Take the skillet off the heat, and pour the lemon butter in a deep bowl. Keep the skillet aside, cause we’ll make the pancakes in there. 😉

2. In the deep bowl where you just poured the butter, add the buttermilk and the eggs. Whisk the wet ingredients together, until combined.

3. Put the sugars in a another bowl, add the rest of the lemon zest and rub well for 3-5 minutes, so that the zest infuses the sugar. When it starts smelling like lemon and looks a bit wet it’s ready. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and shift the dry ingredients together.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the deep bowl of the wet ingredients. Whisk gently, with slow movements until just combined, do not overmix. We want the pancakes to be fluffy, not flat and boring!

5. Heat the skillet in medium-high. Cook the pancakes, 3-4 at a time, depending on your skillet’s size. 1 tablespoon of batter makes a normal-sized pancake. If you want, add some butter in between cooking them – I don’t, since I prefer lighter, not greasy pancakes.

6. Stack them in plates. Take a jar of strawberry-vanilla jam, a bowl of yogurt and fresh strawberries. Devour the most lemony, summery pancakes you’ve ever made. Happy summer!

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