Dear Huffington Post readers:
Is my housemate's recipe for Pancakes with Berries, below, really better than sex?
In the name of scientific research - and an unresolved housemate debate - we'd love for amorous/foodie HuffPost readers to try both, and chime in.
In case you're wondering how this burning question got started?
Last fall, I moved from my singleton's apartment in Brooklyn to a Rocky Mountain house-share with three single guys. As an ex-apartment dweller, house-sharing wowed me from the start. There was light, and space. The washing machine didn't need quarters. Best of all? The shared kitchen was...a separate room!
My Brooklyn "kitchenette" stood along the western wall of my living room. Its kitchen cabinets were housed six feet up (I'm 4'10"). The stove was Easy Bake oven-sized; the sink, one dish deep. My old place was born for take-out. But in my new digs, I lived to cook. Inspired by the space (and the light and the air) of my new co-kitchen, I rolled homemade ravioli and made oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies with cranberries and carrots from the garden of a new friend across the creek.
As the happy fates would have it, all three of new guy housemates were passionate cooks, too. In the beginning, we made our meals separately. But the only thing more fun than making food is making it for someone else, we seemed to agree. Slowly, wordlessly, we began to cook side-by-side, and then together. I chopped. They diced. I baked. They cast-iron panned.
My 20-something housemate specialized in hardy meat dishes. The 30-something made sourdough waffles from a recipe his family started in Northern California. Even our reclusive 40-something started turning out whole-wheat pizzas between meditations.
Our menus were the stuff that single adults make. But over time, our personal repertoires grew. Waffles begat barbecue. Pizze all'olive begat homemade soft pretzels. Chicken cooked on the naked stove rack begat Cornish game hens glazed in molasses and orange.
Cookies begat more cookies, and laments about dating.
Each of my guy housemates is great at things that take serious amounts of skill: painting; juggling; Grateful Dead-following; shooting. But they're seriously challenged when it comes to dating and love. We didn't chat about this part of our lives before me moved in together. But as the lucky fates would also have it, I suck at dating, too.
My guys and I chopped and mixed and poured and blended, barbecued, seared and sautéed our way through the cold Rocky winter. We were like lay Trappists making honey. Without the monks. Or the honey. Or the lay. Life might have percolated thus til spring. But then an old flame of my thirty-something housemate invited him to simmer.
The next morning, my youngest 'mate and I were polishing off a batch of berry-infused, maple-yogurt topped pancakes he'd made on the fly.
"These pancakes are better than sex!" I was saying.
Just then, our requited wanderer walked in, post-coitally tousle-haired.
"Wrong!" he announced. Then he flashed us a huge smile. The kind of smile that says, "Prove me wrong, suckers!"
What could we do? We were out of batter - and willing ex-lovers. Did the pancakes or the sex rock more? We couldn't say.
Which brings the question back to you, dear Huffington Posters.
Cakes or nooky?
Scientifically speaking, no one in my otherwise happy home can say for sure.
In case you'd like to test-drive our question, here's my housemate's pancake recipe:
"Better-Than-Sex Pancakes With Berries"
Place frying pan on stove on low-medium heat.
In mixing bowl:
Mash: two bananas
Dump in: 1-2 cups flour
(roughly) 1/2 tsp baking powder & 1 tbs baking soda
1/8 cup sugar
An egg or two
Enough milk or milk-alternative to make pourable batter. (You can use soy milk, rice milk etc. and water if you want.)
Vanilla, oil or melted butter, berries, banana chopped nuts, citrus juice or zest, yogurt, chocolate, cinnamon, or really anything.
Pour batter into preheated pan in
a) small portions or
b) one big pancake-sized portion
with enough butter or coconut oil to prevent sticking.
Bubbles will rise, cratering the pancake's surface.
When pancake edges appear dry, flip. The second side will cook faster.
If the butter starts smoking, your pan's too hot. Remove pan from stove, wave through the air some to facilitate cooling (be careful to not throw the pan across the room). Replace pan on adjusted burner and continue cooking til done.
Eat. Enjoy. The key to this recipe's success is to have fun experimenting. If you come up with a really good batch, try to remember what you did.