Doing What Matters – Buckwheat Griddle Cakes


For the past month I’ve been eyeing the bag of buckwheat groats when I dig through our nest of bulk grains and legumes.  The groats have beckoned in their green auburn way and my fingers slip past to the safety of lentils.  Each time I pushed them away, the details of preparation distant and hazy.  I hedged around adding water and boiling for fear of remembering all the events that lay between then and now.

Sometimes we are compelled to do what matters.  My proverbial “grain hit the pot” when I found out that Sterling’s daughter was in the hospital awaiting heart surgery.  I am a really spontaneous person, so I’ve never been much good at signing up to bring food on schedules or fitting into other routines of suburban life.  However, when old friends are in trouble my inner lioness takes over, psychological blocks are drop kicked and hot cakes hit the griddle!

Sterling kept everyone up to date on Facebook.  As the week progressed I couldn’t help ignoring my urge to fry up buckwheat griddle cakes and rush them to Lucille Packard.  Since the recipe remained hazy, just out of reach in my subconscious I was forced to perform a kitchen brain intervention.  I purposefully shoved fresh basil, garlic and pine nuts into the food processor in an attempt to loosen the ingredients from my mind.  Some bits came to me…sage?…maybe dill?  Finally I turned to old kitchen spattered cookbooks.  I flipped through the pages to see if any of the spills or recipe shapes spawned a memory.  Finally I found it, Red Lentil Cakes with Garlic and Sage from Savoring the Day by Judith Ben Hurley.  Needless to say my version of this recipe is far from the original, but it was what Sterling needed, so I was determined to reconstruct!


1 cup buckwheat groats
½ cup quinoa
1 heaping teaspoon of yellow miso
3 cups water
Combine and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes or till the mixture has no water left

Sage leaves to taste 2 to 4 Tbs
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
Saute till wilted
Combine cooked grains, and sauteed vegetables/sage in the food processor.  Pulse a few times till the mixture is partially ground and feels sticky.
I also added a cup of cooked garbanzos, but I think it would work without.

One meager handful of batter compresses into the right size cake.
Fry liberally with lots of olive oil!

I usually serve these cakes piled with barely steamed summer squash, sunflower sprouts and a yogurt lemon tahini sauce.  I did not have the ingredients to make the sauce this time, so Sterling made due with some lemon and sour cream.  I will add the sauce to this post next time I make it.


Sterling said the following about the meal, “amazing the restorative power of food made with love!”  As usual she hit the nail on the head.  We do what matters when love is involved.  We are driven by love to work through life and collaborate in the healing process.  Sterling and her family’s need for immediate survival prompted me to “clean house”, to examine an ingredient heaped in personal baggage, and to “restore” buckwheat to its proper place in the forefront of our pantry.


2 Responses to “Doing What Matters – Buckwheat Griddle Cakes”

  1. ryders Says:

    I want to eat these. With the topping!!!

  2. hungry dog Says:

    I like this post, especially the last paragraph. Although I also just simply like the idea of making these buckwheat griddle cakes and “frying them liberally with lots of olive oil.” Sounds fun and delicious.

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