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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 8/21/20

Good morning and happy almost weekend,



What follows is a deeply troubling article about the rise of followers of QAnon. I know I sound like a broken record (there’s a simile for the ages…!), but it is deeply troubling that Facebook and other social media platforms provide a center for crazies like this to communicate with each other and propound absurd theories to attract uninformed followers. But it now appears Facebook is not only a place where conspiracy theorists can congregate and be found by random web-surfing, but the platform’s algorithms are actually directing people to this conspiracy site. Hopefully it will be taking action to restrict this dangerous group’s ability to use social media for proselytizing others.

The NBC article says:

“Facebook aided that growth with its recommendations feature, powered by a secret algorithm that suggests groups to users seemingly based on interests and existing group membership.”

And this, from the Wall Street Journal, regarding Facebook’s dilemma with the falsehoods and their complex relationship with the truth and censorship:



People have been suggesting that it’s time to return to a review of pandemic pastimes. In the spirit of the weekend that is nearly upon us and the desire to pursue the sweetness in life, let’s turn our attention to pancakes! Here are four glorious recipes:

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

A favorite with the kids growing up. It is still a favorite:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt (some would go to ¾ tsp, but it’s not necessary)

1 1/3 cups milk (but for thicker pancakes, 1 cup is fine—and there’s moisture coming from the banana)

1 egg, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons salad oil (canola works)

1 or 1 ½ ripe (or overripe) banana

½ cup chocolate chips (preferably semi-sweet)

1 teaspoon vanilla (or, as we called it when the kids were little, the “secret ingredient”)

Butter and maple syrup to taste

1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl

2. Add milk, egg and salad oil and mix until flour is moistened

3. Cook on a greased (just slightly and with Pam, butter or oil) skillet on medium heat

4. Serve with maple syrup, butter

Apple Pancake

A crowd pleaser with a great presentation if served immediately out of the oven:

2-3 firm apples, cored and thinly sliced (I prefer using Macintosh apples, which can withstand cooking)

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup flour

1 tablespoon of finely grated orange rind

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

3 jumbo eggs (you can substitute two egg whites for each egg if you’re on an anti-cholesterol kick). Use 4 if only large eggs

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon of sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoons “secret ingredient”

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. In a 10-12 inch skillet, saute apples and butter until tender (I actually prefer al dente)

3. In an electric mixer, combine flour, salt, orange rind and nutmeg

4. Add eggs and milk (and vanilla—the secret ingredient—if you want) to mixture and beat until smooth (about two minutes)

5. Confirm the butter is sizzling in the skillet and pour batter in

6. Immediately remove from stove top and place in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes (yes, the entire skillet)

7. Watch the edges puff. Remove when they are puffed up and are turning brown

8. Dust with the cinnamon sugar mix and bake another 3-5 minutes

9. Slice up and serve immediately with maple syrup

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Thank you, Lauren Campbell, for changing my life! I’ve only prepared these a half dozen times (to raving reviews) so far…:

1 ½ cups flour

3-4 tablespoons sugar (stay on the lower side—plenty of sugar when maple syrup and blueberry compote are on top)

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt (I’d reduce to ¼, but your call and your blood pressure)

1 cup buttermilk (2% is fine)

¾ cup ricotta cheese (go with the low-fat—you lose nothing in taste)

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon lemon zest (I might make it 1 ¼)

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon melted butter

1. Preheat griddle to medium or medium high

2. Whisk Flour, sugar, banking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and make a “well”

3. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, ricotta, eggs and vanilla until blended.

4. Add butter, lemon zest and lemon juice to milk mixture and blend until combined (it will curdle a bit)

5. Immediately pour milk mixture into flour mixture and whisk to combine

6. Blueberry compote is 1 ½ cups blueberries, 1/3 cup of water, two tablespoons of sugar, cooked for ten minutes in saucepan. Then use this to pour on top.

Pammy’s Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes

Upon hearing Stomp’s rendition of “Pancakes in the Kitchen” last Saturday, Mark DiMaria immediately sent a picture of his wife, Pam, cooking up his favorite pancakes, spatula in hand. She looked quite pleased with her work product, so I had to get the recipe. Here it is…

Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes - makes 12 to 15 pancakes

2 cups quick oats or 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar (or brown sugar, if you prefer that taste)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups buttermilk (full fat preferred, but low fat is just fine)

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup butter for the griddle

6 oz. blueberries, rinsed, drained, and stemmed

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl or 8 cup measuring cup.

2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients, mix well.

3. Let the batter stand 2 hours at room temperature or cover & refrigerate overnight.

4. Melt enough butter on the pan/griddle to lightly coat. Do this even if using a non-stick pan to get crisp edges + great butter flavor!

5. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Once the pancake has started to spread a bit, top with blueberries and lightly push into the batter with a spatula. Resist the urge to flatten the batter. This pancake takes longer to cook than a traditional buttermilk pancake.

6. When the edges are brown and small bubbles appear at the top of the pancake - 2-3 minutes, flip over. Brown for another minute or so.

Enjoy these pancakes. They are the perfect comfort food for a pandemic weekend at home!



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