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Coconut pancakes (gluten free, vegan)

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Many years ago a film caused a bit of excitement among film lovers in Poland. The word on the street was that Mike Figgis, known only for his musical career, had made a film with a Polish jazz band in it. Everyone was intrigued – why and how. There was anticipation, there was doubt. The film was released and we could finely see Krakow Jazz Ensemble. As it turned out they were actually Brits playing Poles (hahaha) but there were Poles in the film as well, speaking Polish.

About a moth ago I had a pleasure to watch ‘Stormy Mondays’ again. It was screened before the concert of all the musicians from ‘Krakow Jazz  Ensemble’ playing the soundtrack from the film.

And I have to say, I loved it.

The film is based in Newcastle. It’s a story about a club owner (Sting), a young man (Sean Bean) who starts working for him and gets involved in dodgy affairs. He also falls in love with an American girl (Melanie Griffith) and crosses paths with a corrupted Texan businessman (Tommy Leigh Jones)  who also happen to control the girl and wanting to take over the club.

The story, which is a bit of a homage to ‘Get Carter’, is not important. The most important thing about the film is the atmosphere, the way it was shot, great, great cinematography by Roger Deakins (probably my favourite cinematographer) and costumes (especially Griffith’s). There are my favourite 80s night scenes with wet pavement and lights reflecting on the surface, gloomy shots, constant rain and amazing music composed by Figgis himself. The film is imperfect and that’s what makes it perfect. Its imperfections make it less polished which suits the story, making it more gritty and real. But the cinematography, music and the atmosphere make the film magical.

There is also a sub story with the avant-garde Polish jazz band coming to UK to play in Sting’s club. There is a brilliant scene where the musicians are taken to Newcastle Polish Community Centre which involves dancing, music and drinking, also lots of untranslated speaking in Polish. The story goes that Mike Figgis knew all the band members and promised them that when one day he makes his own film, they would be all in it.

I still haven’t found out why they were Polish (although Poland produced some fine jazz musicians) but it is a quarky and funny addition.

So on a stormy Monday why not start the day with pancakes. These are gluten free and frankly, quite delicious.

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Coconut Pancakes:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup coconut milk (or any plant based milk)

1 banana

1 tsp baobab powder (optional)

1 tsp lucuma (optional, but adds great berry flavour)

coconut oil for frying

  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix using hand mixer. You can add more milk if you prefer your pancakes less thick.
  2. Heat your frying pan, melt coconut oil. Fry pancakes in batches.
  3. Serve with maple syrup and lemon juice .

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About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

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