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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall into the—What?—Wait a Minute!

For over four decades, people have known that if they want to “fall in to The Gap” they should look for this sign:

 When they were seen carrying this shopping bag, they were members of a club, advertising how hip they were and how much money they were willing to spend on how they look:

Gap has been part of our culture for long enough to be considered Americana (even though it is multinational), and American consumers are resistant to change. Unless (and even if) an incredibly ugly logo is replaced with a thing of beauty, there are going to be those who reject any perceived corporate identity change. And change is the issue. We are a nation of novelty lovers who will try anything new and luddites threatened by change.

We are confronted with conflict when we see this:

The old Gap logo was comfortable for us, it symbolized a lifestyle and it was as American as (your choice: apple pie, Chevrolet, the American Telephone & Telegraph logo). If Gap sticks with its new logo, before long it will become just another sign on the retail landscape; everyone will have become accustomed to it, and it will become synonymous with all things Gap.

When a corporation decides to dramatically shake up the consumers’ comfort zone, it should expect people to react with discomfort. And that is exactly what’s happening with the new Gap logo. Give it time; once it establishes its identity, everyone will accept it for what it is, symbolic not artistic.

Also appearing--in part--as Fall into the—What?—Wait a Minute! - Technorati Advertising

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes: The High Priestess of Pancakes Presents a New Recipe

The Blue Jeans Chef, Meredith Laurence has a new cookbook being released October 31, available exclusively on QVC.

Her book, Comfortable in the Kitchen, is a treasure trove of easily prepared recipes that take the boring out of cooking. As I was reading it (yes, I read cookbooks), I was excited to find some interesting breakfast ideas, such as Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Herb Frittata, Cinnamon Apple Fritters, and Orange Stuffed French Toast (a very hearty breakfast sandwich). Lately I’ve been complaining to FCE that I’m getting tired of the “same old stuff.”

In addition to a basic pancake recipe, Laurence includes four variations in Comfortable in the Kitchen: Maple Bacon Pancakes, Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, Chocolate Chip Walnut Pancakes, and Peach and Toasted Almond Pancakes.

Some of the High Priestess of Pancakes' favorite ingredients are found in Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, corn, blueberries, lemon, and—what else—pancakes. There are a few extra steps to these, but the results are well worth it. They promise to be a flavorful change from the “same old stuff,” and they are very pretty.

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes (from Comfortable in the Kitchen by Meredith Laurence) - Serves 6 to 8
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
butter or oil for greasing the pan

Mix all the dry ingredients with the lemon zest together in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice and oil or butter in a separate bowl or large glass measuring cup. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until the egg white is fluffy and soft peaks form.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the two are just combined. Stir in the blueberries and then fold in the egg whites until you can’t see streaks of white anymore, but be careful not to over-mix the batter.

Pre-heat a non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil or butter and lightly coat the surface of the griddle. When the butter no longer sizzles, but a droplet of water splashed into the griddle does sizzle, the griddle is ready to make the pancakes.

Pour batter onto the griddle, making pancakes of whatever size you wish. Do not disturb the pancakes until you see many little bubbles on the uncooked surface of the batter – about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until brown. Remove the pancakes from the griddle and repeat for next batch, adding butter or oil as desired between batches.

First published as Comfortable In The Kitchen: The High Priestess of Pancakes Presents a New Recipe - Blogcritics Tastes