Recipes Inspired by Musicals - Caroline or Change

Sunday, March 9, 2014
When we visited New York in the spring of 2004, we stopped at the half-price ticket booth for Broadway tickets. And, as we often do, we asked TKTS staff for recommendations on what to see. The show that everyone raved about was Caroline or Change, the musical composed by Tony Kushner, who also wrote Angels in America.

Caroline or Change was one of the most moving and thought-provoking musicals I've seen. Caroline works as a housekeeper for a middle class family living near New Orleans in the early 1960s. Eight-year-old Noah, whose mother died of cancer, admires Caroline and wishes he could live with her family. Because they can't afford to give her a raise, Noah's stepmother tells her she can keep the money Noah leaves in his pockets when she does the laundry, to remind him to be more careful. She hates taking money from a child, but needs it for her own family. Noah starts leaving money there on purpose to help her out, but when he accidentally leaves a $20 gift from his grandfather, it causes a rift between them.

The change in the show title refers not just to his pocket money, but also to the changes taking place in society at the time. The birth of the civil rights' movement, the assassination of JFK, and her daughter's insistence that she find a less demeaning job all weigh heavily on Caroline's mind.

"Thirty dollars every week.
And I am mean and I am tough, but -
Thirty dollars ain't enough."

- "I Got Four Kids", from Caroline or Change

As always, the TKTS recommendation was perfect. We loved this show.

Hunting for a recipe that represented New Orleans, I knew I wouldn't find a better Mardi Gras recipe than these pancakes from the city's best-known farmers' market. You can't beat pancakes with maple syrup, but they were also wonderful served with a lemon sauce.

Lemon Scented Blueberry Pancakes
(adapted slightly from Crescent City Farmers’ Market)

1 cup blueberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 Tbsp skim milk
4 Tbsp (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Maple syrup or lemon sauce, for serving
Extra butter for cooking and serving


Combine blueberries and 2 tsp of the flour in a small bowl and toss to coat well. Set aside.

Place the remaining flour and the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Combine the buttermilk and milk in a separate mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter and egg until well combined, and stir the egg mixture into the buttermilk mixture. Add lemon zest and vanilla, and stir well.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter and set aside to rest while the skillet is heating.

Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a small pat of butter to the skillet, and then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until they are bubbly around the edges and the top surface is beginning to look slightly dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them over and continue to cook until the pancakes are golden on the bottom and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Place on a warm place and cover lightly with foil while you cook the remaining pancakes.

Serve pancakes hot with maple syrup or lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce
(from my mother's recipe box)

2 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups cold water
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Mix cornstarch and sugar, and slowly add cold water, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and clear. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice.

(Note: you could easily halve the sauce recipe as it makes a large batch.)


Natalie Aguirre said...

Wow! You seem to know what my husband would love. I still need to try that chicken recipe first.

Valerie Gamine said...

Beth, I am drooling! I need these pancakes in my life, desperately. :D

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what a wonderful pancake recipe - cannot go wrong when adding delicious buttermilk and blueberries as well tangy lemon to a pancake! Wonderful recipe!

Barbara said...

Hate to admit it, but I'd never heard of this show! Lemon pancakes would sure hit the spot right now.

Marisol@TravelingSolemates said...

I missed Caroline and Change. Sounds like a great show. That pancake looks divine. Would love to try it for the weekend.

grace said...

i've never had a sauce like that on pancakes--pretty and tasty, for sure!

vanillasugarblog said...

I haven't been to a broadway show in years.
Last time I was in NYC we stayed at the Marriot Marquis--oh what a view.
Hard sleeping in the room at night as all the neon signs were like right there! Kind of cool though.

lisa is cooking said...

I'd love to see this show, and I'd love to taste these pancakes! The lemon sauce sounds fantastic.

Katerina said...

The last time I went to a Broadway show was 12 years ago when my husband and I visited NY in our honeymoon. I am waiting for my son to grow a little bit more to do this trip again. These pancakes look absolutely mouthwatering!

Joanne said...

Now you've got me craving pancakes again!! THese look fabulous. I remember that musical being on broadway, but sadly didn't get to see it!

Belinda said...

How fun it sounds - haven't heard much on it. These pancakes are yum yum yum!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

The show sounds wonderful and so do these awesome pancakes. YUM!

Unknown said...

Miss Broadway a lot...however these pancakes with your Mom's sauce, I can have today! Thanks for sharing! :) ela

Angie's Recipes said...

The show sounds wonderful, Beth, and these pancakes look equally delicious!

Juliana said...

Beth, these pancakes looks fabulous, hint of lemon of the batter with blueberries and the lemon that I have lots of lemon from my tree this recipe just came in a perfect time.
Have a great week :D

Anonymous said...

I have not seen this play but it sounds really good. Great plot. I also would love a big mile high pile of these blueberry and lemon scented blueberries for our weekend breakfast. Take care, BAM

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I think lemon and blueberry are spectacular together. This is a new musical to me--sounds great!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I haven't seen that show -- sounds terrific! Almost as terrific as these pancakes. ;-) Super recipe -- thanks.

nancy at good food matters said...

Hi Beth, those must be delicious pancakes--they look so light, fluffy, and tempting. Blueberries and lemon make great partners. I would welcome this for my breakfast any time.

Amy said...

These pancakes look quite perfect. I love blueberries and lemons together.

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

Mmm, I love these pancakes, they look delicious :D
Perfect breakfast!

Choc Chip Uru

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