Pancake Day

Great A, little a,
This is pancake day….
~Mother Goose

National Pancake Day is on March 1st this year.

One of my favorite memories is of our family gathered in the kitchen for breakfast. My skinny brothers were all home from college and hungry—as usual.

Mom had a skillet on all four stove burners (we did not have a griddle). Deftly, she poured pancake batter into each skillet. Watched for the bubbles in the batter, then flipped each cake over. When they were done on the second side, she scooped them out onto a plate, and poured fresh batter into each skillet. While the new ones fried, she quickly buttered each of the four done ones before returning to flip the new ones.

She had quick skills. She had to. How else could she get her hungry sons fed?

As soon as there were at least ten pancakes per guy, my brothers scooped them onto their plates and set to.

I never could figure out how they cut their forks through those tall stacks, let alone how they crammed that much in their mouths. One of my brothers stuffed so many pancakes into his mouth, he looked like he had chipmunk cheeks.

You would think they never ate while they were away from home. How could such skinny guys eat so much and never show it?

My mother never used a recipe. In fact, I doubt she had one. But if you need a recipe, mine is below. Be careful, though. My recipe makes approximately 30 – 40 pancakes, 5 – 6 inches in diameter. I learned from my mother, so I butter the cakes as they come off the griddle. I’ve never understood why people wait to butter when the pancakes are no longer hot.

Store excess pancakes in the fridge with wax paper in-between so they do not stick together. Or you can freeze them and defrost when you do not have time to cook. You can also easily decrease this recipe if you do not want so many pancakes.

Pancake recipe by Suzy
4 eggs
4 cups milk (or buttermilk, or cream—when we lived near a dairy we bought true whole milk and skimmed the cream off the top. Beware if you use cream. They are very rich!)
1/4 cup salad oil
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons (or 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt

Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. (I gradually blend in the flour and milk one cup at a time to avoid lumps.)

Heat griddle or skillet(s) over medium heat. To test if your griddle is ready, sprinkle with a few water drops. If the water bubbles and skitters around, your heat is just about right.

Add grease to hot skillet or griddle, as desired.

(I lightly grease my griddle for only the first pancake because I like what are called flannel cakes, which have a uniform color and soft texture. There is enough oil in the recipe to keep my non-stick griddle adequately greased for the rest of the cooking. However, I once had to share a stove with a chef who slathered bacon grease in-between each set of pancakes because he liked them crisp. To each his own.)

Pour batter onto the hot griddle. If you’re a novice, use a ladle to measure the same amounts so you end up with uniform sizes. You may want to start with smaller pancakes, which are easier to turn.

Wait for the batter in the skillet to puff up full of bubbles. Gently lift a corner with your spatula. If the cake is golden brown underneath, flip to the other side and bake or fry until it is also golden brown.

Butter while warm. Top with warm cinnamon applesauce or your favorite syrup. Enjoy!

Feel free to tell me about your favorite pancakes in the comments below. Or share a story. Or both.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,
SuZan

© 2022 SuZan Klassen


4 thoughts on “Pancake Day

  1. In Honduras, I learned to eat pancakes with peanut butter and bananas. I make gluten free now, use applesauce instead of syrup, sunflower butter and bananas. For a treat, I sprinkle them with chocolate chips.

    1. Peanut butter and bananas sounds like something Elvis ate–at least that’s what I was told.
      I’ve never tried sunflower butter, but I definitely love applesauce and chocolate chips. Yummy!

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