Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mom's Pancakes

My dad didn't like what most people recognize as your basic pancake. You know, about 4" round, maybe 1/2" thick. He called them "saddle pads" because he though they were dry, tough and tasteless. Being raised in an orphanage, it could well be that the ones he had there were pretty bad. At any rate, he refused to eat regular pancakes, but sure did love my mom's "pancakes.”

I suppose you could probably describe her recipe as being more like a crepe, but we didn't even know what the word "crepe" meant in our house when I was growing up. To us, what Mom made were . . . well, just what we knew as pancakes. Here's her recipe.


Put 3 eggs, 1-1/2 cups milk, 1-1/4 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Beat with a hand-held rotary beater or electric mixer until the batter is smooth.

Heat a small amount of oil (just to grease the pan bottom) in a large skillet. Pour in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter (depending on size of your skillet) and tip skillet to spread batter over entire surface. Cook over medium heat until bottom of pancake is nicely browned.

Flip pancake with spatula and brown until golden spots appear on the second side. Remove to hungry person's plate. Makes enough batter for 3-4 people.

Now, for the uninitiated, you have to know what to do with the pancake once you have one on your plate.

First, slather on some butter. Then at home we either added my mom's homemade grape jelly (my personal favorite) or syrup. This wasn't pure maple syrup (we didn't know what that was either) but rather Log Cabin brand syrup which was most likely high fructose corn syrup, water and some caramel coloring. (Oh, well, what we didn't know didn't hurt us.)

Then you hook a tine of your fork in an edge and start rolling. (I went with grape jelly on this one . . . even though it wasn't Mom's grape jelly.)

Slip your fork out and cut into bite-sized pieces.

After our daughter was an adult and had been "out in the world," she introduced us to a new topping: butter as usual, then a sprinkling of brown sugar, and the juice from a lemon wedge. Oh, my. Now that could almost replace Mom's grape jelly as my favorite.

I've made these pancakes for as many as nine people sitting at the table and believe you me, it kept me busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger trying to keep 'em coming fast enough. (To serve a group like that, you must have three or four skillets going at once or you will experience mass rebellion.)

In the many, many years since leaving my parents' home, I have learned to make several different kinds of more "normal" pancakes, but I suppose mostly because I was raised on Mom's pancakes, hers will always be my very favorite. But I do prefer real maple syrup these days.


Marty said...

Love to see you serving on that Bauer Dinnerware, but didn't I tell you, it's not food safe? To much lead and cadmium.


Mama Pea said...

Listen, you TURKEY, for somebody in my situation, that is not funny!

P.S. I love it. :o)

Chicken Mama said...

Mmmmmm, these always have been and always will be my favorite pancakes.

The butter, lemon, and brown sugar topping combination was introduced to me as "Dutchies". That's what the whole breakfast would have been called (those kind of pancakes with that topping): "Do you want Dutchies for breaskfast?"

And, don't forget that I first knew of them as Spider Pancakes! When you would spread the batter on the griddle with the special flicks of the wrist, you'd give the pancakes dribbly "legs" all around. Hmmm, maybe you'll have to do another a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words to properly explain that!

Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Ha! Little did you know as a wee one that the idea was to get a perfectly round pancake and when I ended up with the squiggly "spider legs" on the sides, I had failed! Hence, "Oh, look, Sweetie, I made you a special Spider Pancake!" But come to think of it, who wouldn't rather have a pancake with "legs" on it than a plain, ol' round one?!

Chicken Mama said...

Probably smart, too, when I (shudder) hate spiders so much: gives a good connotation to the word! ;)

好文 said...