I have thought a lot about my mom recently. A lot of my blog posts reference her, one way or another, but this past couple of weeks, and the intensity of the time we spent with her in the hospital, has given me an opportunity to pause and reflect about her, what she means to me and the boys, and what I have learned from her.
There is a full blog post (or 10) here about all sorts of things I have learned from her. Many funny, some serious, but all will have had an impact one way or another on me.
One of those things, of course, is how to cook. Little tips, tricks, techniques, principles, and so forth.
One place where my mom, frankly, didn’t shine, was making pancakes. Sorry to say, but those things were tougher than a one of the three-legged dogs from the old neighborhood. She would add oatmeal, wheat germ, wheat bran, and anything else that seemed to be lying around into her batter.
Maybe she was a hippy after all, or really probably wishes she was a part of the “Jesus people” movement where hippies all over the West Coast were being baptized in the ocean in the 1970s…not really sure. Regardless, they were “healthy” and loaded.
Either way, these suckers weren’t just firm, they would make an ultimate frisbee fan jealous. Heavy batter, cooked on a heavy cast iron pan, just doesn’t seem to be the right “recipe” for perfect, fluffy, and lightly tangy pancakes.
I know, I know. You are saying that I should be nicer, or sweeter, or more nostalgic. We have laughed about these often, and in her defense, she was trying to give my sister and I as much nutrition as she could. For that I am grateful.
Now that I am older, however, I have discovered that it really is possible to make fluffy, delicate, and perfectly delicious pancakes for one, two, or a crowd.
My every day recipe (although we probably eat pancakes only 2 or so times a month), is slightly adapted from a recipe I found from Greg Atknison, here in Seattle. Although the famous Joy of Cooking recipe is awesome (separate yolks from egg whites, beat whites, and fold just before the griddle), this one makes everyone happy. Simple and tasty.
To me, pancakes should be golden brown, and uber light. They shouldn’t set inside your belly like rocks, literally or figuratively.
I am sure I will run into other variations of this, but I don’t know that they will ever end up in my little black book.