With Father's Day in just a few weeks, what better time for W. to share his pancake memories as the Casual Baker's first guest blogger.
The Casual Baker
I've always liked pancakes! I remember sitting in my high chair eating morsels of pancakes that my Mother had put on the tray in front of me ......ok, I just made that up, I don't remember that! But I do remember our Mother delivering them hot from the frying pan to our plates, either regular or German potato pancakes. There was never a "stack" made in advance. They were eaten with some kind of homemade "Mapeline" syrup.
Later in life, and after the passing of my first wife, I found pancakes made a quick and easy supper, and they soon became exclusively an evening meal, too tasty and delectable to be served for breakfast! And the 2 or 3 leftover pancakes were always fed to Brandy and Mojo, the farm dogs. They too loved pancakes but were forced to perform for each piece of broken pancake. Brandy stood on her hind legs to gently take the piece from one's fingers, while Mojo did a quick roll-over on his back to receive his. Or they sat obediently and caught carefully tossed pieces in their mouths. I've never known an intelligent dog that didn't like pancakes!
When Mother and Dad retired from the farm to Edmonton and we stopped for an unexpected afternoon visit, I'd often ask Mother (now known as Grandma L.) to make pancakes for the supper meal. She cheerfully obliged and never consulted any recipe or even a measuring cup or spoon. When the first batch (probably two or three) were in the frying pan, she'd say to Dad (now known as Grandpa L.), "Daddy, you better pray now, the pancakes are almost ready!" Not that the pancakes needed prayer, for they were always fluffy and golden and 3.5 inches in diameter! And there in Edmonton, the pancake meal got a new addition...applesauce!
Grandpa and Grandma had a hardy and prolific apple tree in their back yard. It gave them a bountiful crop of 3/4-size tart, flavourful, pink-fleshed apples every year, resulting in vast quantities of applesauce stored in their freezer. Now that I think about it, they added applesauce to almost every meal (perhaps that was the secret to their long and healthy lives!) But applesauce and pancakes do go together remarkably well!
"Have some more!" Grandpa would say, partly encouraging, partly an order! Grandpa L. loved pancakes! And Postum (with milk) was most often the choice of a hot beverage with the meal, pancakes, Roger's Golden syrup, and applesauce! (Postum is an instant cereal beverage with no caffeine made from wheat bran, wheat, molasses and corn dextrin, made by Kraft General Foods Canada. It has probably lost 95% of its '50's popularity, but you can still get it!)
So try an evening meal of pancakes made from scratch! You could use a cast iron frying pan, about a 1/2 teaspoon canola oil between batches and a setting about medium or slightly less. You'll soon find the right setting .....turn them when a good number of bubbles appear on the batter surface, probably about 2 minutes. A large mixing spoonful of batter makes about a 5-inch pancake. Make one of these at a time or 2 or 3 smaller, 1/2-spoonful size. We like Canadian maple syrup or Roger's golden and J. likes Maine wild blueberry syrup from the U. S.! You can use any combination of the above together with our preference, MacIntosh applesauce! We occasionally serve a piece of hot farmer or Mennonite sausage alongside. And yes, I like Postum too, but I can get by with coffee, if Postum isn't available!
4 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons baking powder
In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. Store in an airtight container in your cupboard.
1 cup milk (or more)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups pancake mix
In a bowl, beat the eggs well. Add milk and oil and mix together well. Stir in pancake mix.
Makes about 12 pancakes.
Note: Half the recipe for one person, unless you're really hungry or a pancake lover or own a fair-sized dog!
Source: "Make-Your-Own Pancake Mix" from the More-With-Less Mennonite cookbook.