Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grandpa's Buttermilk Pancakes

My mother grew up in a large family.  Everything was done on a budget.  Most of the younger kids' clothes were hand-me-downs.  My grandma, as most mothers did back then, cooked almost all of the meals.  The weekends were special.  On some weekends, my grandpa would make his buttermilk pancakes for the whole crew.

This recipe makes everything stretch - the small amount of sugar and fat and eggs - it was the perfect budget recipe for a big family.  I could recall this recipe in my sleep.  

On the weekends in my family, we had grandpa's buttermilk pancakes with wild blueberries from the blueberry bogs in the back end of our property.  I grew up on 50 acres of woodlands in Sanford, Michigan.  It was an absolutely magical childhood and I have so much respect and undying love for the forest.  I'm grateful to have had such an opportunity to enjoy the world around me. 

Anyways...some weekends we had a breakfast of blueberry buttermilk pancakes, and, if we were lucky a few pieces of crispy bacon.  The maple syrup we put on top of the pancakes soaked into every inch of fluffy goodness and made your blood sing with the natural sugar rush.  Yeah, that incredible elixir was made by my dad with help from my sister and I.  My family makes their own maple syrup from the maple trees in our backyard.  

These pancakes are so special to me because they embody my family.  I hope you take the time to try them and make weekend breakfasts for family and friends.  Take time to linger in those moments.

Grandpa's Buttermilk Pancakes (feeds 4 or so)
1 cup and 2 T flour (I use half white, half whole wheat)
1 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of oil or melted butter

Combine the buttermilk and egg, beat well.  Add the sugar and melted butter/oil.  Mix the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet mixture.  Stir gently to combine - just until the lumps are gone.  Do not over stir as that would make the gluten form and make chewy pancakes!  Heat a skillet to medium heat.  

Drop 1-3 tablespoons (just depends on size you want) of batter to create 1 pancake.  If you want to add blueberries or chocolate chips, drop them onto the batter in the pan at this stage (this keeps you from making BLUE pancake batter by stiring them in!).

Pancakes are ready to flip when you see tiny bubbles around the edge of the pancake.  This typically takes 1-3 minutes. Flip one and check for an awesome golden color - is it there?  If so, you're safe to flip the rest, and cook an additional 1-3 minutes on the second side.

Drizzle or drench with maple syrup and then devour.

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