Sunday, May 27, 2018

Summer Mornings and Perfect Pancakes

I have always been an utter failure when it comes to making pancakes.

They don't seem that difficult, do they?
This shouldn't be something I can't do.

Yet I gave up on making pancakes years ago.  They just never turned out correctly no matter what recipe I used.

When my son turned seven a few weeks ago he asked me to make pancakes for breakfast.
What was I going to do, tell him "no"?
Of course not.  Especially not with this kiddo who is normally so picky about food.
Pancakes are something he was never open to eating until recently, so if pancakes were what he wanted, I was going to make pancakes.
I grabbed my phone and headed down to the kitchen, resigning myself to the pancake failure that was surely about to follow.
I was in a rush, as it was a school day, and really didn't put much thought into which recipe I picked.
I saw that it called for buttermilk, but a little lemon juice could easily fix the fact that I only had regular milk on hand.

I got to work mixing up all of the ingredients and then I saw something I had previously missed- I was supposed to chill the batter.

It was too late to turn back and there was no time for chilling.

I forged ahead with a sigh.
This did not bode well for my pancake making.

I broke out the griddle and funneled the pancake batter into my empty squeeze bottle (it's seriously the perfect way to dispense batter neatly, especially if you're in the mood to make a shape or a kids' initial or something like that).

Something was different about these pancakes...they were cooking like they were supposed to.
They weren't overly thick or overly thin or cakey or clumpy or dry or anything else I'd grown accustomed to encountering on my pancake-making adventures.

They were just lovely.

The kids gobbled them up!
My daughter, who has some pretty mad skills making pancakes herself, claimed they were better than hers!

I have to say...I really felt like I was rocking the mom thing that morning.

This morning my son woke up asking for pancakes again on this lazy summer morning, and this time I knew exactly what recipe I was going to make.  I made a triple batch- it's not much of an exaggeration to say that there was a mountain of pancakes on the counter.  Pancakes freeze beautifully and I knew this was definitely not going to be the last time the kids wanted pancakes this summer so I might as well be prepared!

Just an FYI- we've discovered that the best way to heat up frozen pancakes is in the toaster, just like it was an Eggo waffle.  Just drop them in there straight out of the freezer!

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 C milk and 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
Butter as needed to grease pan between batches

1. Mix the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, sugar, egg, and lemon juice in a bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Leave the lumps.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and grease with the butter (If using an electric skillet I have found I like heating to 325 for these). Pour 1/3 cup of batter per pancake into the skillet and cook until bubbles that appear on the surface slowly stop appearing.  Flip with spatula and brown the other side.

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