Tuesday, August 4, 2009


"What's for supper?"

"Pancakes, my love."


"You know what that means."

"Yes, I do."

"It means I love you."

"Yes, it does!"

And so my love gifts arrive at the table minutes later, stacked high, in warm golden discs and smelling like roasted nuts and fresh pie.

The summer's bounty stuffed into them and piled generously on top, drizzled with syrup, pancakes are my signature supper for a hard day. They are easy to make, requiring little effort, time, or concentration. They are ideal for those days when I have nothing in the kitchen, and I needed to go to the grocery store yesterday. Evenings when I am too weary to think about cooking, or we are late coming in the door, pancakes fill the kitchen with inviting aromas and satisfy tired, hungry bodies. Sometimes, I make pancakes just because we are having a fun night at home with cards and a movie. I can visit with my family and friends while the pancakes cook. I feel deliciously lazy and indulgent as the cakes rise and turn in the skillet and I drink my coffee. That's part of it too. I usually make a special coffee to sip while cooking them. Why not? Our pancakes are nestled into a space somewhere between simplicity and luxury.

This past Sunday evening, we hiked a nature trail, stopped by The Fresh Market for berries and nuts and coffee, and went home for pancakes. Fresh air and sunshine. Simplicity and luxury. Fellowship and the joys of home. Does it get any better than this?

Ingredients for the Basic Recipe:

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of barley or whole wheat flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 cup minute oats or wheat germ
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup applesauce or other mashed/purreed fruit
2 cups of skim milk or soy milk or apple juice
1 cup of water (3/4 + 1/4)

Optional Additions (any one or combination; add to pancakes on the griddle):

Chopped Strawberries
Dried Cranberries
Chopped Peaches
Sunflower Seeds
Chocolate Chips

Possible toppings (add as desired before eating):

fruit syrup
maple syrup
regular syrup
jam or preserves
whipped topping
vanilla yogurt
fresh fruit
powdered sugar


1. Blend the first six dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. (Note: If you don't have the whole grain flours, just use plain flour instead. Alternately, you can use all whole grain flours. Just add an extra teaspoon of baking powder.)
2. In a separate mixing bowl, blend applesauce with 2 cups milk or juice and 3/4 c. water.
3. Combine this wet mixture with the blended dry ingredients. A whisk is best for smooth blending. You will be able to see the oats or wheat germ in the batter.
4. Sitr in the rest of the water, if you need it, to make the batter the thickness you prefer. Don't add it unless you need it. Add more water, by the tablespoon, if the batter is still too thick.
5. Heat the skillet or griddle over medium heat. A spritz of cooking oil spray is ideal to keep pancakes from sticking. If you don't have spray, you can use a spot of butter or drop of oil on the pan instead. Non-stick pans don't need any oil.
6. After you pour the batter onto the skillet or griddle, you can sprinkle fruit or nuts or chocolate chips on the batter and lightly press them in with a spoon. These additions will mean you need to cook the pancake a little longer on the second side.
7. Cook the pancakes on medium heat: 2 minutes on the first side, and 1-2 minutes on the second side, until golden brown.
8. One of the things I like to do, which saves a lot of time, is to use two skillets to cook the pancakes. This cuts the cooking time in half, and cleaning up a second pan just takes an extra minute.
9. With additions of fruit to the pancakes, the skillet can get sticky. When this happens, I remove it from the heat, add a small amount of warm water to the pan, let it steam for one second, and then wipe quickly with a thick paper towel. This renders the pan nearly clean. I resume cooking.

The recipe above makes about ten 6-8 inch pancakes. They are hearty and filling.

Serving suggestions: My current favorite version is to make the pancakes with oats, press blueberries and chopped strawberries into the batter, and add a sprinkle of nuts. I put sliced fresh peaches and a drizzle of syrup on top of the finished pancakes. When I make chocolate chip pancakes, my sons prefer a simple dusting of powdered sugar. Strawberries go well with chocolate chips.

What do you like to put on your pancakes?


  1. What a beautiful example of enjoying simple luxuries.
    Of loving your family.
    Of enjoying life!
    I might have to add "breakfast at night" to our menu, too. My husband loves that (and I wouldn't mind an excuse for some great coffee)!

  2. Mmmmm...apple pie and pancakes and yumm. I like to cook apples in my cakes. Speaking of "home schools"...I wish more would use 100% whole wheat and yumm stuff like those offered by www.doctorgrandmas.com. Charter Schools too! Heck...public schools, but they are more interested in spending on administration - argh! Your pics are fantastic, btw! Thanks for the entertaining/informative post!

  3. I've recently discovered that the pure dried sugar cane juice that makes a product called Sucanat makes a wonderful syrup. We find it in a local country store. It looks like a granulated brown sugar (light, not dark). It retains its molasses flavor, but it has such a mild flavor that my taste buds likened it to the flavor of maple syrup. I prepare it just like I would homemade syrup with a brown sugar base. It's very nice. And it's far less expensive than maple syrup.

    I'm inspired to take a break, a walk and make a plate of warmth stacked tall. Thanks!! :)

  4. We are having pancakes tonight too! I have so enjoyed your blog since I found your post on Rest via Holy Experience. Just what I needed while recovering a bum knee :) I love your writing voice and choice of words. Thank you


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