Every little town in America has one, a short-order café where locals, truckers and the occasional in-the-know traveler converge for breakfast at 6 a.m., coffee mid-morning with a cookie, a fast lunch at noon, afternoon coffee with a piece-a-pie.
Three bucks will cover breakfast, not just coffee for heaven’s sake, and five will get you lunch. The plain-fare food is usually decent and more often quite good.
Growing up, the local standby was Rausch’s, a few-stool, few-table place on the main road through town. Next door, attached actually, was a truck stop, gas station and auto repair place. Back then, the Missus ran the café, the Mister the station.
Every morning, my Dad, the Catholic priest, the Methodist minister and the just-retired newspaper publisher convened for coffee and conversation of the what’s-our-world-coming-to variety, then flipped a coin to decide who was buying.
My Mom was less regular but loved the plate-sized pancakes fresh off the griddle. One day, she asked about the recipe. Mrs. Rausch puzzled a moment, then grinned. “Hungry Jack.”
Mom never again mixed pancake batter unless it came from a box. These light, moist, almost crepe-like pancakes might have changed her mind, however.
COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES
Time to table: 15 minutes for first pancakes, after that depends on size of the skillet
Makes 10 medium pancakes
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 16 ounces cottage cheese (non-fat or low-fat work great)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom or other spice (optional but delicious)
- 1 teaspoon (or more) butter or bacon grease
Place eggs, milk and cottage cheese in a blender and whir until frothy. Add the remaining ingredients and whir again until just mixed. (The batter can be made ahead to this point. Leave it at room temperature for up to a couple of hours, otherwise refrigerate, including overnight.)
Heat a large skillet on medium, add fat and let heat. (See ALANNA’s TIPS.) Fill a 1/3 cup measure with batter, pour into skillet. Let pancake cook, untouched, until small bubbles form in middle about 2 minutes. With a flat spatula, turn the pancake over and brown lightly, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with butter and syrup or fresh fruit, applesauce, sour cream or even deliciously plain.
More Recipes for Weekend Breakfasts
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