So in the Christian calendar, today is Shrove Tuesday. For as long as I can remember, that means tonight is Pancake Night and that tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, ash crosses will brushed onto our foreheads and we'll follow the old Finnish tradition to plant Lenten Grass, such a sweet way to mark the season of Lent with children.
But pancakes? Pancakes deserve a their own night and more than just once a year! Families do Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday and Sunday Dinner but I just might appoint myself the official ambassador for a year-round Pancake Night.
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MY MOM'S PANCAKE RECIPE (pictured above) is my very first pancake recipe. I make Mom's pancakes with buttermilk but it can also be made with "sweet milk" (you know, just regular milk.)
BEST FOR those who love light and fluffy pancakes and who might or might not keep buttermilk on hand. This recipe is filled with extra tips for anyone who's new to making homemade pancakes.
THE RECIPE My Mom's Pancake Recipe
MY SISTER'S "LIFETIME PANCAKES" (pictured above) prove that we are really and truly a pancake family – and that's before mentioning my almost 89-year old father who's the "real" pancake fiend in the family!
My sister Adanna has worked and tweaked this recipe over the years, fitting it to the passage of years. As a newlywed, she made pancakes for two (the "tiny" batch). As a young mother, she scaled the recipe for two growing boys (the "small" batch and the "medium" batch) and then, after some years, strapping teenage boys with bottomless stomachs for pancakes (the "large" batch). Now she and her husband are empty nesters, so it's back to pancakes for two (the "tiny" batch). Now you know why we call these "Lifetime Pancakes"!
BEST FOR those who like their pancakes extra-thick with lots of toppings. BEST FOR families that stretch small and large depending on the occasion.
THE RECIPE Lifetime Pancakes
COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES (pictured above) taste just like regular pancakes but are made with the miracle food cottage cheese. This makes them high-protein and low-carb. With no added sugar! With no added oil! Now I won't call these "diet" pancakes but ...
BEST FOR those avoiding processed sugar and looking for increased protein. This would be an extra-good choice for diabetics; moderation, of course, remains important.
THE STORY This column tells the story how my mom gave up making homemade pancakes and turned to a commercial pancake mix. Which one? It's the one that America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated endorse as well! Hint: Are you Hungry, Jack?
THE RECIPE Cottage Cheese Pancakes
CORNMEAL PANCAKES (pictured above) are perfect for blueberries, both cooked into the pancakes themselves and with a blueberry compote topping.
BEST FOR cornmeal lovers and blueberry lovers, those who like slightly more rustic pancakes.
THE RECIPE Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberries
ENOUGH RECIPES? Probably not! I'd still working on an overnight yeast pancake recipe and perfecting the Finnish Oven Pancake that's made in one large slab. And then there are buckwheat pancakes and Swedish pancakes and and and and ... you see what I mean? Pancake Night!
Do you have a special pancake recipe you really love that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARROT BUTTERMILK PANCAKES (pictured above) start off with My Mom's Pancake Recipe but I've added a small jar of carrot baby food, adding lovely color and added nutrition. Still? The pancakes don't "taste" like carrots, no one will know if you don't want them to!
BEST FOR adding nutrients to pancakes. These would be nice for Easter, too!
THE RECIPE Carrot Buttermilk Pancakes
SPINACH PANCAKES (pictured above) are "dyed" green from the all-natural spinach but yet, there's no bitter spinach taste at all. They're surprisingly good and taste just like regular pancakes except maybe a little "greener". Thanks to both Greek yogurt and spinach, they're also high in protein.
BEST FOR adding nutrients to pancakes. Wouldn't they be just excellent for St. Patrick's Day?
THE RECIPE Spinach Pancakes
Leftover pancakes? Yep, it happens. We all know about Gashouse Eggs, although you may call them something else. The same technique works for tortillas (see Mexican Gas House Eggs) and even in a pattypan squash (see Toad in a Pattypan Hole). Now? Pancakes!
Just cut a hole in the center of a cold pancake. Chop up the center with some chopped vegetables for a really good breakfast vegetable hash. Then drop the pancake into a hot skillet and an egg into the center, let it start cooking on the stove, then finish in the oven. When it's cooked, devour!
When I was a little girl, my grandmother patiently cooked "bear pancakes". Now I don't really know if Gramma Kellogg "really" made bear pancakes every single time but I do know that in my memory, she "always" made bear pancakes.
And so it pleases me no end that a certain grandfather today makes bear pancakes whenever the five-year old twins come for a sleepover. He's not just cooking pancakes, he's building memories!
But it's not just bear pancakes. How about pumpkin pancakes?! Let your inner-child let loose!
We use a Pancake Batter Squeeze Bottle to make pancake shapes, way easier than spooning the batter onto the griddle. Just don't overfill it, yes, that's the leavening at work, spilling out of the squeeze bottle before the griddle was even hot! (Like the Pancake Batter Squeeze Pen? Buy it on Amazon.)
We also love the Electric Nonstick Pancake Griddle that my sister first introduced. What a pancake machine! First, the temperature is hot and even, just set the thermostat at 325F and go to town making pancakes. Second, there are different sizes but our griddle easily holds six or even eight pancakes at a time. Why only four in the photo above? I was testing a recipe for large pancakes for my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Want to learn more about our pancake griddle? Check it out on Amazon.)
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