One day last week, my older daughter took a marker and added some new birthdays to our family calendar. Apparently July is a busy month for her stuffed animals, and she wanted to make sure that Zip (7/15), Marshalina (7/27) and Flip (8/7) each got the celebration she deserved.
On Zip’s birthday — a Thursday — I came downstairs to fresh pancakes.
Eli made pancakes on a weekday morning to celebrate the birthday of a stuffed cat. This is one of many reasons why I love my husband so much.
He did it because he is entirely awesome, but also because our family pancake recipe is so fast and easy it’s tempting to make them every day. The recipe is adapted from the Reader’s Digest Cookbook my mother had when I was a kid. She has perfected it over the years, cutting the fat and tinkering with the ratios, and now it gets rave reviews every time. The pancakes inevitably taste best when made by my mom, but Eli, me and my sister Alison can all create a reasonable facsimile.
This is also a fun recipe to do with the kids – the measuring and sifting and stirring is very appealing for toddlers, and older kids, old enough to be trusted at the stove (under close supervision), will love flipping pancakes. This recipe can be adapted for dairy-free diets by using soy milk and vegetable oil, as noted (great for any breastfeeding moms who are off dairy), and it can easily be doubled or even tripled for a crowd.
Jayne’s Pancakes (adapted from the Reader’s Digest Cookbook)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 1/2 cups milk (I routinely use lowfat milk or soymilk depending on who’s the primary eater)
1 T melted butter (or oil)
Blueberries, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, chocolate chips, as desired
Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl. Make a well. Drop the egg into the well and pour in the milk. Stir just until dry ingredients are wet. Add melted butter and stir again to combine. The batter will be lumpy, but that’s fine. Don’t overmix pancake batter. If the batter seems a little too thick, thin it with a little more milk. It should be a pouring consistency, but not too thin.
Cook the pancakes on a nonstick griddle over medium heat (you can run an oiled paper over the griddle but there should be no visible fat on the griddle.) When the pancakes have bubbles on top, flip them just once. They will be ready about a minute later.
To make blueberry, strawberry, banana or chocolate chip pancakes, lay your mix-in of choice onto the pancakes immediately after pouring the batter onto the griddle. The banana and blueberry pancakes will need a little more time on the second side. Poke the pancake with a finger to make sure it doesn’t feel oozy on the inside before taking it off the griddle.
Serve with butter and/or syrup.
This recipe makes 12-16 pancakes (depending on how big you make them).