Last night on Twitter, one of the funniest stories I’ve read in a long while reminded me of my late father:
When we complained about the mosquitos getting in from a tear on the back porch screen door, instead of fixing it, he somehow lured a bat into the house to eat them. We ended up sleeping in the car.
— Tengrain (@Tengrain) December 29, 2018
(And you really must click-through the links to the cricket story, it’s brilliant.)
And so I spent last night dreaming about my goofy Dad. Being a Saturday morning, and thinking of my Dad, pancakes come to mind. One of the strongest memories I have of him is him standing in the kitchen, unshaven and unkempt, in his PJs and wool bathrobe with one of Mom’s frilly aprons on, flipping pancakes for all of us hungry heathens, fiends who had taken human form. He was a master of his craft, and I wish I had his recipe.
Some of the best advice Dad ever gave me before leaving for college was to always make pancake batter the night before, “especially if you are going to a party.” It seems he knew something about dealing with a hangover AND how to make friends. Any fool with a hangover can flip a pancake, and you look as heroic A.F. doing it when everyone knows you are dying because they are dying, too/also.
Anyway, here’s a pancake recipe that’s pretty great. I like it because it uses a sourdough starter and as a man with a starter, I’m keen on things that use it up.
- The night before make a sponge and put it in the fridge:
- 2 cups unbleached AP Flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed/discard
- The next morning, to the sponge add:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Start making pancakes and be a hero.
Adding fruit: I think it makes the pancakes soggy. Have the fruit on the side, if you must. If your tribe of screaming fiends insist on blueberries when they are out of season, you can add dried blueberries to the mix, and they add a concentrated pop of flavor. You might not ever add fresh fruit again.
Pro tip: Always use real maple syrup. One of the best bargains at Trader Joe’s is the dark, Canadian maple syrup. For reasons I do not understand, the better quality syrup used be labeled as “B” (and “A” was lesser quality. Go figure) — look for best quality dark. It’s more expensive, but it is worth it.
(It also makes an OUTSTANDING base for an Old Fashioned; use applejack and go full Canadian, so I guess that’s another pro tip! Remember the hangover part of the story? yeah.)