Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I'm sitting on a hotel room floor in the dark listening to my family snore with one ear and a very mellow Joseph Arthur sing "The Real You" in the other. This is the end of our time in Arkansas hours after Dad's famous spaghetti dinner when I'm thinking about the real him and I'm left, again, completely confounded.
I'm thinking about how we know our parents, or rather, how we don't know a thing about them. I'm thinking about how everything they are to us comes from what and how they give. Everything I know about my dad comes down to these generic things: He loves big breakfasts and natural things; he's always enjoyed fishing and hunting; he cheated on my mother; he remarried when I was 11; and when I was in high school, he moved to Arkansas where I would avoid and ignore him for nearly ten years.
He's not so simple. Nobody is. Yet I still don't know his story, what turned him from my work-a-day, joke-telling dad to the man I shot with silent anger for so stupidly long. That is a bravery I don't know that I have. But outside of today, we never know the time there is.
Here's to pancakes and dads with layers--
My Old Fashioned Griddle Cakes (Tested weekly)
Sift together into a medium bowl:
1 1/2 Cup white flour
1 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
6 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Make a well in the center and add 2 1/2 cups cold lowfat milk, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2 beaten eggs. Whisk well, making sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 cup fruit of choice (berries, mango, banana)
If the batter is too thick add more milk until you reach the desired consistency. Although lumpy with fruit, I like the batter to be similar in consistency to heavy cream, as the cakes cook they will puff.
Ladle onto hot griddle or pan and flip when cakes bubble. I use an electric griddle set at about 320 degrees.
These are very forgiving pancakes, the more you make them the more you may feel like messing around with the ingredients--mango ginger, pumpkin (don't use too much pumpkin or the cakes will be too thick and heavy, add pumpkin spice), banana coconut almond, pumpkin chai, eggnog...
Update: I've been making these cakes for months from memory and I have to admit, I don't often measure out the milk. It seems the above 2 1/2 cups is far less than what this recipe needs. I'll give you my standard measure--pour a bunch in, stir, and pour more if you think it needs it.
Today we're eating raspberry cakes. What's your flavor?