In order to make the perfect pancake you need one simple ingredient. Love. I only have fond memories of making and eating pancakes with family, friends, and strangers. How can you not be happy when you take the time to slow down and appreciate the day with people you love? No where to be, just relaxing making a carb and sugar overloaded breakfast together. What more could you ask for?
Nothing I tell you, nothing.
My hands down all time favorite person to make and eat pancakes with was my grandpa, my Papa. This past weekend we sat with him, prayed with him, and cried with him as he took his last breathes in this world. As you witness the last breathes of a person, you become very grateful for all the breathes they did have. We are grateful.
Papa lived a long and happy life filled with love. He lived his life the way God intended him to...loving God above all, then his family, then his friends, and then strangers. He was an even tempered man who remained calm and collected amidst the chaos that surrounded him. He was a happy person who never complained, never whined, and used his words for good. He loved food, history, telling stories, reading, working on and finishing crossword puzzles. He was the father of 8 children, grandfather to 24 grandchildren, and great grandfather of 17 great grand children.
As long as I can remember every time we visited him we would wake up early together on Saturday mornings and start making pancakes for everyone else before they woke up. He had a method, a system, and a beautiful rhythm to his breakfast routine.
Put the coffee on to brew, a heaping tablespoon for each cup, plus an extra one for the pot...the darker the better. Cook the bacon, only center cut bacon will do...don't burn it and don't under cook it...go crispy or go home. Make the pancake batter...most important rule...do not over stir. He was very adamant about this point, and would often remove the whisk from my hands as I compulsively wanted to keep whisking until all lumps were removed. "Lumps are okay", he would always say. The griddle must be hot. Grease it with butter or oil, use a paper towel to spread it around the pan. Ladle the batter into the pan, not too big, not too small. Wait. Wait for the bubbles to appear, only then can you flip the pancakes over. Heat up the REAL maple syrup. Heat up some blueberries in a little bit of water. Serve others first, then make them do the dishes. Eat slowly, savor each bite, finish your black coffee.
I already miss making and eating breakfast with him.
There are so many things I learned from him, and so many things I loved about him. It feels like only yesterday I was that 7 year old curly blond headed, blue eyed little girl peering over the counter at him as he lectured on the art of breakfast. I still remember the funny taste of "that syrup Papa always had at his house" in my mouth, how curious it was...why wasn't it in a log cabin or Aunt Jemima shaped bottle? Thank you for teaching me to love maple syrup.
Thank you for loving me. I am forever changed because of your love.
Rest in peace Papa, you are finally home.
Grain and Nut Pancakes
Every time we went to IHOP my Papa would order the Harvest Grain and nut pancakes...these pancakes are a replica of those pancakes. I usually make the whole recipe and then store leftovers in the fridge for 4-6 days. The batter will thicken up after being chilled so just add a little more milk to thin it out again.
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar (or you can use coconut sugar, raw sugar, or honey)
1.Grind the oats in a blender or food processor until fine. Add nuts and pulse a few seconds until they are small pieces. In a large bowl, combine ground oats, nuts, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.In another bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, oil, egg, and sugar with a whisk until smooth. Mix wet ingredients into dry with a few swift strokes. DO NOT over mix : )
3.Lightly oil a skillet or griddle, and preheat it to medium heat. Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot skillet; cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until brown.
Stop running around in circles. Relax. Make these pancakes with people you love.