While I was growing up, like most of America at the time, my family embraced convenience foods. I’ve enjoyed watching the escapades of Don Draper on the Mad Men televisions series. I now understand how Madison Avenue seduced our generation with witty jingles, bright packaging and those evoked feelings of sexy newness every time we grabbed that box or jar off the shelf.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, throw out some word association phrases and see what images we conjure up:
“Macaroni and Cheese”
The chubby dough boys on the pancake box were always around when we turned on the griddle at home. But guess what? I never really liked pancakes until I tasted my first batch of pancakes made from scratch instead of out of the box. Ditto with the other convenience foods. The box pancakes looked and smelled so good, but always disappointed once I popped a bite in my mouth. No matter how much butter and syrup I poured on, they still tasted like cardboard.
Pancakes made from scratch are in a league of their own. They rise until they are light and fluffy on the griddle, but still deliver some substance and depth when you take a bite. The tangy bite of the buttermilk teases against the sweetness of the maple syrup and creaminess of the butter to create a satisfying wonderfulness in your mouth. They taste like…..what I always imagined pancakes should taste like. Once you make pancakes from scratch, it will be hard to go back to anything else.
I believe I’ve revisited and cooked most of the boxed and jarred foods from my childhood, but this time making them from scratch. I am never disappointed. A lot of these experiences I’ve already featured on my blog. I hope I can inspire you to try the same.
Pancakes from scratch are easy to make and foolproof….almost. I had a little “made from scratch” pancake debacle in Italy this fall mostly related to “Italian to English” translation issues at the grocery store while buying baking soda. But I’ll leave that story for another day.
In the meantime, let’s put our thumb on the end of our nose, wiggle our fingers at Don Draper and try these absolutely delicious buttermilk pancakes – made from scratch!
Buttermilk Pancakes Made From Scratch!
Adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
4 TBSP butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
Separate the eggs
Whisk the egg whites until stiff
Assemble the wet ingredients
Put the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Put the wet ingredients including the egg yolks and egg whites in a separate bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over-beat. The batter will be lumpy. Once the dry ingredients hit the wet ingredients, the baking soda activates and should be used quickly if you want light, fluffy pancakes.
Pour 3/4 to 1 cup of batter on a piping hot griddle for each pancake.
Cook for a couple of minutes until batter starts to bubble and bottom is golden brown. Flip pancake and finish cooking the other side.
Serve piping hot off the griddle with butter and syrup. Enjoy!!