My mother was the kind of cook who washed each bowl, utensil, and pot as she used them so at the end of a meal there were only a few plates to wash. Her kitchen, like our home, was spotless. ("Oh, that Temmie Brody, you could eat off the floor in her house.")
When I was in the 8th grade, my mother needed surgery. Since our suburban school was overcrowded, we were on "split session," which meant I didn't begin class until 12:30 pm. On those mornings, while I was at home, I organized things, got my brother off to the school bus, made the beds, and cleaned up.
One morning, a friend came over and I decided to make pancakes, a task I had never undertaken before. I can't remember where the recipe might have come from or if there was a pancake mix in the house (doubtful), but I do remember this: How the stack of pans piled up in the sink! I poured in the batter, waited until I thought the pancake was done, tried to turn it over, watched it stick, and then grabbed another pan for yet another attempt.
As the time approached to leave for school, we still hadn't eaten a whole pancake, merely the pieces that we could un-stick, and the literal piles of used and dirty dishes/pans/utensils were everywhere. I did a mental calculation, and, after assuring myself that my mother definitely was NOT coming home unexpectedly from the hospital, I left a big note for my father, apologizing and promising to wash everything as soon as I got home from school.
During the day I kept thinking of the mess I had left and worrying about my father's reaction. I raced home to find a clean kitchen and my father putting away the last pan. I held my breath, not knowing what to expect. He turned to me, laughing, and said, "I guess making breakfast isn't your strong suit!"
My, how things have changed!
Recipe for FOOLPROOF PANCAKES
1 cup (4 oz) All purpose flour
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Whole milk
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg, large
2 tsp Butter (unsalted), melted
Combine ingredients JUST until moistened. There will be LUMPS (that's a good thing).
Heat a pan or griddle on high heat and brush with oil to leave a thin film.
Lower the heat to medium.
Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan or griddle and wait for bubbles to appear.
Turn carefully and cook for a few more minutes.
Serve immediately with pure maple syrup - just like we do.