Friday, January 21, 2011

Make It A Blueberry Oatmeal Pancake Weekend!

Pancakes make me happy.  I'm not sure why, they just do.  Or maybe it's the other way around.  Maybe when I'm happy I want pancakes.  Really, when do you eat pancakes?  Weekends?  Snow days?  On vacation?  Which came first, being happy or pancakes?

Growing up, pancakes were like "the special occasion" breakfast.  We ate pancakes the first day of summer vacation.  We'd have pancakes on Christmas morning.  My mother didn't make pancakes just any old time; she made them to celebrate something special.  There were a few times we actually got to eat pancakes for dinner when my dad was out of town on business.   My dad did not like pancakes.  For the longest time I did not understand how he could not share in my love of those heavenly, fluffy vehicles for maple syrup.  It wasn't until I was about 12 years old,  begging to go to IHOP while our family was on vacation, that my dad shared his story of the origin of his pancake avoidance.   During WWII he served in the Navy on a ship in the South Pacific.  The ship was at sea for quite some time and had run out of rations.  The only thing they had left to cook was pancake mix.  My dad and his shipmates ate pancakes for something like 28 days, two meals a day. what was the problem?  I guess they didn't have any real maple syrup.

The first thing I ever made from scratch was a batch pancakes.  I made some pancakes for my brother and his friends.  I was trying to impress the boys with my culinary skills, but my pancakes were not the light and fluffy pancakes that I envisioned.  I don't know where I went wrong, but they were dense and well....inedible.  I was horrified to see my brother's friends playing Frisbee with my pancakes in our back yard. 

I can say with confidence that my pancake making skills have improved.  The apple did not fall far from the tree, as pancakes are one of Melissa's favorites as well.  I've experimented with recipes over the years, and she has always been a difficult customer since she likes Bisquick pancakes and doesn't understand my my quest to make the perfect buttermilk pancake.  Since she has been eating healthy the past few months,  I thought she'd be open to trying my newly concocted Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes for breakfast when she visited last weekend.  Like I said, she's always been a difficult customer....when I asked her opinion I got, "they're OK".  I translated that into a SUCCESS.  We all really liked them and I hope you do too.

Blueberry Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
makes about 12-14 hearty pancakes
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2  extra large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Combine oatmeal and low fat milk in a bowl.  Set aside and allow oatmeal to soften for 30 minutes.

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Whisk together.

Add eggs to buttermilk in a large measuring cup, whisk, add vanilla and cooled melted butter; combine.

Add the oatmeal mixture and and liquids to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.  Allow to sit for 15- 30 minutes.

Fold in blueberries.

Heat griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Coat griddle with a pat of melted butter or a coating of spray "Pam".  Ladle batter onto pan.
Cook until pancakes begin to bubble and edges begin to dry.  
Flip and continue to cook until pancakes are golden brown and set.
You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven.  Serve with REAL, warmed maple syrup (a little goes a long way) and a pat of butter.
I mentioned eating pancakes on vacation....

if you ever find yourself in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire YOU MUST VISIT Polly's Pancake Parlor!  You will think you have died and gone to pancake heaven! Truly, these pancakes will make you cry!  It's the only pancake house that I know where your waitress makes what ever kind of pancake you want all by HERSELF!  Polly's waitresses are the hardest working waitresses that I have ever seen.
You pick your batter and add-ins
1 Oatmeal Buttermilk, 1 Buckwheat, 1 Walnut Oatmeal Buttermilk
Farm fresh eggs and N.H. smoked bacon 

Do not put this on your pancakes!  

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