Trying Times Got You Down? Try This Recipe!


One of the better ways to avoid crying through any crisis is to dry our eyes long enough to serve up and chow down on some comfort food… one fave of mine being flapjacks, pancakes, crêpes (whatever we choose to call ‘em).

PROBLEM: After Coronavirus had morphed into a pandemic, I needed to determine how long I could hunker down before risking a trip to the grocery store. Ergo, I took inventory of my limited larder. It was then and there that I spotted that half-full bag of flour, one nearly full container of baking powder and a recently opened bottle of pancake syrup. Oh so close… yet so far. I had to let out a sigh.

OH WHAT TO DO? Seeing how it’s unwise to flip off perishable ingredients’ expiration dates, I had been forced to use up my supply of fresh eggs, way too soon. However, considering my still half full, stamped with a mid-May expiration date carton of milk and good till mid-July quarter stick of butter, I felt a sudden surge of desperation inspired inspiration.

SOLUTION: I decided to twerk an old family recipe… WHOA… correct that typo… oh what the hell… that got me chuckling and seeing how we could all use a good laugh, I’m leaving it, as is (STET would be the printer’s instruction). Now where was I? Oh yeah…  I decided to tweak an old family recipe and wound up serving up a rather tasty stack of flapjacks this early a.m.

EPIPHANY: Seeing how we’ve all been living through trying times, I’ve decided to share my new (twerking-free) Bare Minimum Flapjacks recipe and encourage each pancake aficionado, worldwide, to try your hand at whipping up the following recipe…

DISCLAIMER: Being mindful that most folks usually opt out when it comes to cooking from scratch projects, I’ve opted to over-explain much of this process. To be sure, the more experienced you are, the more you’ll be able to flip off these instructions. That said… let’s get cookin’…

CHECK LIST: You’ll need to gather the following paraphernalia and ingredients…

• medium mixing bowl (1.4 ltr / 1½ qts) (a good sized salad bowl will do)
• 25.5 cm / 10 in diameter cast iron griddle (I never tried it, but maybe a frying pan?)
• 0.95 ltr / 1 qt sauce pan (a bit of “overkill” since we’re only melting 1 pat of butter)
• ½ cup measuring cup (or even a coffee cup that’s the same diameter top to bottom)
• dinner table soup spoon
• teaspoon
• butter knife
• rubber spatula (or, in a pinch, washed hands’ fingers will do)
• metal spatula (I find the long handled variety best for flipping pancakes)
• medium sized double boiler or oven container (to house completed pancakes)

• ½ cup of wheat flour (slightly packed… btw… I prefer unbleached)
• ½ tsp sugar (a good guesstimate is amt. we typically add to our coffee cups)
• 1 tbsp (slightly heaping) baking powder
• 1 pat of butter (width = 3 mm / 1/8 in)
• 1 tbsp canola oil (most other cooking oils will probably be OK)
• ½ cup milk (I prefer skim but lowfat or whole will do)

METHOD STAGE 1: On a warm setting, preheat your griddle and storage container (that cooktop double boiler or oven container). Melt the butter in the small pan and set aside. Next, prep the dry ingredients. In the bowl, form and center a flour “well” where you’ll dump in the measured out sugar and baking powder. Next add the canola oil and milk. Mix slowly until the batter is lump free and shiny.

NOTE: Pancakes tend to stick at the very center of my griddle, which can make for flipping difficulties. Assuming this prob is not unique, I recommend divvying up melted butter, thusly…

METHOD STAGE 2: First spill most of the butter into the batter (while reserving a wee bit to spill, dead center, on the griddle). Increase your griddle temp setting a bit higher and then thoroughly blend the rest of the butter into batter for another 2 – 3 minutes. When the griddle just begins to smoke, start that first pancake (while pouring the batter, divvy it up while keeping in mind that you’ll be making four). Frying time will take approximately 80 seconds per side. Times can vary but there are some helpful clues, for example, when the batter starts to bubble. And there’s no law against crouching and slightly lifting the pancake’s edge to see how brown it is.

You can expect to wind up with approximately four 9 cm / 3.5 in diameter pancakes (I intentionally keep them on the small side to facilitate flipping).

That’s it! Serve ‘em up with plenty of pancake syrup (or whatever other topping you may have on hand… oh… say… some strawberry jam?).