Pancakes evoke childhood memories in me of Saturday nights. My Mother worked outside our home but still managed to place a hot breakfast on the table for my sisters and me each and every morning of our lives. Sometimes it was scrambled eggs, bacon and toast and other times oatmeal, cream of wheat or cream of rice cereal with toast and always orange juice and sometimes hot chocolate. We were spoiled!
In addition, she packed our lunches each day for school and my lunch was always much desired by my friends. On Mondays I might have a roast beef sandwich, on Fridays it was usually a fried chicken leg and a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and my favorite was a tunafish sandwich with potato chips. And each lunch always had a piece of fruit and some sort of dessert…a twinkie, a hostess cupcake, a homemade brownie or a piece of chocolate cake.
Because she worked, she had a routine which enabled her to meet her job demands and still be super Mom to me and my sisters. Each night we had a hot meal in front of us. Sunday dinner was usually roast beef or a pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad and cooked carrots with pie or cake for dessert. Monday night might be “Hash” made from left-over roast and potatoes. Tuesday and Wednesday were toss ups…sometimes stuffed bell peppers or spaghetti or smothered steak and (YUCK!!!) liver and onions. Thursday was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, peas, green beans or broccoli. Friday was my favorite (and my girlfriends too when we had a sleep over) hamburgers and french fries. Saturday night was pancakes and bacon and this was the night I rebelled. I didn’t want pancakes for dinner so my Mother indulged my stubbornness and cooked me another hamburger. As I said, she was super Mom and we were very lucky because when it came to mothers, we won the lottery.
I don’t know how she did it because back then there were no fast food restaurants or already prepared cooked foods in the grocery store and forget frozen meals, they didn’t exist. We were ecstatic when the first “TV dinners” came into our lives. I grew up in Houston and you could count on two hands the restaurants one might go to for eating out….Sonny Looks, Christie’s Seafood Restaurant, Brennans, Bud Bigelows, Gaidos, Kaphans and Felix Mexican Restaurant.
I eventually found my way to loving pancakes as children often do with certain foods when they enter adulthood. And my love of blueberry pancakes swimming in butter and smothered in warm authentic maple syrup is second to none. So this morning I made blueberry pancakes for me and my daughter for a late breakfast. And they were certainly “sour”. That slight watering that occurs inside your cheeks when we eat something sour was definitely present. I had some difficulty finding the right temperature for my cast iron pan with my electric stove. (So wish I had gas but not allowed in my condo cause I think they worry about us blowing the place up!). They were too sour or “vinegary” (my daughter’s word) for her. But for a first effort and a young sourdough starter they weren’t half bad. I didn’t get the rise I wanted from the pancakes and think that perhaps I should have left my starter out overnight to come to room temperature. Next time. And next time about three times the blueberries. I saved about a cup of my starter, re-fed it and returned it to a clean jar in the fridge until next week. Boris is turning into a dependable friend in helping me produce some pretty delicious food.
I never eat a pancake without thinking about my Mother and her dedication to going above and beyond in providing her family with healthy, home-made nutritious meals. I miss her!