Every now and then, usually on Saturdays or Sundays, I make Melissa and I some pancakes. It’s one of the few things that I am especially good at cooking. (Melissa cooks pretty much everything else, and she is a WONDERFUL cook)
But I’ve been cooking pancakes since I was very young. My mom taught me how. Over the years, especially recently, I think I’ve got it down to a science, and I’m sharing it here!
What you’ll need:
- Jiffy baking mix (the general stuff — you don’t need to use the “pancake” mix)
- lemon juice (yes, lemon juice)
- a skillet and a heat source
- a mixing bowl, a whisk or stirring device, and having a soup ladle is helpful
Put “some” jiffy mix into the bowl. I’m honestly not sure the exact measurement. A few cups is usually good, but don’t measure it, just pour it in. Add a pinch of cinnamon (two shakes), a dash of nutmeg (one shake), a pinch of salt, and a capful of lemon juice. Now add “some” milk. Pour a little bit in, stir it, then add some more if necessary. Right now, you want the consistency to be slightly less thick than a milkshake — you should be able to stir it easily, but you should feel a *little* resistance. It should be a little lumpy still, but make sure the big lumps are broken up. Add more milk or more jiffy mix until you get that consistency, but do it relatively quickly. Then let it set while you heat the skillet.
After a few minutes when your skillet is heated (if you are not using a non-stick skillet, be sure to use butter or oil to grease the pan first), the pancake batter should have thickened a little bit, and should have the consistency of a thick milkshake, but still pourable. Use the ladle to pour pancakes that are anywhere from 4″ to 6″ across into the skillet. Whatever size you want. Just make sure you get it all in one pour, or they won’t cook evenly.
Watch the top of the pancake — when it looks either porous or like it’s starting to dry out, check the pancakes. This just takes practice to know exactly when. You want a nice golden brown color. If they’re ready, then flip them. I can usually get about 3 pancakes in my 13″ skillet. When they’ve finished on the other side (it will take less time this side) remove it from the skillet and put it on a plate in the microwave or oven.
Some other things to watch out for:
- Do not use egg in the batter. Egg makes the pancakes really heavy and dense. Save the eggs for french toast or scrambling.
- If you make the batter too thick initially, the pancakes will be heavy and may not cook all the way through. If you make the mix too thin, it won’t maintain it’s shape in the pan.
- Don’t compulsively check your pancakes. In fact, when you get good, you shouldn’t check them at all, you should just know by look and smell when they’re ready. It’s just not good to interrupt the browning process.
- If you decide to use human organs in your pancake batter, make sure you drain the blood out first, otherwise the pancakes will taste weird.
Some other things you can try:
- Instead of milk, try half-and-half or cream. It tends to give the pancakes a smoother, creamier taste to them.
- You can add things like fruit bits (blueberries, apple pieces, strawberries, etc.).