Flip For It

The happiest day in Mylee’s short life thus far, according to her parents, is the day that McDonalds announced they would serve breakfast all day. What does that mean for Mylee?


mylee snow cone

Snowcones are better than pancakes on a hot summer day, even for Mylee.

Miss Mylee loves her some pancakes. (As a secret aside, McDonalds’ announcement made her grandfather pretty happy as well. Bill can pass on the pancakes, but he loves their Sausage McMuffins with Egg. Unlike Mylee, who cheerfully eats pancakes at any hour of the day, I think Bill considers the Sausage McMuffins to be primarily breakfast food; however, for him, the breakfast period lasts past 10:30, the time when McDonalds used to stop serving breakfast. I have seen him look quite sad when he tried to order the Number 2 Breakfast Combo at 10:32, only to be told it’s time for two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.)

I like pancakes too, though not as much as Mylee. I like my pancakes in the morning. I’ve never been a huge fan of the upside down dinner — you know, breakfast for dinner. And I’m a bit fussier than Mylee. I prefer my pancakes with real maple syrup. I think my daughter-in-law Lauren agrees with me, being a life-long Vermonter. Vermont is the only place I’ve ever visited where the breakfast restaurants only serve real maple syrup with pancakes. I venture to say they go even further and serve only maple syrup from Vermont. No Oh Canada for them.

I was recently babysitting Kaiya, Mylee, and Cole for a bit after school. Like most kids, Kaiya and Mylee come home from school hungry. Kaiya fended for herself, but I asked Mylee what she would like for after-school snack. Her immediate reply? “Pancakes.”

Now, that made me laugh because I’m quite certain her mommy doesn’t walk in the door after picking them up from school and start flipping pancakes. It reminded me of the time that I was babysitting The Cousins while Dave and Jll were away on a trip. Alastair was the first one up, as usual. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. “Banana bread,” he said without hesitation. “Well, I don’t have any banana bread,” I told him. “Then, you could make some, Nana,” he replied, undoubtedly thinking, “well, duh!” Apparently my grandkids think that when it comes to cooking, I have superpowers. Ain’t so, I’m afraid.

I very often make pancakes for breakfast, and ALWAYS do when I have grandchildren sleepovers. Some like them with chocolate chips. Others prefer to have an M&M or 2 or 3 dropped into the batter. Kaiya is a purist and wants only a smear of Nutella on hers.

pancakesPancakes from scratch are the easiest thing in the world to make. No boxes necessary. I use the recipe out of my torn and food-stained Betty Crocker Cookbook that I’ve had for 45 years, and it never fails me. One requirement (at least for me)? A cast-iron griddle.


Pancakes, courtesy Betty Crocker Cookbook

1 egg
1 c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. milk
1 T. sugar
2 T. shortening, melted, or vegetable oil
3 t. baking powder
½ t. salt

Beat egg with hand beater until fluffy; beat in the remaining ingredients just until smooth. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional milk. Grease heated griddle if necessary.

For each pancake, pour about 3 T batter from tip of large spoon or from pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.

If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt.

Nana’s Notes: I never use an electric mixer; I always use a whisk and mix by hand. For reasons I can’t explain, the first pancake never browns properly. It tastes fine, but is consistently less pretty than the rest. For that reason, I always start with just one pancake to get it out of its system. From then on, I cook two or three at a time. I ALWAYS use self-rising flour and therefore have no need for baking powder. That way, as long as I have self-rising flour on hand (which I always make sure I do), I can make pancakes on a whim because I almost always have the rest of the ingredients. Any leftover pancakes go into the freezer and can be heated up by putting the frozen pancakes into the microwave for one minute. Not quite as good as freshly made, but it will satisfy Mylee in a pinch.