Grandpa W. turned 84 yesterday! For his birthday, he wanted to go to IHOP. He had seen the commercials, and their relentless tantalization worked. Score one for slick advertising! Those ads work on me too. I love pancake restaurants.
Since it didn't work for anyone to go to IHOP with him on his actual birthday, his granddaughter Lynette planned an in-house pancake event. She, Janice and I whisked together a scrumptious brunch of pancakes, sausage and fresh fruit.
It was a very fun time, and Grandpa and Grandma got to enjoy a few of their great grands too. We took 6 of our 8 kids along; Jack and Allison stayed at their Grandma's house for morning naps. The kids paraded in and presented him with hand-made construction paper cards. It only added to the excitement of his birthday, since he had already had ten phone calls for birthday wishes, and it was only 9 am.
Before brunch and sticky syrup mouths: Ava, Helen and Brian are in front. Owen, PawPaw and Blake in back.
PawPaw's pancakes, complete with pineapple topping and that magical swoosh of Redi-Whip. Ava was the driving force behind the birthday candle.
PawPaw pretended he couldn't blow out his candle, and Blake could hardly stand it! Grandpa's TV tray held all the essentials--food, drink, phone, TV remote, list of people who had called with birthday greetings and special napkin holder made from a dish soap bottle--Grandpa's sister makes all sorts of recycled crafts. This one even had "Happy Birthday" embossed on it.
These kids did so well, I couldn't believe it. We borrowed my mother in law's little table and chairs, and I think that was one of the keys--that and light breakfasts. Owen holds the eating record with 2 1/2 pancakes. I think he out-ate every single person, adults included.
Helen, MawMaw and Aunt Net's cute piggy-toes and sandal. Hey, it was upper 70s! Not that I'm bragging or rubbing that in anyone's face.
And finally, my pancake recipe, originally from Miserly Moms, tweaked by me:
2 1/2 c. buttermilk or sour milk
4 t. melted butter or vegetable oil
2 1/2 c. flour (1 c. w/w flour, 2 c. all-purpose, 1/2 c. oatmeal, my tweak)
2 t. sugar
1 t. baking soda
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
Beat together until smooth. Spoon onto hot, greased griddle. Flip over when bubbles appear.
Coupla tips: I don't beat the fire out of the batter. I mix it with a spatula until I don't see any more flour. And then, it turns out better if you let it rest for a few minutes at this point. That way, you don't get super-thick pancakes at the beginning and super-runny ones at the end. And, I never had any luck with pancakes until I bought a nonstick electric griddle. And even with the "nonstick," it does better with a few teaspoons of oil before each new batch of pancakes. I drop blueberries and chocolate chips into each pancake, rather than stirring them into the batter. That way, the batter isn't dedicated to any one flavor. My exception is pecans. Those are best mixed in. And sometimes, I mash up a banana and mix that in. One time I mixed in pumpkin, but those were a little weird. Then, I freeze leftover pancakes and heat them a few at a time in the microwave for a fast breakfast on other mornings. The End.