Friday, January 22, 2010

Special Breakfasts For Alex

During school, Alex generally prefers to eat cold cereal for breakfast. This last weekend, she got some sweet treat special meals.

Friday, she had asked for pancakes for supper, but the stuff for another meal was already prepped, so I promised her some for breakfast on Saturday. After staying up a little late, she didn’t get up until afternoon, so it was a pancake for lunch and since the recipe makes more than one, I decided to join her – I had to eat something you know.

Knowing we had some strawberries, she requested them in her pancake and knowing we had some blueberries, I opted for them in mine. Also, with a strawberry farm just up the road, I’m spoiled by the juicy, flavorful, picked-ripe-by-us (usually Bev) berries I have access too for about 3 months a year and I just refuse to eat the big, beautiful, picked green, tasteless ones shipped in from who knows where the rest of the year.

I can’t recall ever making a pancake with strawberries, but it knew it would work great so a few of them were diced up and off we went - this is her's before flipping.

And here's mine before flipping.

When I moved it over to the kitchen island for syrup, I discovered a bag of pecans and decided since I already had fruit in it, some nuts would make it even healthier (LOL). I wish I’d seen them early enough to put inside, but sprinkled on top worked very well. The picture at the top is my plate and here's a close up.

Most of the foodie sites I visit contain pretty special meals, but me, I just post whatever we eat and in this case, it was Aunt Jemima pancakes - just had to fess up :). However I do ocassionally make some gourmet quality pancakes from a great recipe, but no since wasting them on a kid who's going to pay more attention to Sponge Bob on the tube than to the pancakes she's eating.

When I was growing up in Northern West Virginia, I was lucky to have a stay at home mom, as most of us did back then. She would be in the kitchen on those cold winter mornings, with all of the burners on the gas stove running full blast to help warm up the kitchen – it was a drafty old house with single pane windows and poor insulation. We had many regular breakfast meals, some of which I now refuse to eat, but only one really special one – Mom’s Puffy French toast. I’ll provide the recipe, but it takes a little practice to get the batter just right – my sister made it often and could do it, but we don’t, so ours is more hit or miss. I’m not sure if Mom came up with the recipe, it was an old family one, or it came from a cook book, but I’ve always loved it, even though I now realize, it’s just batter fried bread with syrup on it.

She always used plain white bread, always cut it on a bias and cooked it two pieces (one bread slice) at a time using vegetable oil in an 8” cast iron skillet. So, I would get two pieces, then my sister, then me and so forth – usually 4 pieces was plenty, until I became a teenager. Here’s the recipe and the only trick is getting the consistency just right – it should be thick enough that only a little runs off when taken out of the batter.

2 eggs - beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 small can evaporated milk
Water as needed to achieve thickness – I didn’t use any this time.

After 8 months of living here, I decided it was time for Alex to experience the meal – boy have I been remiss, it’s actually been several years since we’ve had it even though it’s easy and I love it – what have I been thinking. So this is as close as I could get to how Mom did it, except we had to settle for some homemade bread. Here's the bread in the batter.

The pieces frying in the pan - care must be taken to get the oil hot enough to have th batter puff up and brown, but not so hot as to get dark brown too quick.

As a kid, it was just two pieces on a plate with syrup on top. But since the pecans were still around, I decided to add a few of them and a little powdered sugar for pretty.

Have a great day and I enjoy your comments and improvement suggestions.



  1. Your mom's fried bread is basically the same one I made for my kids years ago. And the burners going on the stove to warm the house is also something I remember doing!!! This has been a walk back in time for me today and I thank you for stirring up those memories for me as they are some of the best! :)

  2. Wow, what a step back in time for me too. I AM a 'woman of a certain age' ya know ;) enough to remember my Mama standing over a stove with all the gas burners going in the morning cooking a hot breakfast for us lucky kids too, which as Emily pointed out also helped to heat up that old house, not heated in those days with central heat, but wall hung gas heaters.

    Boy that puffy French toast looks mighty good too - gotta love bread in any way, shape or form for breakfast!

    Have a great day!!

  3. Hi Larry, Aunt Jemima works for me too!!!! I will always take the easy way out if I can. Sounds great with those fresh strawberries and blueberries in there. YUM!!!!

    I grew up also with a stay-at-home Mom who could really cook. (I did not inherit that gift from her!) Anyhow we had a drafty old house --and she always had something delicious on the stove also. I remember her friend apples more than anything. They were the best I have ever had--although she also made some great rhubarb.

    Since I'm fairly new to your blog, tell me who Alex is... Grandchild living with you now???

    Did you get your plans worked out for DeSoto???? Hope so.

  4. UPDATE: Just went back into your labels and read about Alex.... Wow--I don't know what I'd do if I had an 11 yr. old living with me now!!!! ha... She's a cutie!

  5. I'm just going to say it - I really don't like pancakes, waffles or French toast (YIKES), but these look so beautiful, I'm going to make them for my family - who DO like pancades, waffles & F.toast. Love the fresh strawberries and pecan touch! Very nice post.

  6. Thanks for all the comments and I hadn't considered the fond memories this might stir up.
    Vickie - I believe I may have met someone else who didn't like those - or maybe I just dreamed it :)

  7. I admit it. I'm really not a fan of waffles. But this is the girl who doesn't like gravy, either, so my opinion seems to count less sometimes. ;)

    As many times as I've tried it, I've never mastered the art of Grandma Sue's french toast. I think the recipe Mom gave me is different, though, so I'll definitely be trying this version. "Normal" french toast is just gross to me. Why would I want that after having Grandma Sue's? :)

  8. I have a box of Bisquick in the pantry. Like you, I'll make pancakes from scratch but more often it's a mix on busy mornings.


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