Do you ever smell or taste something and feel like you are immediately stepping back into childhood? Nothing makes me feel more nostalgic for early mornings at my grandparents than the smell of sausage cooking, knowing that closely followed will be my Ganma making her wonderful buttermilk pancakes. I can vividly remember waking up at my grandparents. My grandmother would slowly crack the door open in her floor length night coat to say, “Yoohoo, it’s Ganma. I have pancakes cooking.” That was our hint that it was time to get up. I would stumble down the long hallway, through the living room, until I reached the kitchen. As I climbed into my chair, I was presented with two very important options: milk or orange juice. Next my grandmother would serve me a hot stack of pancakes, always three stacked one on top of the other, usually accompanied by two sausage patties. Next big decision of the morning: regular butter or I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter. I would always choose I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. It seemed like the healthier choice, considering I don’t like syrup, so I did not feel as bad lathering it on to my pancakes. Still to this day I keep I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in my fridge just for the occasion of pancakes. Why? I have no answer other than that is what we had at Ganma’s house, and if it was had at Ganma’s house, then it must just be right. For those who preferred syrup like my cousins and siblings, the next decision was Alaga or Log Cabin. My siblings always choose Log Cabin and, come to think of it, the only person I remembering using Alaga is my grandfather, Papa. These moments are a staple of my childhood at Ganma and Papa’s house.
As life evolves, Ganma and Papa now have 8 great grandchildren. Life has changed from those simple mornings of waking up without a care in the world other then how you would eat your pancakes. A few weeks ago, my family got together for breakfast at Ganma’s. It felt like old times, except now my own son gets to sit at her table enjoying the same pleasure of eating pancakes.
When my sister and I were in college and beginning to collect our own recipes, we asked Ganma if she would share her pancake recipe with us. She was glad to do it, although she was not completely sure of the measurements. She had made it so often that she just knew when it was the right consistency. Below is the recipe with the closest measurements she could give us. While this is obviously special to our family, I have shared it with several friends through the years and they all say it is the best. Even my husband, who grew up a waffle guy, has come to the dark side. What does he ask for now? Ganma’s pancakes!
From our hearts to your stomachs, here it is…
2 cups self-rising flour
2 eggs beaten
1/2 t sugar
1/4 cup oil
Buttermilk to the right consistency
Step 1 Combine the flour and sugar.
Step 2 Mix together wet ingredients. I usually start with a cup of buttermilk. Make sure the eggs are well beaten.
Step 3 Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Step 4 Stir in more buttermilk to the right consistency.
Then begin to cook…
And the finished product… accompanied with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and syrup for my husband.
This past week has been tough health wise for Ganma. Thinking about all the memories and knowing my grandparents will not be around forever makes me truly sad. We never know what the future holds, but what I know for sure is I never eat pancakes and do not think of her. The love my grandmother poured into her home and especially her food is felt by all who enter her house. Ganma (Sallilu to most) is one of the most Southern, proper, thoughtful, and loving people you could meet. This may just seem like a post featuring one of our easy go to recipes, which it is, but it is also a tribute to a very southern lady my family loves. This one is for you Ganma.