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Jan 2, 2002 09:37 AM

it ain't a restaurant but it's good chow: best pancakes ever

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I began my new year with these breathtakingly perfect pancakes, a recipe from Marion Cunningham. Simple, feather-weight, delicious: pronounced the best pancakes EVER by my roommate. Beats the tar out of any pancakes in any restaurant anywhere -- even my beloved Market Lunch at Eastern Market.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter (CRITICAL). Mix in 1 c. buttermilk (also critical), 3/4 c flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 egg.

Cook on a hot buttered griddle.

The batter will keep for a while covered in the fridge, but it only takes a second to mix up fresh.

I like them silver dollar size with just butter and powdered sugar, but had them this morning with syrup and they were wonderful, too -- the tang and richness cutting like a clarion call through the thin amber stream of real maple syrup.

(which by the way I have a question about: I opened up some maple syrup purchased summer 2000 in Adirondacks, NY -- it was in a traditional tin. It tasted OK but came out BLACK and a little cloudy. I ate it anyway. Turned my tongue black and my teeth gray. Am I going to die? After examining my mouth and brushing my teeth and tongue I threw the can out. But I wonder about the science of it all. I loathe the Wash Post science/food columnist so would rather not turn to him).

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  1. I think you are unlikely to die from the maple syrup. Though I am a native New Yorker (not from upstate, however) I do not have high regard for NY maple syrup. I find that it is not well-processed and that it comes out in unpredictable colors, levels of clarity, etc. As for discoloring your teeth and tongue, that is a bit worrying, but assuming you are still alive to read this reply, I think tossing the can is the only sacrifice that you'll be making from this particular experience. Thanks for the pancake recipe; when my new year's resolution to lose 10 pounds is either accomplished or abandoned, I'll have to try it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: James G

      As for the syrup: I'll accept your advice to avoid the NY State stuff, especially applicable here since I bought this can out of a man's garage. I think his name was Sparky. He lives near Lake George. He is to be avoided... but how does one not gamble on a syrup purchase at a place marked with a misspelled hand-lettered sign in the High Woods?

      Re: the 10 pounds. I hear you, but consider the scientific evidence on dieting -- if you eat a hearty breakfast you are much less likely to snack during the day, and your blood sugar needs a boost in the morning. I am so passionately devoted to this recipe I will now attempt to talk you out of your admirable discipline and into the Chowhound Pancake Diet System.

      Let's assume the 3 tablespoons of butter have 300 calories (I'm kind of out of my league here, but just go with it); the egg about 60, the flour -- I have no idea, but how much could it be? The buttermilk is low fat... anyway, I'm guessing no more than 700 calories for the entire 14-pancake recipe, not even a third of the average adult's required calories for the day.

      Pack that in yer pie hole and you won't want to eat until dinner. Sounds like a perfect diet to me.
      If that dude Jared could lose 200 pounds eating sub sandwiches the new Chowhound Pancake Diet has got to work.

      Now go make these pancakes then post a message here telling me how they were!