Today I’m bringing you our very favorite recipe for pancakes. My husband and kids have declared these the best pancakes on earth and I have to agree that they are the best I’ve personally ever had, mostly thanks to buttermilk being one of the primary ingredients! I hope you’ll get a chance to try and enjoy them soon. But first, my tangent. Sit back and get comfy, I got my soap box out for this one!
Life was hard for my ancestors, especially for my great grandmother, Lela, as a sharecropper. They awakened each day to work from sunup until sundown in the fields, kids included. Going to school was a treat not so much because they were eager to learn but because it meant they got to take a break from farming. Lela often didn’t know where the next meal was coming from and had to make do with what few staples she had on hand as any money paid to her husband seldom made it back home.
Grandmama says some days they’d come in so tired from the fields that they’d walk into the house and just fall asleep on the first spot of empty floor they came to. Lela would get a bowl of water and a rag and go around and wash the dirt off of their feet, letting them rest before waking them up and sending them to crowd into one bed for the night.
If anyone ever had a right to throw a big old pity party it was the people I came from, which makes their example all the more important to me. You see, Lela never complained. She woke up each morning with a smile on her face, humming a little tune as she went about preparing a simple breakfast of biscuits and gravy - because there was seldom any meat. But no one looked at that breakfast and said “Oh, just biscuits and gravy.” Instead their attitude was “Isn’t it wonderful that we can have biscuits and gravy.”
Their attitudes were always positive, always hopeful, and always grateful for what little they had. They had the ability to look at the cotton field as it was blazed beneath the Alabama sun and think to themselves “Aren’t we lucky that we have this field to tend and food on the table?” They could walk into the shack house and think “Isn’t it wonderful that we have this roof over our heads?”.
Their happiness was not dependent upon a set of ideal circumstances,
it was entirely dependent on their own attitudes and how they willingly chose to look at life.
I cannot think of a finer legacy to have been given or a more important one to pass on to my children.
I have always felt strongly that my attitude affects everyone I come into contact with and so I try to give each person I meet my best whenever possible. As a result, I’m often asked how I stay so positive. Folks seem to think it’s something you’re either born with or not. Usually if they’ve tended to lean towards negative thinking they dismiss the possibility of ever being positive as something that just unattainable to them. This is where I often have to sit down and give folks my “happiness is a choice” pep talk.
You see, no one is born positive, being positive takes work. Sometimes even the most positive people in the world have spells of negativity. We all have down days and I’m no different, but I’ve worked hard through the years in order to be able to see it for what it is, a phase I go through from time to time, and remain objective. Still, it’s a struggle and I’ve never had nor heard of an easy win.
Just as I looked to my parents and grandparents as examples of looking on the bright side of life during times of distress, I have spent some time studying others who have clearly battled these down swings and yet still came out to be considered positive thinkers. One of my favorite people to study for this very reason is Winston Churchill.
Churchill suffered from depressive spells so prevalent in his life that he took to calling it his little black dog. When going through a bout he’d simply say, “My little black dog is following me around “
I like that. I like how he gave it a name and set it apart from himself, it’s a way to own it, identify it, but make the statement that this is not a result of my life but rather an event within my life – a speed bump or a pothole.
I liked Mr. Churchill’s idea so much that I decided to do something similar. Rather than a little black dog, something I can’t help but see as cute and friendly, I’ve decided mine is an old gray mule and I’ve named him Abner. Now, like most mules I’ve ever heard of, to say Abner is stubborn would be an understatement. Abner is persistent, honery, and when he wants attention he’s gonna neigh and bray until he gets his way.
For me, this is part of the natural cycle of things. I think we all have times in which we need to allow our pendulum to swing the other way. I used to look at these negative spells as meaning I’d failed myself in not thinking positively enough, but now I see it as more of a recovery process, a time to heal. You see, on normal days I push myself. I try to be all things to all people and I work very hard at it. The only time I really slow down is when Abner is around. Abner and I take long walks and sleep a little more, we go to bed early and try to do things to pull me out of my funk.
When Abner is with me, it’s raining and when it’s raining my heart just naturally sets to looking for a rainbow.
Abner would like nothing more than for me to just saddle him up and parade him right down the middle of main street, but I’m not going to give him that kind of power. Instead, I keep him separate from myself and call him for what he is. Rather than say “Oh, I’m depressed, my life must be horrible.” I just say “Well, I reckon Abner needs a bit of attention.” So I let him out of the barn, walk him around the yard and spend a little time with him as needed until it comes time to send the old mule back where he belongs.
No one is born happy and very few of us are naturally inclined towards optimism. It is a process, a training, and a decision we make. Some folks may have to seek medical help and that’s okay too. The fact is, I think we all have a mule.
The difference between positive and negative thinkers is who feeds their mule in the barn and who sets a place for him at the dinner table.
~steps down off her soap box and swings it over her shoulder by its little rope handle~
And now on to pancakes…
You’ll need: Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Two Eggs, Salt, Vegetable Oil (or butter), Plain Flour, and some Sugar.
The sugar isn’t pictured because you only need a smidgen of it and I didn’t want to put the whole big honking sugar canister in the pic.
I also made these a little before six this morning and five pounds of sugar weighs more before the sun comes up.
Pour enough oil in a skillet to cover the bottom.
I’m using a cast iron skillet but you can just use a regular one if you like. The oil is going to give our pancakes a nice crispy outer layer, which is delicious! You can also use melted butter or margarine in place of oil if you like.
In a large mixing bowl, place your flour. Add salt.
And baking soda.
Stir to combine.
Add in your eggs and buttermilk.
Here is a hint for anyone new to Southern style cooking: If it has buttermilk in the ingredients, it’s gonna be good!
You can make your own buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of whole milk. Let it sit for five minutes before using. Since this recipe calls for two cups buttermilk, you’ll need to add two tablespoons to two cups whole milk, of course.
Ooh, I just did math and it isn’t even ten yet. I’m gonna have a headache later for that…
Stir that up until well combined. It will still be lumpy but that’s normal.
I use a 1/4 Cup measuring cup to add my batter to the heated skillet.
It should sizzle really good as soon as your batter hits the oil.
Sometimes I need to spread my batter out a bit with a spatula.
See how it is sizzling around the edges and little bubbles are appearing on the top?
You want to cook it for a minute or two before flipping, wait until the edges appear dry and the top is covered in little bubbles.
FLIP and continue cooking until browned on the other side.
Serve with lots of syrup…
to the delight of young and old!
(umm, but I’m not quite sure if Ricky is young or old, but I reckon in our house he would be old. Either way, he looked hungry so I fed him)
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 Cups Buttermilk*
- Vegetable oil, butter, or margarine for cooking pancakes in
- Place enough oil or butter in the bottom of a skillet to coat it. Put on stove eye and heat on medium heat while you prepare the batter.
- In large mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.
- Add eggs and buttermilk, stir until well combined. Batter will be lumpy.
- Drop by ¼ cup fulls into heated oil and cook on medium heat until edges appear dry and top is covered in bubbles, flip and continue cooking until browned on both sides.
- Serve warm with syrup!
This makes excellent waffles as well!
*To make your own buttermilk for this recipe, add two tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar to two cups whole milk. Allow to sit for five minutes before using.
I had to share some pics of my kids today. They are just getting more and more adorable.
(Of course, I’m not the least bit biased)
This is Brady and Katy at his Boy Scouts Blue And Gold Banquet.
Katy is holding the class bear, Booker Bear, because he came to stay with us for the weekend!
Brady and I made a cake together for a cake decorating contest celebrating the 100th Birthday of Boy Scouts..
Way to go, Braybo!
(the face painting is from a Webelo ceremony)
Katy Rose and Booker Bear at the gas station.
Well, now all we need is a photo of me and we’ll have the whole family in this post…
Here I am with my little Zoe. She’s a lab mix we adopted from the Humane Society last month.
She’s almost four years old and the sweetest baby!
I love my family.
When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry,
show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
~Submitted by IPlayOutsideTheBox. Submit your quote here.
Subscribe to Southern Plate by email for emails from me each time I post a new recipe and printer friendly versions of recipes in your inbox!