Semantics

Can we talk semantics for a minute? In a past life, I was a teacher. Specifically, most often, an English teacher. An important lesson in writing is the power of the words you choose. No matter what you are writing, or saying, the words are important. Let’s take food for an example. If I say “crepe,” I’m sure an image is conjured for you of a fancy French breakfast (or dinner) with thin, light golden pancakes delicately rolled around a sweet or savory filling. If I told you to make crepes, you may think “But I need a special pan, and those are tricky to flip, and the batter is hard to mix.”

Now, if I say, “egg pancakes” it suddenly becomes “Oh, pancakes? I can make pancakes.” Suddenly, it may not be so daunting. You may now picture a diner with an all-day breakfast menu serving breakfast on platters with more food than you need all day.

And here-in lies the rub. For my whole life, I’ve been eating egg pancakes. But when I say that to strangers, they say “Huh?” so I have to switch words and say, “You know, like crepes.” Then all of a sudden, those pancakes become recognizable…legit, even. That always feels like a betrayal because egg pancakes are an integral part of our family recipe history. Busha made them by the pile for Christmas Eve. I stood there and watched, and then learned to stir, and flip, and let my dad come and steal one for “quality control.”

They are a beautiful thing. You can make them simply and serve them like regular pancakes with some syrup. If you want them to taste like my childhood, you serve them with *gasp* Karo Dark Corn Syrup (organic, free-range foodies need not apply for tasting them). Now we serve them with fresh fruit, or apple sauce and powdered sugar, but sometimes that also feels like a betrayal. The corn syrup, for people who didn’t grow up with it, is definitely an acquired taste, one I still enjoy on occasion.

Whatever you want to call them, they are not hard to make. You need 4 ingredients.

Beat the eggs until they are uniform, whites mixed completely with yolks. They don’t have to be super foamy, you just want one yellow-y color.

Then, add in half the flour and mix until only a few lumps remain. You’ll get the lumps out later, trust me.

Add the salt.

Whisk in half the milk

Then the rest of the flour

And finally the rest of the milk.

That’s it. It should take maybe 3 minutes! Nothing fancy at all. Just make sure you have all the dry ingredients scraped from the bottom and sides before you start to cook, and you’re all set with mixing.

Then you just need a frying pan. If you can multi-task, using 2 pans makes it go quicker, but one pan will do. Just a plain, ol’ frying pan, no crepe pan. Spray with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter (about 1/4 cup if you must measure) onto the hot pan. This is the ONE AND ONLY tricky part, and based on these pictures, you can tell we don’t worry about our edges, and you shouldn’t either. You have to tip the pan around a little to spread the batter. These do have to be thin, so you want an even, thin layer in the pan, even if it is not a perfect circle.

Look at it this way, with the uneven edges, you can play the “cloud game.” You know, when you look at a cloud and say what you see in the shape of the cloud? Look for shapes in your pancakes. It will help pass the time as you wait to flip them. Before you flip them, the edges should look set and dry, and you may have bubbles forming in the top of the batter, with the middle of the batter still a little wet looking. It takes 1-2 minutes per side to cook.

Then flip, and you are another 1-2 minutes away from delicious.

Like I said, you don’t need to worry about those edges. Rolling them up totally makes that problem disappear. Enjoy!

Egg Pancakes

1 1/2 cups milk (even skim works)

1 cup all purpose flour

3 eggs

3/4 tsp. salt

  1. Beat eggs together until yolks and whites are incorporated
  2. Add half the flour and whisk together. Some lumps will be ok because you’ll get them out later
  3. Whisk in the salt
  4. Add half the milk, whisk to combine, then and the other half of the flour. You should see the lumps going out at this point.
  5. Add the rest of the milk, whisk to combine.
  6. Fry 1/4 cup of batter at a time leaving pancakes to cook 1-2 minutes per side.
  7. You can hold them to stay warm on an oven-safe plate with your oven set at 250 degrees.
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