world’s best pancakes

I’ve pretty much stopped reading other blogs. Tooling around on the computer, sucking up the internet access, is a pleasure of the past. (I’m hopeful that I’ll someday be able to sit in my cozy bed and peruse the web, but at this point, sitting on a hard-back chair in a damp room full of dirty laundry and nothing else simply isn’t conducive to anything pleasurable.)

However, the other day I happened to glance down at my blog feed, and I spied the title “World’s Best Pancakes.” Pancakes are simple. They do not involve hard-to-find ingredients like cocoa powder or fancy spices or extracts or quinoa. So of course I had to look.

Lo and behold, I had all the ingredients! True, the recipe called for a lot of butter and butter here runs about a dollar and a half a stick, but for our Sunday morning pancakes, a splurge was absolutely and positively appropriate.

I made a single batch, served my older son, saw his reaction, and promptly mixed up another batch. We ate every single pancake.

Ruth Reichl describes these pancakes as sweet, salty, and crispy, and she is exactly right. They are less cake-y and more crepe-y, but not so crepe-y that you would associate them with crepes. I fried them in vegetable oil (see above comment about butter) and, much to my surprise, that may have made them even better (think donuts). The kids took turns eating (only one skillet to fry them in and two forks to eat them with), and my husband ate his with a spoon.

I’ve decided to keep Ruth’s title. If we can eat these pancakes in our little, scraped together kitchen in northern Guatemala, than they truly are an international affair.

World’s Best Pancakes
from Ruth Reichl’s blog

I am not sure why the recipe calls for that 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, but if Ruth put it in, I figured I better would too.

After making the pancakes the first time, I had the recipe memorized. See, they are truly are the world’s best pancakes—you can carry the recipe with you in your head wherever you go!

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons sugar

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and oil. Add the melted butter and stir well. In a smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and whisk lightly.

Slick a hot pan with oil (or butter) and spoon in the batter. Fry until the batter bubbles and the edges look a little dry. Flip and fry on the other side. Serve hot, with syrup.

Ps. My apologies for the poor photography. I am working in yellow rooms with no natural light which makes clear photography nearly impossible. Maybe I’ll get a handle on it…eventually.


  • Steve

    Hmmm…I tried your pancake recipe but I found that it tasted too much of sodium bicarbonate. 🙁 The recipe I usually follow calls for only 2 tsp. of baking powder and also only 3/4 tsp of salt.

    • Jennifer Jo

      My regular pancake recipes call for the same amounts that you mention, but for some reason, this huge amount of baking powder did not hurt my pancakes at all. Maybe it's the type of baking powder? (I'm using something generic that comes in a bag—sorry I can't be more specific.)

  • Rhona from Keyser

    We eagerly await your blog entries and are enjoying the vicarious experience of Guatemala. If anyone can make a go of this, you certainly can! I made the pancakes in honor of your family and this wonderful adventure you are on. They were terrific! Thanks for your recipes and for sharing your lives.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    Wow! I'm impressed! Hang in there. It's so hard to relocate – that's when you realize how many systems and routines you had in place at home that helped things go smoothly. Moving blows it all to heck for a while.

    We stayed in a summer rental in Newport, RI, one summer – it was someone's house who rented it out each year for the money. It had a postage stamp (maybe smaller front yard and really no back yard and was right on a little street. I can't tell you how many times my kids (out of habit) would walk out that front door, stop, look around, and come back in when they realized they couldn't run outside and play. Broke my heart. Also? Drove me crazy.

    Really, this comment belongs on your last post.

  • Margo

    I love how you are marching on in cheer! I'm pinning these to try them. We had buckwheat cakes this morning.

    I think your photos are pretty good, actually. Much better than mine in my dark house.

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