There's something about making pancakes for kids on the weekend that makes one feel like a good parent. Indeed J.C. would approve. No, I don't mean Jesus, though I think he'd give a thumbs up too, I'm talking about June Cleaver, the mother of all moms.
Watching "Leave it to Beaver" reruns on Nickelodeon was an all time favorite of mine as a kid. Like a window into Norman Rockwell's soul, Americana could not have looked any sweeter. How simple life seemed back then, kids could play in the streets, dad went to work and mom stayed home. Family roles were clearly defined and though most likely confining for women, I'm guessing there was also some comfort in the concrete expectations of motherhood.
These days, our role as "mother" is less clearly defined and certainly more all-consuming. We have working moms, stay-at-home moms, a combination of the two, volunteer moms, PTA moms, soccer moms, single moms and the list goes on and on...What remains true of today and generations past is this: moms do the best they can but feel as though it is never, ever enough.
We post pictures on Facebook in hopes of reflecting our best selves as moms. I'm guilty of this too as I never post pictures of my kitchen after breakfast, nor do I stop to take a selfie as I'm shamelessly yelling at my kids to, "hurry up and put on your socks!" I don't post pictures of myself half-dressed and cutting off people to get into carline and I certainly didn't post a picture of myself flipping the bird when my son's back was turned the other day.
It's only natural to want to see ourselves in the best light because it's hard to admit that sometimes, we don't know what we're doing and often times we feel like whatever we do is crappy in comparison to other moms. Just the other day I handed Elora one of those pureed fruit squeeze pouches (beets to be exact) while she was in her car seat. Driving 20 minutes to Mygym, I was just bopping along listening to my 80's station when I realized it was way too quiet in the backseat. When we arrived and I went to get Elora out, she was covered from head to toe in red beet puree. With no change of clothes and dried out wipies, I started wiping her clean with anything I could find in the car, all the while quietly repeating this chant, "oh f#!k, oh f#!k, oh f#!k.." Long story short, I was able to buy a cheap onesie at Mygym and we were good to go. Once I was able to catch my breath however, I realized I overreacted, it was my fault for giving it to her and for heaven's sake, there's real stuff going on in the world far more dire than puree all over my car. I beat (pun intended) myself up mentally for a good 30 minutes before I was able to let it go.
The following Saturday, I made some of these delicious lemon pancakes. As I'm mixing, pouring and flipping, listening to some ethereal Mazzy Star and Cat Powers, I'm starting to feel like a good mom again. The kids sit down, no one is in a rush and the smell of syrup and fluffy pancakes is thick in the air. Everyone's enjoying their breakfast, no one is fighting or asking for anything, just easy conversation and I think for one moment, this is it. I created this moment by being a good mom and making pancakes. As I was clearing the table Elora asked:
Me: "More pancakes?"
Me: "Sorry honey, we're all out."
Elora: "ohhhh f#!k!"
Title: Mamma's Loving Lemon-Zest Pancakes
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 28 mins
Yields: 20 pancakes
Notes: This recipe is loosely based on a recipe from culinary school, my apologies for not noting the original author as ratios are similar, though ingredients are varied. Make sure your buttermilk, melted butter and eggs are at room temperature. Mix batter until no signs of flour are left and then stop. You may have small lumps, but that's just fine. I also find it easier to pour on the griddle if I've allowed the batter to rest for about 15 minutes before cooking. I did not make any alterations for high altitude and it works beautifully.
8 oz All-purpose flour
1Tbsp of Baking Powder
1 Tbsp of Sugar
4 Tbsp of Ghee (or butter works fine), melted then cooled to room temp
2 Cups of Buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
Mix your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix your eggs, melted and cooled butter, buttermilk and lemon zest.
Make a well in the center of your dry goods bowl and pour your liquids.
Using a whisk, mix until no signs of flour are visible. Leave lumps alone.
Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat your griddle to about 350 F. Make sure your griddle is well greased with butter preferably, though non-stick spray will work fine too.
Pour about 2oz onto your greased griddle. When bubbles have covered the entire surface of pancake, flip.
Cook for 1 more minute or so.