It's Stampede Week in Calgary. That means the locals and tourists alike are dressed in their ugliest Western wear and worn once a year cowboy boots. If you are under the drinking age you've eaten too much sugar. If you are close to or over the drinking age you've likely drank far too much. Maybe you actually went to the Rodeo or the Chuckwagon Races. Maybe. But most definitely you've eaten pancakes at some point this week.
A long standing Stampede tradition is the pancake breakfast. Nearly every church, business, mall, and charity seems to have a pancake breakfast during the 10 days of Stampede. You could literally eat your way across the city in carbs. You might be lucky and get a strip of bacon embedded in your pancake, but no syrup. Or you might get fantastic Indian food on the side. But 99% of the time you are going to get a flat, insipid pancake. And only after standing in line being jostled by the impatient and hungover.
It is my personal mission to keep the girls from knowing Stampede even exists for as long as possible. This means I can avoid early mornings to beat the crowds at the Parade, the expense and crowds of the midway, the crowds of people dressed badly, and the inevitable questions about why that girl has no shirt on and can I take mine off too?
Call me a spoil sport. Tell me I have bad civic pride (I wasn't raised here, I'm allowed to judge - I'm from Edmonton after all). Heck, you can even call me a mean mom. I'll take it. And then I will turn around and make my girls pancakes at home - with real maple syrup and no crowds.
There is a mystique around pancakes. It is quite easy to make them well, yet there is a proliferation of bad pancakes in the world. This is the basic recipe, the one you make for dinner when you have no energy, the one you make for a weekday breakfast, the one you dress up with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles for Sunday brunch. You can easily swap out half the flour with whole wheat, change the sugar to brown, and use whatever kind of milk you have on hand. They will be golden and fluffy every time.
Easiest Pancakes Ever
Makes 1 dozen medium sized pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 heaping tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup milk
1. Mix together dry ingredients.
2. Mix together melted butter with milk and egg. Add to dry ingredients and whisk well. Let it sit while you heat up your frying pan.
3. Heat frying pan on medium-low heat. You should be able to hold your hand over the pan for at least 5 seconds without it being too hot. Spray the pan with oil, non-stick spray, or melt some butter.
4. Spoon batter into hot pan into desired pancake size. Then leave them alone until the bubbles that form on the surface start to pop. Flip them over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
5. Serve with soft butter and maple syrup. Or jam, or fruit, or any syrup of choice.