My mom is a fabulous cook.

I just wanted to put that out there before telling you that the pancakes of my youth involved Bisquick.  My mom is on her way to Florida right now, else I would have a quick conversation with her to allow her to provide us with some sort of an explanation.  I guess four kids could explain the short-cut, but experience has shown me that it’s just not that much of a timesaver.  All it really does is cut-down on the measuring of a few more dry ingredients.  And I just don’t think the risk/benefit analysis is coming out in favor of Bisquick here.  Having enjoyed a nice number of married-but-child-free years during which weekend mornings were quite relaxed, I can attest that preparing a batch of pancakes from scratch – sans Bisquick – is no big deal.  (Once out of bed, what else were weekend mornings for but cooking, eating, drinking coffee, and reading the paper before strolling around the city, maybe catching an afternoon matinée?)

An early-in-my-marriage Christmas gift from my mom and dad, The Joy of Cooking provided me with my go-to pancake recipe.

I’ve fiddled with the recipe a bit over the years – my ex-husband loved the addition of creamed corn, and for years I’ve left out the melted butter Irma and Marion call for, finding no real difference in texture.  I’ve tried them with buckwheat and whole wheat, but have finally settled on a mix of white and whole wheat.  I use less sugar than suggested, sometimes leaving it out altogether.  Here’s the result:

Not Bisquick Pancakes (Adapted from Joy of Cooking)

Sift together:

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)

1 3/4 tsp. baking powder


2 slightly beaten eggs

1 to 1 1/4 c. whole milk (or enough to achieve a pourable consistency)

Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients; leave a just a little lumpy – do not overmix.  Melt a little unsalted butter in a cast-iron skillet and wipe out any excess, leaving a fine film in the pan.  You want the pan to be hot enough to cause a bit of water to scatter into droplets but not so hot as to immediately vaporize the water on contact.  Pour in the desired amount of batter and allow to cook until tiny bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake.  Flip, and cook another minute or two (not as long as side one); the pancakes should puff up.  Remove from the pan, slather with salted butter, top with real maple syrup if your budget allows (I’ve left the Aunt Jemima of my youth behind, as well), and if you’ve got any berries, by all means, use them.  Bisquick be gone!