There was a point in time about fifteen years ago when I would have told you that the best way to make pancakes was to follow the directions on the box.
And see, everyone who dabbles in more advanced cooking techniques than as-per-manufacturers-instructions likely has a story of that one recipe that upon discovering it made you think… yeah, I can probably make this.
For me that recipe was the pancake recipe in Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking.
I have no idea where this book came from.
For the longest time it was one of a half dozen eclectic recipe books on our shelf that had appeared in our lives sometime during that phase of moving out, getting married, and building a home. It may have been a gift or shown up in a care package from a relative or … I honestly don’t know.
Perhaps you’re wondering if maybe we had received it as a promotional deal from the manufacturers of Five Roses flour products? Alas no, I don’t recall ever having used Five Roses flour, know where I would buy Five Roses flour, nor even if Five Roses flour is still in production. (Well, it is …I just Googled it.) I’m sure it’s a fine baking ingredient, but our store shelves are ubiquitously stocked with Robin Hood flour. Even so, I don’t have a Robin Hood Guide to Good Cooking, just this one.
And though the photo doesn’t necessarily make it clear, that recipe book is now dog-eared and full of notes and adjustments and splotches of splattered recipe results.
Every weekend on Saturday morning I make pancakes for my family. Every weekend I craft a bowl of batter from flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk. Every weekend I pull a crusty recipe from the hard-coded memories stored in the deepest part of my brain and turn it into breakfast.
That recipe originated in this book, a now well-loved cookbook in our home.