I like it when the national day is a breakfast item. I’m a big fan of breakfast in all forms. Simple food, nice variety. You can eat breakfast at any time of the day too (eggs for dinner is not weird although suggesting pot roast for breakfast will turn some heads). Plus with breakfast, you always have the option to make it at home or to go out for it. It’s an easy thing to celebrate. That’s what I felt like heading into National Blueberry Pancake Day. I wasn’t worried. I had all day to make them but, as a back up plan, I could always go up the street to Reidy’s and order them there. That’s about as a low pressure as it gets.
I have quoted comedian Jim Gafigan here before mainly because he’s funny and he talks a lot about food. A real lot. When I was thinking about pancakes today, I couldn’t help but think of his observations about how we treat cake, specifically how there’s an unwritten rule that says you can’t have cake for breakfast. He says, in his best mother voice:
“Young man, you’re not having cake for breakfast!
You’re having fried cake with syrup for breakfast.”
Somehow pancakes became an acceptable part of a balanced breakfast, right next to the Frosted Flakes, the buttered toast and the high-fructose orange juice. The healthy way to start your day. I imagine that’s where the idea of blueberry pancakes came in. Someone was trying to think how do we make pancakes healthier and they said, “Let’s throw in some blueberries.” That’s likely not the history of blueberry pancakes at all, especially since both pancakes and blueberries have been around for thousands of years, but it makes you wonder. I suppose if you are eating pancakes, having them with blueberries would be a little better than just regular pancakes. At least you get the antioxidants and other benefits of the berries, but you’re reaching if you are putting it in the healthy column.
I decided to make our pancakes today and avoid the lunch crowd at Reidy’s. I had just purchased a bunch of beautiful looking blueberries at the store yesterday, so I was ready. It was noon and Lola and I were both hungry, plus we were still in our pajamas, so why not? I used the Bisquick mix to make the pancakes. I know making your own is pretty easy and I am sure I had all the ingredients in-house, it was just easier. You just add water milk and eggs to the batter and stir, although I also added in some cinnamon and a little but of maple syrup for extra flavor. When it was all mixed together, I folded in the fresh blueberries. I heated up my griddle pan and ladled on some batter and in a few minutes I had some delicious blueberry pancakes.
I am usually a pancake purist and just order them plain. I prefer my blueberries or fruit on the side. But these were pretty good. The berries heated just enough so they were starting to burst with blueberry flavor that seeped into every bite of the pancakes. I used a lot of blueberries too, so they were definitely present throughout. It mixed well with the maple syrup (hello Mrs. Butterworth!), and it was a hardy and delicious meal. Lola really liked them. She was writing by the fire, so I set her up with a plate along with extra syrup so she could enjoy it all.
To me, the meld of the blueberries and the syrup was not working as well as it should have, so I decided to try one with a little bit of sugar and some whipped cream that I had lying around. This was better to me because the whipped cream worked better with the blueberries and the cake. Lola still liked the syrup version best, so even though we didn’t agree, we were celebrating the blueberry pancake in two different ways.
I think the next time I make pancakes I am going to make my own from scratch. The Bisquick mix is fine, but I feel there’s an element of flavor to a pancake that I am missing. It will be fun to experiment. If I were to make more pancakes, I’d probably stick to the plain version, although if I were making them for Lola, I would probably try the blueberry kind again. Nonetheless, today was a great day to celebrate the pure joy of the fried cake, especially with the added addition of fresh and tasty blueberries. Cake for breakfast? Yeah, we can get used to that. We’ll just make sure we add in the fruit, you know, so we can keep it healthy.
Next Up: National Corn Chip Day