Monday, July 1, 2013

Making Pancakes, The Dorothy Hoffman Jones Way and Other Things

Making Pancakes, The Dorothy Hoffman Jones Way and Other Things

As promised here is more about Mom,  she was a great cook, could design and sew what she saw in a store window without a pattern. Mom learned to crochet, knit and attempted to learn to Tat since her Mom tatted a lot.  That shuttle just never would cooperate with her hands and she later learned to use the newer knitting methods and crocheted up a storm.  Embroidery was something she did for years on our pillow cases and towel set gifts. Mom wanted to learn Bobbin Lace like what her mother had done and inherited her bobbins, I think I  left that box at her home with the bobbins and thread and pictures I so wanted to share. It was not until some time later I realized that box got moved when Sis decided to take the black desk, and I did not get it back with my boxes.

Mom taught 4-H sewing for several years to the girls in the community.  Dad worked with the  boys with the animal projects. I had a calf and a rabbit or two for 4-H also.  We canned and froze much of the garden we grew. We butchered our beef, hogs, chickens, turkey's, ducks and rabbits.  Mom was the person in charge of the small animals and Dad was in charge of the large one's.  We were taught to be able to fix a meal and survive if needed.  We were taught how to build a fire and create water when needed for survival skills.  Remember this was the time of the SPUTNIK, and other places threatening our world as we knew it. Or so it was thought it was a threat.  Also our parents grew up, became adults, during the Depression and knew how hard life could be.

More about Pancakes,  you ever make a pancake?  I remember my first major exposure to making pancakes when Mom was ill with my older brother's birth. Dad had hired a person to help on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  It seemed Pancakes were always a Saturday morning ritual, maybe because we did not have time for Pancakes during the week. With farm chores and preparing for school our breakfast was mostly cooked cereal, toast, milk or juice or eggs, bacon or ham, fried potatoes and toast or biscuits. We had Sausage Biscuit and Gravy generally on weekends.  Biscuits were often used when bread was not baked yet. We bought few loaves of bread from the store.

Back to the Pancakes, this hired person was being assisted by Dad to make the pancakes for our breakfast.  After he made the first three he let her do it.  She poured the batter, she let the pancakes almost bubble on the top then flipped them. Alas the next step was WRONG.  She took the spatula and flattened the pancakes out heavy hard. Dad did not do that. He said to stop that.  She said she had to, to make them cook.  One more batch in the skillet and trying again, all steps fine until she flipped them and again ignored Dad and flattened them. (Flattening the pancake makes it heavy). Dad said, "Stop".
He got her sweater and asked her to get her bag and told me he was taking her home, give my siblings some toast and had the neighbor man come stay with us until he was back.

I learned never to flatten a flipped pancake the heat will cook it like the other side. Hence a light pancake.  Also never over mix the batter it also makes it flat. Making pancakes is a knack and takes some time to practice getting it right. The same applies to Biscuits but there is nothing like a good homemade biscuit or pancake.  Both my parents could make great pancakes and biscuits. They actually both were good cooks, Dad just did not like to do it often.  He taught us how to make range coffee and outdoor cooking but was not a fan of BBQ.

I learned to cook on a wood stove with a wood stove oven also for baking. My younger siblings did not get that chance because Dad got gas in the home we bought for when my baby brother was born and it was gas and wood.  Baked bread out of a wood stove oven is absolutely the best.

Thanks Mom, thanks Dad.

Waffles happened after Grandad Jones
died and we inherited his waffle maker. I was a young adult then.

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