Grampa’s Pancakes


2 cups buttermilk pancake mix

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed meal

1 tbsp. buckwheat pancake mix

2 large eggs

1 generous cup milk


  1. Preheat cooking surface to the temperature needing to yield golden brown cakes. (Not as hot as you’d think, see below). Slightly below medium on our range. I use a square, non-stick coated aluminum griddle on a glass-top range. Large, self-heated griddles are best, but anything works, but it needs to be fully and uniformly heated.20setting
  2. Allow refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature. For the egg and milk that’ll take up to an hour. Warm ingredients perform better.20ingredients2
  3. Thoroughly mix first three (dry) ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Any commercial pancake mix works; I prefer the taste of a buttermilk mix. (Check the label, you may need to adjust eggs or milk.) Use your normal milk: whole, 2% or skim. Once I open the mix box, I transfer the remaining mix to an airtight container. Flaxseed meal and buckwheat mix add flavor and nutrition. Since I use them only a tablespoon at a time, I store them in the refrigerator to extend their life.
  4. Add eggs, then milk. Mix just enough to moisten the batter. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Do not over beat the mix. It messes up the raising of the pancakes.20mixing
  5. Spoon batter onto griddle in quarter cup (or whatever size you like) scoops. Using a non-stick surface, I can spoon the mix directly. If you use a bare metal pan, you may need to oil it lightly, but not too much. Wet contact between the batter and griddle cooks most efficiently.
  6. Let the cakes cook until bursting bubbles do not close. Patience. This is when most of the cooking happens. Do not lift the side of the cake to check doneness; that breaks the good contact. Turn. 20ready
  7. If the bottom is too dark, turn the heat down slightly. Do not turn them sooner. Many variables go into determining how fast the pancake cooks; you’ll have to experiment. 20done
  8. Let cook for count of 20. Remove from griddle. Do not turn cakes more than once.
  9. Serve and eat immediately. The whole point is having fresh, hot pancakes; letting it cool or get soggy ruins the fun.
  10. Serve with real butter and real maple syrup. If you use margarine or that gag-inducing slime called “pancake syrup” (have you read the label?), buy frozen pancakes and save yourself the trouble. 20pancakes
  11. Grandchildren like toppings like chocolate chips, hazelnut and peanut butters, applesauce, etc. How do I reconcile that with step 10? I don’t. Are you a grandparent?
  12. Grandchildren like to help. Younger ones can mixed dry ingredients; older ones can do more as their skills grow. Everyone likes to break eggs. (Have extras as not all end up in the bowl.)


Family Recipes: Grandma Marie’s German Potato Soup



In 1913 fifteen-year-old Marie Kiesler immigrated to the United States from Stalluponen, (East Prussia) Germany (now Nesterov, Russia). She joined her sister Martha in Kansas City, Kansas, where both served as housekeepers/nannies to American families. In 1919 Marie married John H. Hodge, a soldier at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Marie returned once to visit her family in 1937, whence she got in trouble for refusing to display the Nazi salute. Marie died in 1949.

This simple soup uses readily available materials. Follow the directions exactly or it won’t have that authentic German taste.


6 slices bacon

½ c. chopped celery

½ c. chopped onion

8 medium potatoes, cubed

1 qt. milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garlic powder

2 Tbsp. bacon grease


Fry bacon until crisp; drain. Crumble when cool. Save bacon grease.

Cook celery and onions in large pot (in which soup will be prepared) in just enough water to cover for five minutes. Add chopped potatoes. Cook covered until soft, being careful not to let it boil dry. Mash potatoes coarsely. Add enough milk to reach soup consistency. (Depending on your taste, it may be as little as half a quart of milk.) Heat until almost boiling.

Add bacon and bacon grease. Season with salt, pepper and garlic, as desired.

Preparation options:

Finely chop onion and celery. Use uncured bacon. Bake rather than fry the bacon. Use fresh garlic rather than powder. Use whole milk. Serve with garlic croutons or shredded cheese.

Generously serves four, because you will want seconds.