You know how you see those posts on your Facebook timeline asking something like “Name something…..?” The other day one came across my timeline saying “Name Something Your Mother/Grandmother Cooked that was Your Favorite”. Several of the comments said “chicken and dumplings” and I immediately agreed. My grandma was the only person who ever made chicken and dumplings for us, usually on holidays. I loved them. Not sure about my mom though. I don’t know if she didn’t like them, dad didn’t like them or she just didn’t know how to make them because she never did. I’m guessing it was probably a little of all three.
Another favorite of mine that grandma used to make for us was fried chicken. She made the absolute best fried chicken, the skin always crispy and golden brown; you know, that part of the chicken that is supposed to be the absolute worse for you but tastes the absolute best? Whenever my grandma (my dad’s mom) would come and stay the weekend with us, Saturday night meant fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. OMG. I thought I died and went to heaven. My dad, on the other hand, didn’t share my enthusiasm. Having been raised in poverty in the south, a lot of his subsistence depended on chicken. They were cheap to buy and raise and guaranteed meat on the table. I don’t know if my grandma liked fried chicken or not. She had been widowed when my dad, the youngest of her children, was only twelve years old, leaving her with four children to finish raising. I don’t know if my grandpa John was a drinker, but I got the feeling through some of the stories that he may have been. Grandma on one occasion said that Grandpa John would come home late at night, wake her up and make her kill, skin and fry a chicken for him. So, if she didn’t like fried chicken, I think I could see why.
But I digress. Getting back to the favorite thing my grandma used to make for me. Hands down, or at least a dead tie, would be what we called “Grandma’s pancakes”. What they really were, she never told us. They were flat and almost had the consistency of a noodle and she made them big, the entire size of the skillet. She’d serve them to us warm with lots of melted, oozing butter and syrup. Yum! It was just another one of the treats we got when grandma stayed with us. Now I know they were most likely Belgium pancakes or crepes. When my oldest kids were little and my grandma was still alive, I used to make grandma’s pancakes for them. But for some reason, by the time my youngest kids came around (a whopping sixteen years later) and grandma had passed away, I’d stopped making grandma’s pancakes and had forgotten about them all together. That is, until I took a trip to my dad’s hometown and we stayed in a motel across the parking lot from an IHOP. My son and I had breakfast at the IHOP and what was on the menu but grandma’s pancakes! Of course, they called them by a silly name of Crepes. But I was in heaven. I was so excited, that when I got home I googled the recipe and made them for my boys. I just knew they would love them. Well, it didn’t quite go over as I had hoped; they weren’t the pancakes they were accustomed to. But they are still top of the line in my book. Google Belgium Pancakes, or Swedish Pancakes or Crepes and you will find very similar recipes. Or, just do what I did the last time. Use the directions on a regular pancake mix and add two extra eggs and more milk. Worked like a charm for me.