Frozen Pancakes:Cheap and Cheerful, Fab Fab and Fatal

My father was the breakfast cook when we were kids, and we loved the sight of that red box with the picture of the cheery black lady. Pancakes for breakfast! (Daddy’s still the breakfast cook, and come to think of it, Aunt Jemima was my first clue that everyone in the world didn’t look like me.)

My father taught me that you have to wait until big bubbles  form before you turn the pancake, or it won’t hold together. But you can’t wait too long, because pancakes burn easily. I learned early that there’s no such thing as too much butter on pancakes, and that the syrup had to originate in a tree.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pancakes, whether from a box or scratched up from a favorite recipe. (My favorite is Scott Peacock’s buttermilk pancake recipe from The Gift of Southern Cooking.) The shameful truth is that I’ve rarely made pancakes more than six times a year, and here’s why.

We’re only two pancake mouths, and no matter how I cut the recipe down, I always glugged half the batter down the Insinkerator. Second: pancakes trash my kitchen, or rather, I dribble the batter all over the range top, counter and ceiling — what’s up with that? By the time I’ve licked my fingers, the batter’s concrete.

A couple of months ago, we decided to cook off all the batter. That left us a dozen pancakes sitting on the griddle, stovetop trashed. We remembered laughing at an item in the frozen food case  — frozen pancakes. WTF, thought we — how lame! It’s still lame to buy four frozen pancakes for a buck, but it’s brilliant to freeze your own. He spread them on a  sheet pan in the freezer until they were hard, then we stacked them in a baggie.

Let me tell you, frozen pancakes are a beautiful thing. You can heat them up in a toaster, if your butter’s soft. But here’s the thing: put them on a plate, sliver some hard butter atop, and drizzle with syrup. Nuke for a minute and you’ve got groovy cakes with no effort.

Here’s the naughty part: If you know you have pancakes in the freezer, avoirdupois can happen. Sure they’re great for a quick lunch or breakfast, but you know, they’re even better for late night dessert . I eat sensibly and that means mostly no sweets, because I prefer protein to cupcakes. But just before bedtime last night, I had an urge to the sweet side, and buttered a couple of frozen pancakes. Then I spread them with  dabs of apricot jam, blasted it , topped it with some TJ’s Greek Yogurt and achieved midnight snack Nirvana. In forty seconds.

Criminal. I know I’m in trouble, because my bedtime’s going to be haunted by the possibility of sneaking my hands into the freezer and floating off to Dreamworld , my tummy filled with carbs and butter and something sweet — like maple syrup, raspberry jam, honey or apricot jam. It’s sooooo easy, God help me.

To take my mind off the fattening flat-out simple possibilities, I’ll post a gratuitous kitty picture. Willow always, always finds the warmest spot, though Ajax has a patch too.

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12 Comments

Filed under Body, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Five bucks or fewer, Food, How Cool is That?, Uncategorized

12 responses to “Frozen Pancakes:Cheap and Cheerful, Fab Fab and Fatal

  1. Gretchen

    I have been freezing pancakes for years. Glad you “found” them.

  2. This just in: if you’re a mite peckish about five o’clock, dribble some hot sauce over the pancake and top with some cheese. About forty seconds in the microwave. I regret to say: It’s darn good.

  3. kim shook

    We, too, are but two. And we ALWAYS have too many pancakes, waffles and French toasts for us. I have always just plopped them in a ziplock bag to eat ‘later’. Somehow, we don’t feel like eating them for a few days and they end up being thrown away. NOW I’ll be freezing them. And dreaming of midnight pancake suppers. I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you!
    I love that elegant plate with the trees around the rim – and are those birds flying around them? What does the center look like?
    Lovely, lovely kitties! Since Jessica moved out, I am missing my grandkitty, Jonah. No one to greet me at the door when I get home – no one to say goodbye to on my way to work. Sigh. I’m also enamoured of their luxurious settee!

  4. I love pancakes, but found a healthier recipe than the (gasp) all-purpose flour kind: oatmeal pancakes. The oatmeal has to sog up overnight in a buttermilk bath until it’s quite gloppy, but they are to die for! I’m thinking a good coat of apricot jam would be great with them, too:)

    Great article!

  5. Kim, this is a salad plate from the a dinnerware series called “Slice of Life.” I am mad about it because I adore pattern, and black and white pattern isn’t too distracting. The rim designs are witty, and unique to each pattern. The plate you’re looking at — every piece is different — has a tractor in the center. The best, the BEST part of the Slice of Life series is that there’s a story on the bottom of every piece. This one reads:
    “A tribute to the mechanized agrarian workhorse. There is something about the appeal of a tractor: maybe because it’s a great symbol of human ingenuity and our ability to exponentially expand our productivity.”

    So I get a plate and a storybook. Post to follow.

  6. And Gretchen, I know you’re smarter than I am!

  7. kim shook

    Oh, my GOSH, Maggie! I just went an googled images for ‘slice of life plates’ and I’m hooked! I will be looking for those things in every antique store/flea market I go to! How utterly cool they are!

  8. I think the coolest might be “Surgery” where the image is you looking up into the faces of the doctors and nurses who are about to take out your tonsils. I love them all, and although I have some swell 100 year old Limoges, my Slice of Life “Every Day” plates make me so happy. Real design going on, and for all Cubs fans, the Wrigley Field dinner plate is, well, a work of art. Check out the ivy border.

  9. kim shook

    Gorgeous! I also really like the ‘Dream Girl’ one!

  10. Charlotte

    Now I can make my gluten free pancakes. Contrary to popular (wishful) belief, they are NOT low-cal, and I was afraid to make a batch for exactly the reasons you outlined so well. Now I can make the kitchen a mess once, and have pancakes for anytime I like…without eating them all at one sitting, which I would also love…with lots of butter and maple syrup…hot sauce and cheese sound wonderful, too!

  11. Tarby: LOL: There is no low calorie pancake, gluten free or gluten rich. But man… having them waiting in the freezer for anytime!

  12. Paul

    Waffles with a bit of bacon chopped in are a quick fix as well. I like your “solar collectors”.

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