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Three (3) Pan Breakfast

No excuses for being slow with this post – but  in defense, I have to say it has been very busy around here. We did quite a bit of work in the yard over the weekend – replaced the cedar border along the front flowerbed with rocks. Looks much nicer.  Also bought some shredded cedar mulch to fill in and around with while  at the Lowe’s in Palestine, but it’s been raining too much to get it out.

And David finally (oops, did I say finally?) got the icicle lights hung on the deck. You know what they say about people that live out in the country leaving their Christmas lights out all year – well we just joined the club. Seriously, they look very pretty – in fact they’re really quite beautiful – and give off just enough light to enjoy sitting outside on the deck after dark. I’ll put up a picture when I get one. It’s been raining too much to get out there and I’m not quite sure about taking night-time pictures anyway.  Guess, that’ll be something new to learn.

Got the idea for the lights from my brother-in-law who has a wedding venue in Austin – Kali-Kate. It is a beautiful, rustic pavilion in the Hill Country for weddings and other events.  It  has little lights everywhere – around the large support posts, in the trees, literally everywhere – looks just like a fairyland. Since we have quite a few more boxes of lights – may see about having David string some in the huge oak tree out front or wrap some around the support post in the middle of the deck.

I’ve decided that I can pretty much track the months here by the fruit we pick. It’s taken this long for the trees and bushes to mature and produce enough to pick.

We’ve finished with the blackberries and strawberries (they’re first). Next we had plums. Now we’ve got the blueberries ripening. For those that may remember, whenever I’m out there picking I feel just like ‘Juan Valdez’ picking coffee beans. (And, for those that don’t remember, Juan Valdez was in a commercial – many years ago – picking coffee beans for Folger’s…I think … and had to pick each bean individually at ‘just the right moment’) Picking blueberries is like that. You can only pick one ripe berry at a time and it most likely will be nestled in a large clump of ‘green’ berries that you have to be careful not to dislodge. Add  to that the fact that you’re working under bird netting, it becomes quite a challenge. And, after having the large snake caught up in the netting last year – you can bet I’m extra careful to check for critters before I start crawling around looking for berries.

Our blueberries are the big ones – not like the tiny-little kind that come in the blueberry muffiin mix. Having them large can be a challenge – especially when you want to make blueberry pancakes. I find if I make the pancake batter just a little thicker than normal, it will accommodate and hold the larger sized berry. I also like to make adjustments to the pancake recipe so it has a better, less-boxy flavor.  This recipe gives a rich, buttery flavor to the pancake.

My favorite recipe for pancakes is:

  • 1 cup pancake mix (we like Aunt Jemima)
  • 3/4 cup milk (approximate)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (the real stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavor

In a medium size bowl, mix everything together using a whisk. Whisk only until there are no lumps – do not over mix. (You want the batter to look similar to cake batter, but not so thick that it is heavy.  Took me a couple of times to get the texture right.)   Set the batter aside to rest for about 3-4 minutes before you start cooking the pancakes.  This is the ‘secret’ part that makes them really taste good and turn out nice and fluffy.

Cook the pancakes in a pre-heated skillet.  Add a little butter to the bottom of the skillet before cooking each pancake. (Little trick: Before you cook your first pancake,  sprinkle a few drops of water in the skillet to test if it is hot enough.  If the water ‘dances’ around, the skillet is hot enough and your ready to start cooking; if the water  just sits there – let the skillet heat a little longer.  If the water disappears immediately, your skillet may be too hot and you want to reduce the heat.) 

When adding blueberries, place them into each individual pancake in the skillet right after you pour or ladle in the batter. Carefully press them down into the batter with the back of a spoon – you don’t want them ‘floating’ – and cook until you see bubbles rising in the batter.     Turn the pancake and cook until golden brown.    Serve with warmed maple syrup or a sugar-free blueberry syrup makes them even better.

This recipe will make about 6-7 medium sized pancakes. If you happen to have any leftover – separate the leftover pancakes with waxed paper and freeze. They reheat really well.

Oh, and if you’re wondering  about the title of this post – David calls blueberry pancakes his ‘3 pan breakfast’ – because whenever I fix them, I always use 3 pans – one for the sausage and 2 for cooking the pancakes – cuts the cooking time in half. 😉

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