My new spring obsession – pancakes! This started on a weekend brunch venture to Walnut Creek where a friend introduced me to a new brunch place. I loved it so much I brought boy back. And when we had the pancakes there, we couldn’t help but go back a few times a month. See, boy and I aren’t dinner people. We aren’t bar people. We aren’t stay up late at night people…. We’re let’s get up early and go to brunch people! That’s right, we’re getting old. And seriously, I go to sleep thinking about my first meal of the day because nothing compares to the very first bite of food in the morning on an empty stomach when you’re starving because you’ve stopped munching after dinner time because you’ve noticed that an extra roll has started to fall out over your pants and… well, you get it. I get up, I’m hungry, and I want to eat. What better than PANCAKES!
To be totally honest, weekend pancakes started when we finally moved back in together last November. We started making pancakes together once a weekend morning and it stuck. But we didn’t really care about what kind of pancakes we were eating until we had them at Katy’s Kreek. Me, boy, and C-dog sat there over brunch and fawned over these delightful pancakes… Vanilla, definitely vanilla. But it was C-dog who tapped the secret – citrus. Lemon. So. Incredibly. Yummy. Really fluffy. Creaminess of vanilla. Lightness of lemon. So good. Thick, too. Puts the cake in pancake.
That’s how it started. The search for the perfect pancake recipe.
I started over at Vegan Yum Yum. Why? Because this is my favorite food blog, always simple, straight forward, EASY. (See those homemade cinnamon rolls in the pics off to the side there? Yep, thanks vegan yum yum. She has a cookbook coming out this fall. I’m going to get it and so should you.) And the pancakes are good. But they are definitely silver dollars. And Katy’s Kreek pancakes? Those aren’t silver dollars….
So I tried random recipes all over the web. Allrecipes which offers a ton… But it was a colleague who pointed me to these, Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Pancakes. Close, good texture.
Attempt #2: add vanilla…. closer.
Attempt #3: add lemon juice…. closer.
Attempt #4: add REAL buttermilk, not just sour milk…. wow those are some thick pancakes. oh, so close.
Attempt #5: (yes, this is in the space of about 2 weeks, I eat a lot of pancakes) add lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice with real, expensive vanilla with the real buttermilk and sift the dry ingredients very carefully…. these aren’t quite Katy’s Kreek, but these are some damn fine pancakes….
So this past weekend, boy and I went back to Katy’s Kreek. We both got the short stack. We took it bite by bite. Sitting at the bar, I called the waitress over.
“It’s vanilla and lemon, right?”
“Oh, that’s very good of you!” she responded.
I kept eating. Then I called her back over.
“But is it REAL buttermilk you’re using?”
She stopped, looked side to side, looked at my kind of pitifully….
“Honey, it’s just bisquik.”
I think my mouth dropped open full of fluffy pancake goodness that suddenly started tasting a little dry, baking powdery… pre-made…
Bisquik. I haven’t seen a box of bisquik since college when I would whip up a half cup bisquik with soy milk and make 4 sad little biscuits to go with my little fake sausage patties and call it dinner for 5 days in a row.
Bisquik. Wow. My $8.00 short stack turned into a $7.00 plate of ambiance for $1.00 pancakes.
But, you know, kudos to them for the lemon/vanilla additions, because that really makes it…
Except when I went to the store to buy my own box of bisquik. The Andronico’s market on Shattuck. I marched heavy footed to the frozen goods, box in hand. I stood at the end of the aisle, boy inspecting something at the other end. I raised the box and shouted:
“The RECIPE is ON the BACK of the BOX!”
That’s right. Bisquik pancakes come in 2 variations: the melt-in-your-mouth variety that suggests adding lemon juice. And the Supreme Pancake variety that suggest adding vanilla. Right. So WHO WOULDN’T THINK to combine the two for the BEST PANCAKES IN TOWN?
I was irate. Still am. But 2 things: I still bought the damn box of bisquik. And I’m still most likely going to return to Katy’s Kreek.
I’m also going to open a bakery. Yup. Tollhouse and little debbies. Think anyone will notice? Not as long as it’s served on a fancy plate with a little doily underneath.