Monday, May 28, 2007

The Flavor of Memorial Day

Did you know Memorial Day has a flavor? It is pancakes with strawberries and whip cream--not the store-bought in a can or container kind but the freshly whipped kind that's made from heavy cream and sugar.
Our family had a Memorial Day tradition. Each year Uncle John and Aunt Ann hosted a breakfast. It started out as just family, then a few friends, then half the town! I think the last one we had served almost 100 people.
Uncle John's pancakes weren't the usual 3-4 inch pancake. They were the size of the whole plate and if you could eat more than one you were either some kind of hero or really sick! The pancake batter was made from a sour dough start that was over 100 years old. The dough is set out the night before. It grows and grows then in the morning some of the start is taken out, put in the refrigerator and saved for then next time. More ingredients are then added to the remaining dough to make it the batter consistency we all are familiar with.
Along with the pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream each person was served a couple of eggs--sunny side up--and a slab of ham. There was a choice of milk or OJ to drink.
After our large breakfast we would all head up to the cemetery to put flowers on our loved-ones' graves. It was a happy day that our family shared.
I can't help but think of Uncle John and his pancakes on Memorial Day. I know that pancakes with such toppings could be had any time of the year but for some reason we saved it for that special day. I have since made that meal but it just doesn't have that same tickling of the taste buds. Oh, it's good, and we'll have it again, but I sure miss Uncle John and his pancakes.
Happy Memorial Day!


Alison said...

I thought of Uncle John today, too. We did our own versio of the breakfast with about 45 people or so. The buttermilk pancakes weren't quite the same as sourdough, but they were pretty darn good. We had an oven omelette and sausages, which was also different from the old days, but I think Uncle John would have approved.

Lucy said...

I hope your memorial day was great! We've managed to be in Denver for the last nine of them so this year was a little strange.

The pancakes sound delish! I think I gained a pound just reading about them:)