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Marion Cunningham Knows Her Pancakes

January 5, 2010

We had a slew of people over on Sunday morning, and after mulling over a variety of slightly more fancy-pants brunch options, I went for the #1 sure-fire crowd-pleaser of all breakfasts: homemade pancakes. I will readily confess that I have a box of Bisquick in my pantry, and that there have been many a morn where pancakes would not have appeared on the table had it not been for that box. But in fact, pancakes are one of those dishes that take really only about 5 more minutes to make from scratch than from a mix.  Cornbread is another, and so are biscuits. (Chicken stock is not).

So, even before I typed in the word “pancakes” into the Cookstr search bar, I knew one author would for certain show up in the search results (yes, I know, I picked the recipes, so this isn’t like The Amazing Kreskin or anything): Marion Cunningham.  And I knew for sure I’d be clicking to check out her pancakes.

Those of us who have spent a couple of decades cultivating a love affair with cookbooks have certain authors that immediately conjure up associations. Sometimes they are specific, like a particular cake recipe that you make every year for your Dad’s birthday. Sometimes they are more general. In this case, for me, Marion Cunningham stands for all that is decent homey and straightforward in the world of classic, comforting foods and baking. I mean, the woman revised the entire Fannie Farmer Cookbook in 1979, and followed that up with The Fannie Farmer Baking Book (the flap copy of which, by the way, describes the Ms. Cunningham as “a forthright and dependable guide.” I’ll say.). Anyway, the obvious point is, is this a woman to trust for a good pancake recipe, or what?

You know the pancakes are ready to flip when little bubbles appear on the surface.

Don't overbeat the batter or the pancakes will be tough; leave the batter lumpy for lighter, fluffier pancakes.

So, in my sleepy haze I skipped right past the pleasurable act of browsing through the other pancake recipes, and brought out the mixing bowl. Minutes later I was happily watching little bubbles form around the edges of a skillet full of pancakes, and minutes after that our crew was passing the syrup.

Have you ever seen a photo of Marion Cunningham? Don’t you want to be her friend? Me, too.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mardee permalink
    January 6, 2010 8:55 am

    Marion Cunningham is the ultimate breakfast queen. Even her basic recipes – like her recipe for cooking steel-cut oats in a crockpot (from “The Breakfast Book”) – are delicious.

  2. Susan Sterman permalink
    January 6, 2010 1:16 pm

    Those pancakes look like my pancakes! I can never get them to look all even and flat! That makes me happy!

  3. January 6, 2010 1:28 pm

    That makes me happy that it makes you happy!

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