After all that info about carnival food and Shrove Tuesday, what else makes sense but a great recipe for pancakes? This is from one of my favorite basic cookbooks, The New Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna.

Basic Pancakes

We double this to make breakfast for four in our family. I always make the Buttermilk Pancakes unless we happen to be out of buttermilk in which case the regular recipe is also delicious.

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil, melted butter or margarine

Preheat griddle over moderate heat while you mix batter or, if using an electric griddle, preheat as manufacturer directs. Sift flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder into a bowl or wide-mouthed pitcher. Combine egg, milk, and oil, slowly stir into dry ingredients, and mix only until dampened -- batter should be lumpy.

When a drop of cold water will dance on the griddle, begin cooking pancakes, using about 3 tablespoons batter for each, allowing plenty of space between them and spreading each until about 4" across.

Cook until bubbles form over surface, turn gently, and brown flip side. (Note: for extra-light and tender pancakes, turn before bubbles break and turn one time only.)

Stack 3-4 deep on heated plates and keep warm while cooking the rest. Serve as soon as possible with butter and maple syrup.

For Thinner Pancakes:
Add 2-3 extra tablespoons milk.

If Batter Has Stood Awhile:
Mix in about 1/4 teaspoon additional baking powder before cooking.

Buttermilk Pancakes:
Prepare as directed but reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and use 1 cup buttermilk instead of sweet milk.

Whole Wheat Pancakes:
Prepare as directed, using 1/2 cup each unsifted whole wheat flour and sifted all-purpose flour; increase milk to 1 cup.

Nut Pancakes:
Prepare as directed and just before cooking fold in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, or roasted peanuts.

Berry Pancakes:
Prepare batter as directed and just before cooking fold in 1/2 cup berries (any kind as long as they're small and well drained).

Cornmeal Pancakes:
(This is my variation. Can't remember where I picked it up.)

In a double batch of regular pancakes use 1-1/2 cups flour and 3/4 cup cornmeal.


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