Sometimes things just come together and the path for the day is clear.
We have had a great sugaring year. The sap flowed early and fast. We arenâ€™t big producers here at Barefoot Farm. We make enough for ourselves and our family and friends with some left over to sell and swap. We manage to cover our expenses but not much else. This year, we even had enough to make up a good size batch of maple sugar.
We get our milk from a neighbor up the road. She runs a very small raw milk CSA and I buy 2 gallons a week. This past week we were away and the milk piled up with no one here to drink it. We also had a lot of eggs as the spring weather has gotten the hens laying again.
This morning I find myself with a gallon of milk that is starting to sour. Now soured raw milk is not the same thing as spoiled pasteurized milk. Soured raw milk is still good food although you probably wonâ€™t want to drink it. The best use is for cooking. Any recipe that calls for buttermilk or yogurt can use soured raw milk.
So letâ€™s see what we have here. Maple syrup, soured milk, a dozen eggs and letâ€™s not forget the bags of blueberries that need to be used up. Thatâ€™s right. Itâ€™s pancake making day.
Iâ€™ll spend this morning making up a huge batch of pancakes, let them cool and then freeze them all with sheets of natural waxed paper in between. Iâ€™ll have dozens of meals ready to heat and eat and only have to clean up the mess one time. Sounds like a win to me.
I do see that Iâ€™m out of ground flour. So thatâ€™s where Iâ€™ll begin. Bruce and the girls will get out Lehman’s Own Hand-Cranked Grain Mill and do the hard part while I set up the rest of the batter. Then weâ€™ll get an assembly line going. This kind of cooking is best done as a group.
The most important part of the process is making sure to have a good number of racks available so the pancakes can be well-cooled before they go in the freezer. If they are at all warm when bagged the pancakes will be soggy when you reheat them.
My recipe is one handed down from my mother-in-law. As the mother of nine children, seven of them big boys with hollow legs at mealtimes, she had a great collection of recipes that fed a crowd. I think she adapted it from her Betty Crocker Cookbook.
3 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 Â½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
Stir dry ingredients together in your biggest bowl and set aside.
Now mix well with a wire whisk:
6 cups soured milk
6 tablespoons applesauce
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Add to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is moistened. Don’t overwork it–the pancakes will be tough if you stir too long. You can add blueberries if you like although I know there are people who prefer chocolate chips. (Those people will never make pancakes for me.)
Cook pancakes on a hot greased griddle until nice and golden on each side. Be stingy with the oil you use to grease the griddle. The batter will soak up any extra and the pancakes will be heavy. Only flip your pancakes once–be patient, and wait for the bubbles to form on the edges.
Cool and freezer wrap but donâ€™t forget to save out some for lunch. And please, if you donâ€™t make your own syrup splurge for the good stuff. Itâ€™s far better to do without than it is to use fake syrup. Real people should only eat real food.