I was born in 1977. About three years later came my brother, Andy. My father was a young pastor fresh out of seminary (college). At his first church, his income averaged $100 per week. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. Despite the financial strain, they believed it was the best choice for their children.
Most days, my family struggled to make ends meet. We didn’t always know where our next meal was going to come from. Many times the only meat we would have was from my father’s hunting trips. We ate venison (deer meat) a lot. Venison stew. Venison burgers. Venison steaks. Venison jerky. You name it…we ate it. It was an exciting day when we had ground beef from a cow and could have hamburgers for dinner. We lived on spaghetti, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, beans and bread, goulash, eggs and rice, and other similar foods. Our special meals eating out were at the Garden State Diner or ordering Chinese food in.
We weren’t, and still aren’t, a gourmet family. Sure, I can afford some of the better foods now and so can my parents, but I prefer the simple comfort foods of my childhood . Foods that bring me comfort and remind me of love. Even though we were poor financially, we never lacked for love. I never felt as though I was missing out on anything just because I couldn’t have the latest toy or gadget. It wasn’t important to me. What mattered to me was family and friends.
Our home was an open door. If you needed help, a safe place to stay, a listening ear, a laugh, or a warm meal, you were welcomed with open arms. Most of my childhood memories are of people living with us. It was like having a large extended family. A mother and her children escaping an abusive husband. A family moving to a new home that needed a temporary place to stay. A pregnant teenage girl with nowhere to go. It didn’t matter the circumstances – ours or theirs. We made it work.
Breakfast was often dinner. Why? Because breakfast is cheap. For a few dollars, my mom could feed her family of four (or more depending on who was living with us or visiting at the time). Pancakes were an easy staple. Believe it or not, it’s just as cheap to make a homemade pancake batter as it is to buy Bisquick, and it tastes ten times better. Bonus, it’s healthier. You can control the sugar and salt content. Even better? Having leftover blueberries from blueberry picking in the freezer. Of course, buying fresh or frozen blueberries work just as well.
The most critical part of making the pancakes is stirring the batter. Stir it gently and only until it’s mixed. Don’t over stir or mix vigorously It will result in dense, flat pancakes which isn’t a good thing. Last thing you want is a hockey puck for dinner. These pancakes are light, luscious fluffy ones.
I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck Greek yogurt is doing in these ingredients. Trust me on this one. It adds such a creamy, lush, buttermilk tang to the pancakes that it will make your heart do flip-flops. You could use buttermilk instead, but the Greek yogurt is healthier, full of probiotics, and lower in saturated fat. I’m all about comfort food, but I want to live to enjoy it, folks. These pancakes freeze beautifully, too. Make them all and squirrel the extras away for another day. Perfect way to stretch your pennies, eat healthy, and still feel comfort and love.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 21/4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 12 ounces plain Greek yogurt (approx. 1½ cups)
- ⅓ cup 2% milk
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter, plus some for frying
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Serving suggestions: whipped cream and maple syrup
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the yogurt, milk, and melted butter.
- Combine the dry and the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix. The batter will be thicker than a normal pancake batter, but if it’s too thick, add a bit more milk. Fold in the blueberries. Stir gently!
- Heat some butter in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Spoon ⅓ cup of batter into the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and batter is no longer runny.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream (optional) and maple syrup.