For our family vacation a few years back, we decided to take a trip without a plan – with the exception of some train tickets and a place to stay the first night on the road (a Saturday – didn’t want to take any chances), nothing was carved in stone.
We took an old steam engine out into the “wilds” of Nevada. The highlight of our train ride was to see the untamed horses roaming the hillsides.
Returning to California once more, we headed north, up through the central part of the state, all the way to the Oregon state line. From there, we began heading west, toward the coast. Northern California has some of the most beautiful giant redwoods. The plan was to drive south, visit as many “forests” as possible while making a huge loop back home. Wherever the wind took us, whatever struck our fancy – that was the plan. We even managed to take in a jet boat ride up the Klamath River to view Eagles and other wildlife along the river. We had picnic lunches and simply enjoyed the views. No schedules, no plans, just the open road and all the time in the world to stop and smell the roses.
One morning we had breakfast in Garberville – near Avenue of the Giants. It was a lovely cafe with a very “French country” feel. And the blueberry pancakes were unbelievable. While Hubby and Kiddo took advantage of the warm maple syrup and sweet, creamery butter that accompanied the pancakes. I found them so delicious, I didn’t want to distract from the bursting blueberry flavor.
Upon returning from our trip, I began to crave those awesome pancakes. It wasn’t just that there were blueberries in the pancakes, the berries seemed to float at the top of the light little cakes. Then one night when sleep evaded me, I turned to the telly in search of something mindless to watch. Surfing the channels, I paused on a cooking show featuring Blueberry Flapjacks. What struck me most was that the blueberries weren’t folded into the batter but rather placed on top of the jacks as they cooked. Now mind you, I was channel surfing – I’m sure they gave a reason for this – but I missed it. One thing I did notice was that by putting the blueberries on top of the cakes as they cooked, one had better control over how much blueberry each cake received – and every cake was sure to have plenty of berries. And those berries seemed to float!
Since then, whenever we want a little something extra special on Sunday mornings, I’ll whip up some pancakes bursting with blueberry goodness.
Now you could use Bisquick (or your favorite mix) and skip the upper portion of this recipe. That’s entirely up to you.
Ingredients – Pancake Mix from Scratch
8 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cups Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
1/4 Cup Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Cups Butter Flavored Crisco Shortening
Pancake Mix: Combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in tightly closed covered container in a cool place. Makes about 10 cups. This will make 5 batches of pancakes.
Ingredients – Blueberry Pancakes
2 Cups Dry Bisquick Pancake Mix (above)
½ Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Water
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice (optional)
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted (cool to touch)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and spun dry
Place Bisquick pancake mix into the bowl of a mixer. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, water and egg. Add to Bisquick mix. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix just until blended. When pancake batter is complete, gently fold in melted butter.
Heat griddle to medium heat. Lightly butter griddle. When hot, ladle pancakes to desired size. Sprinkle each cake with blueberries, pressing in slightly. Cook until bubbles break and bottom is golden. Flip, press down gently (some of the berries will burst open) and continue to cook until golden. Transfer to serving platter. Serve with whipped butter and syrup.