I don’t think I have a favorite food. I have seasons when I obsess over a dish, but that quickly passes and I’m unto the next thing. I also have certain foods I hold dear, not for how they taste, but simply because they remind me of a certain time and place. Mangos are one of such, not just any mangos, Gboko mangos that my parents lovingly sent to me year in year out without fail, whenever they were in season.
Pancakes are another food that evokes feelings of nostalgia. I don’t remember who taught me to make them, but memories of my time at the University are incomplete without a mention of pancakes. They were my go-to food during my broke student days when I tried to stretch what was left of my little pocket money, and believe me I had lots of those periods. Choosing to study Architecture meant buying all manner of expensive paper and tools when my friends in other departments could get by with a simple pen and a couple of notebooks.
My monthly budget always began with my design supplies, followed by printing costs for my assignments, and by the time I got to foodstuff, there was little to throw around on anything fancy. Simple pancake ingredients it was. If you’re picturing nice fluffy pancakes with a drizzle of honey, please be informed my student budget couldn’t afford that. It was the basics. Flour was affordable and sold by the mudu. Sugar, which thankfully you could buy in small quantities. Eggs, if more than one got into my batter per time best believe I had just received bonus pocket money after a visit to my Aunt’s. Baking powder, the cheapest brand at Oga Emeka’s shop. Kulikuli oil which the villagers at Samaru market sold in anything from a full bottle to a quarter of a bottle. Milk was an occasional luxury. Butter? I laugh. That was the student equivalent of premium caviar.
School of Architecture in my day meant being plagued with endless design deadlines that saw us burning the idiomatic midnight oil. With all-nighters came hunger pangs, and what was my go-to ‘snack’? Pancakes. I remember my flatmate back in the day woke up to me frying pancakes at midnight and asked with so much concern in his eyes if all was alright with me.
Only last year, the third trimester of pregnancy saw me bingeing on pancakes once again. I went from not being able to keep anything down in the first trimester to a second trimester of moderate eating, and then a third trimester of carb cravings.
I hear it’s World Pancake Day today. My pancake recipe has definitely evolved as my pockets have gotten fatter. These days it is go fluffy or go home. To celebrate the day I made a pancake dinner for the husband and me. And because our baby is such a little foodie, he had his first taste of pancakes today.
I’ll share my Fluffy Pancake Recipe with you.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
6 teaspoons of sugar (A little more sugar if you’re a sweet tooth)
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups of milk (I use almond milk, dairy milk will do too)
Mix the dry ingredients. Beat in the egg. Add milk and butter. The milk should be lukewarm, you can melt the butter in the milk for a few seconds in the microwave oven.
Mix and fry in a lightly greased pan. I use a 1/4 cup scoop to get even sizes.
This recipe makes 8 mid-sized pancakes.
Drizzle some maple syrup and enjoy.
Bon appetit and Happy Pancake Tuesday!