Who doesn’t like pancakes or, shall I say hot cakes, as we call them in the Philippines? Making these simple pancakes continue to bring me lovely memories of my childhood in our little island, Marinduque. As I have said in my previous post, when we were growing up we didn’t have a consistent supply of electricity in our town which was the main reason why people never really had electric ovens and mostly relied on charcoal (out of wood or coconut) to cook our food. Thankfully, because pancakes are generally cooked on a stove top, we still got the chance to have them typically on Saturdays for a wonderful weekend breakfast treat.
Obviously, we don’t have maple syrup in Asia so to sweeten our pancakes – we either use honey or in my cousins’ house – we use sugar (brown or white) with evaporated milk. Delicious!
Fortunately for me, I always seem to know when they are making pancakes ’cause I’m always at their house when they make it. Our houses are so close to each other so perhaps the sweet-smelling aroma of the pancake batter makes me rush to their place on Saturdays! 🙂 Truth is, in the Philippines, you don’t need any formal invitation to go to someone’s house. It’s a cultural thing, a socially accepted norm, especially if it’s your relatives house. People come and go unannounced. While this may be unnerving or shocking to some – like akin to an invasion of privacy, it is not so in the Philippines or perhaps in other parts of Asia. It’s to be understood in the context of what Filipino hospitality is all about. When guests arrive at your house, although unannounced, you are expected to offer them something to eat. While it sounds terrible – it really is not – these visitors don’t really expect to be served like Kings and Queens. Often the purpose is just to visit and have a chat. No need to serve them anything eleborate. More often than not a quick trip to a Sari-sari Store (Filipino style convenience store – see photo below) is all that’s needed. They’d be happy with a bottle of Coke and skyflakes (Filipino Crackers). They come to visit and chat, see how you are doing and as a courtesy to their visit – you need to at least offer something. In the end, it’s just wonderful to have an informal get together with family and friends unhampered by any rigid rules.
A typical Sari-Sari Store
(Photo courtesy of Manila Daily Photos)
Anyway, that’s a little snippet of our culture which I truly appreciate having been the beneficiary many a times of such warm hospitality. In case you are wondering, today I am still very good friends with my cousins despite my contant visits and many meal times shared with them! I love them and they love me back! 🙂
Anyway, we digress, let’s go back now to our simple evaporated milk and sugar sweetener. It may sound weird and it’s not exactly a perfect replacement for a sweet syrup but to this day – I still use this when I eat my pancakes. I sprinkle sugar on top of the pancakes and then drown them in evaporated milk. I do it to bring fond memories of laughter around the table while my cousins and I try to outdo each other on who can eat the most pancakes. It’s so simple too yet I think it works really well. My kids love it too but they are quite easy to please!
Here’s a simple recipe for homemade pancakes. This is just a very basic batter but you can add fruits or sweet spices or whatever suits your fancy. After trying this, I have never bought any mixes anymore. It’s just simple and at least you know what’s going in your pancakes! Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.:-)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (less if you want
3 Tablespoons unsalted
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center, place the egg in, then pour in the milk and the melted
butter. With a whisk, mix until the batter is free from big lumps or until relatively smooth.
Heat a griddle or frying pan (some pans need to be greased a bit beforehand) over
medium high heat. (I use a non-stick griddle so there’s no need to grease it
all). When the pan or griddle is hot enough, scoop the batter onto the
griddle/pan using a small measuring cup (1/4-1/3 cup size). Cook until bubbly approximately – 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
If you like a more sophisticated pancake for the adult taste, why not add some berries and nuts into the mix – like this blueberry and walnut combo. Recipe link is here for the Fluffy Pancakes with Blueberries and Walnuts.
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