“Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me old fiddle.
When the sun’s coming up, I got cakes on the griddle.” John Denver, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”
There is food and there is food. I’m pretty sure, when John Denver sang so delightfully of “cakes on the griddle,” he wasn’t talking about crepes prepared on a non-stick pan. (Not that crepes aren’t delightful in a different way — as in a way that involves Nutella.) And, he certainly didn’t have toaster pancakes in mind. Shudder.
Nope. His song was about plain old griddle cakes. All you need is an iron skillet, some real fat and a homemade mix. (You don’t even need sunrise. I make these for lunch many Saturdays. They’re great with vegetable soup.) Enjoy!
‘Country Boy’ griddle cakes
In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup buckwheat flour (does not contain gluten), 1 cup all-purpose flour (wheat or gluten free), 1 Tablespoon baking powder, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and one pinch salt. Add two large eggs (or vegan substitute) and 1/2 cup milk (dairy or nut). Mix well. Add water as needed to get to a consistency that is thick but somewhat pourable.
Pre-heat as many iron skillets as you have on medium-low. (I have enough to make cakes on all four burners. Use whatever you’ve got, but four skillets sure speeds things up.) Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons high-heat oil (like canola or coconut or, for dairy eaters, butter or ghee) to each skillet and swirl around to coat the bottom.
Spoon 1/4 cup rounds of batter into skillets. Working quickly, top each round with a sprinkling of raisins, apple bits or banana slices if desired. Watch cakes carefully. When the air bubbles slow down and the edges start to lift from the skillet, slide a spatula carefully underneath. If the cake lifts off cleanly, flip it and finish the cooking.
Line a large plate with paper towels and pile up cakes as they are done, dividing batches with more paper towels to soak up excess oil. (If lack of skillets slows you down, store this oven-proof plate in a low oven so cakes stay warm.) Add more oil to skillets as needed and keep frying and flipping until the batter is gone.
This recipe makes enough to serve six as a side dish. Adjust it up or down proportionally to fit your need.
Serve with vegetable soup for a hearty lunch. Cakes are flavorful alone and are also good with a touch of real maple syrup.