Learning pancake skills

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Sora Batts drops pancake batter onto the hot griddle for an easy supper with her grandparents.
Sora Batts drops pancake batter onto the hot griddle for an easy supper with her grandparents.
Lisa Boykin Batts | Times

My family loves pancakes. We love them for breakfast, and we love them for supper. We love the ones that start with a mix, and we love the ones we make from scratch.

We usually eat them without any add-ins, but sometimes I add blueberries for me and chocolate chips for daughter Anna and granddaughter Sora.

I asked Sora a few weeks ago if she’d like to learn how to make pancakes. She seemed eager to learn, so we decided to have pancakes and sausage for supper.

Before we started the pancakes, Sora cooked a package of link sausage on the stove. Then we assembled the ingredients for one of my favorite pancake recipes. It’s one I found on a bag of Hudson Cream flour and have been making for many years.

We decided to double the recipe because we all enjoy leftover pancakes the next morning for breakfast.

Sora used a whisk and a fork to stir the ingredients, working to get out the lumps. Next time, we will work on removing lumps from the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients.

We only made one change to the recipe, adding about a teaspoon of vanilla.

Once the batter was smooth, we had a quick lesson on how to pour pancake batter onto the griddle. It took some trial and error. Sora tried both a muffin scoop and then a measuring cup. Some of the pancakes were far from round, but, as we decided, they would still taste like pancakes!

As the pancakes cooked, I told Sora what I’ve always been told. You know it’s time to turn the pancakes when bubbles start to form on the uncooked side. She paid close attention to this and would gently lift a little bit of the pancake to see how brown it was getting. Then she slid the pancake turner under the pancake, and flipped the pancake. Yes, there were some misses, but for the most part, she successfully flipped them all.

Next, I showed her how the pancake starts to smoke a little when it’s done on the second side.

She soon got into a routine of scooping batter, flipping pancakes and then placing the finished product on a plate.

Toward the end, she added a few chocolate chips to the pancakes on the griddle before she flipped them the first time.

We both noticed that our pancakes didn’t rise as big as the pancakes I make from a mix or the ones I make with buttermilk. We joked and said they were more like crepes, even though they really weren’t that thin! Regardless, Sora, her grandpa and I ate more than our share of the pancakes that night, including some that we grabbed as soon as they were cool enough to eat.

Lisa Boykin Batts and 10-year-old granddaughter Sora are cooking in the kitchen this summer and offering ideas on how families can help their children learn to cook.