Monday, August 10, 2009

Uncle Ed Bearce's Griddlecakes from Alberta

Who was Uncle Ed Bearce? Can't tell you. I suspect it was an uncle of Alberta's, but I will get back to you. If you were working in the woods or anywhere in the cold in Northern Maine, you certainly had to be well armed for the cold and heavy work with plenty of Carbohydrates. I suspect that the people living in the southeastern part of Maine around Livermore Falls, Litchfield and Lewiston had plenty of outside work to do so take a cue from them and add griddlecakes to your morning fare. I like to add cinnamon to mine. Of course everyone knows about berries and other fruit added to this, or perhaps a syrup made with fruit like the beginnings of jelly or jam. How about a nice shot of Ginger, and pour the batter over thin sliced pears already browning in butter on the griddle. Mom made these rarely. I was of course not working outside much as a child in beautiful downtown Houlton, but I am sure a similar recipe appeared often when My father was working outside and my brother and sister were walking those many miles(uphill both ways in the snow) to the one room school they attended in Littleton. Mom used to pour a small amount into the pan in the form of my initial in reverse, then a second or two later pour the rest of the batter over it so the initial would show up in the final cake. I remember her doing swans etc. I bet that was a rare occurrence when she was feeding all those venturing out into the cold.

Sift together:

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of soda
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of salt


1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons of melted shortening
1 cup of milk.
(Add a bit more milk as you work if it gets thick.)

Stir only to barely mix. Do not try to get this extremely smooth. Some people shake this in a big jar or Tupperware container, use a bit, then put it in the refrigerator to use over a period of days. I do not know about you, but these do not last long around here.

Pour some of the batter on a fairly hot griddle coated with butter. You could do this right on top of the wood stove too. When the edges dry a bit and the bubbles come through the batter, it is time to turn it over. The first one is often a mess if you are using a squeaky clean pan. A well seasoned cast iron pan or griddle would not really need much if any butter, because you just wiped it out after use instead of washing it. This worked out well especially when you were doing this every morning.

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