Celebrating four years of cooking

Robin McDaniel
This golden pear honey is so simple to make and so delicious to eat it could fast become a staple in Blount County kitchens.

This golden pear honey is so simple to make and so delicious to eat it could fast become a staple in Blount County kitchens.

Mother’s Homemade Pancakes are made from scratch and are light and fluffy.

Mother’s Homemade Pancakes are made from scratch and are light and fluffy.

It’s hard to believe that the In the Kitchen column in Blount Today has been running for four years this month! In looking at our birthday, I tried to think of what recipe over the past four years has gotten the most comments and most requests. Since I don’t keep a “scientific” poll of such things, I had to rely on my memory to help me!

Two recipes quickly came to mind -- both sort of “breakfast” recipes. I think the two I have had the most requests for and that have generated the most response were Mother’s Pancakes and the Pear Honey recipes. Those two recipes always get rave reviews from folks who have tried them. I got a request via my dad (who eats lunch down at Miser Station Community Club once or twice a week) just this week from a lady wanting the pear honey recipe. She saw him at the Community Club and asked for him to get the recipe for her.

Four years seems like quite a long time to do a weekly column on cooking, but I am still enjoying every feature, and I hope I have helped someone try a dish they might not normally try. Maybe the column has even helped someone who is just learning to cook for the first time.

Thank you, readers, for reading In the Kitchen, and I look forward to more years of sharing recipes.

Here are the two recipes from the archives:

Mother’s Homemade Pancakes

1 egg

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (not fat free)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups flour (self-rising)

2 tablespoons sugar

In medium bowl, mix egg, 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and the vegetable oil. Add flour and sugar, blend gently and add the rest of the buttermilk. Mix just until moistened, small lumps are okay in the batter. Scoop or pour approximately 1/2 cup of batter on lightly oiled griddle or frying pan heated to medium-high heat (or about 375 to 400 degrees).

Turn when bubbles appear on top and edges are slightly brown or dry. Serve warm with your favorite pancake condiment. This recipe will make about 8 to 10 pancakes approximately 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Just a few hints about pancakes from scratch. When mixing batter, don’t over mix. Stir gently, remembering that there will be a few lumps in the batter. A pancake is ready to turn when there are bubbles on the top and the edges are just a little dry.

After turning a pancake once, don’t press down on it with your spatula. It won’t make it cook any faster and will only flatten it, ruining the light, fluffy texture you want. Butter and syrup are the usual toppings, however you may want to try honey, powdered sugar, whipped cream or fresh fruit.

Pear Honey

3 lbs. fresh pears, peeled, cored and finely chopped (this will yield about 8 cups after cooking)

2 cups crushed pineapple

6 cups sugar

Cook pears until tender. Add pineapple. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently.

Spoon into sterile pint or 1/2 pint jars to within 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and firmly screw on rings. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Jars will seal while cooling.

The recipe for Pear Honey was one sent to me with a sweet letter from Helen Cunningham of Alcoa. Helen said she thought the recipe originally came from an old Meta Givens cookbook. Helen likes the pear honey on both biscuits and toast. I made some “from scratch” biscuits, spread the pear honey on them and was in pear honey heaven!

The consistency of the Pear Honey is just a little thicker than traditional honey and thinner than a preserve or jam. This recipe made nine half-pint jars.

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