Welcome to 100 Miles, an exploration of sustaining life by going no further away than 100 miles to gather the things we need to live. This web log is my journal of food-based experiences, memories, thoughts, and recipes. I hope you enjoy reading it. To subscribe, so as not to miss each new edition, please enter your email address.
This sign went up recently in a Wells Fargo parking lot in my neighborhood. It brought back so many memories. When I was little before my father left, and even after he left, Sunday was pancake day. The day my father made breakfast. It was always pancakes. They were nothing fancy. He used Bisquick pancake mix. They were thin and he made big stacks of them. It seemed like I ate five or six at a sitting but that could be my memory exaggerating. I loved putting loads of butter between each one and dousing them with syrup. Again, it was Log Cabin syrup, nothing fancy. When I cut into them with a fork all the butter and syrup would squish up, the pancakes acting like a saturated sponge. It was starchy, buttery, syrupy pancake heaven. I looked forward to Sunday all week. I ate until I was sick (literally once!).
After my parents divorce my father would still come around on the occasional Sunday to make us pancakes but as time went on, and he remarried that ceased. That’s when we started going to pancake breakfasts put on by the Lions Club, or the Kiwanis, or some other men’s social group. Just like the one in the picture, they took place outdoors if the weather was nice, or in a church hall if it wasn’t. There were long tables with chairs to sit at and eat. The men’s club members made the pancakes, and I believe some of them were all-you-can-eat. They were also inexpensive so for my mother raising two children on her own it was the perfect outing. Food her children loved, away from home, we might have gone with neighbors or friends so it was social as well. I grew up in a small California town so these pancake breakfasts had a real community feel to them.
Living in large cities all my adult life I’d forgotten about them until I saw this sign. I just might have to go this one. The area of Los Angeles I live in, Atwater Village, has a small town vibe to it so a Lions Club pancake breakfast fits right in. I’ve lived here for five years, this has been going on for sixty-seven, I’m not sure why I never noticed it before. I’m glad I did. It’s brought back some very nice memories. If I do end up going, I’ll report back, and post some pictures.
Are there pancake breakfasts in your community? Do you go to them?
100 Miles Shout Outs! Local events, mini-reviews, and mentions of things happening in the world of food:
#1 – Honest Cooking ~ I’m now a Contributing Writer to the new online food magazine Honest Cooking. My most recent story is “L.A. – Casa Vega, Hang With The Stars on Cinco de Mayo.” I’ll be writing several pieces a month about the L.A. food scene.
#2 – Los Angeles ~ Sunday, May 15, 1 pm – 5 pm, ~ Taste of the Eastside 2011, an all-star regional tasting event with a diverse array of Eastside restaurants at Barnsdall Art Park.
My Status: Enjoying the arrival of spring in So Cal and the new spring produce: artichokes, asparagus, peas, spring garlic. Continuing to blog, cook, and eat.
Upcoming Posts: More on my great-grandmother’s garden, and my California childhood. A visit and tour of Ojai Valley citrus grower Friend’s Ranch. More The Local Reports. Cookbook Reviews: Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig, and Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.