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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cornmeal Griddle Cakes - Homegrown Gourmet #6 - Breakfast

Long ago my ancestors traveled across the country by covered wagon and horseback to Utah with the first settlers to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley. Utah has a great history of Pioneers trekking cross country and from far away lands to find a place to call home and practice their religion without persecution. My (I don't know how many greats) grandfather was one of those, along with his wife and children.

I've always been proud of my Pioneer heritage. I can't begin to imagine what they went through to get here. Before he made it this far, my ancestors came here from Germany, England and Switzerland. Here is even a clip from the Daughters' of the Utah Pioneers Museums' website about one of his experiences, "This large, square grand piano was brought to Utah in 1862 by Abraham Hunsaker. They managed to get the piano as far as eastern Wyoming and then were forced to bury the piano. The piano was wrapped in buffalo robes and was buried in the desert." I wish I had a larger picture, but here is the actual piano, now in the museum.

Back in his day, Abraham was a prominent member of the community. Here is even a picture I found from the National Archives from when they drove in the golden spike conneting the railroad from East to West at Promintory Point, Utah. That is Abraham circled.

So, while griddle cakes may not seem gourmet, this is definately homegrown and as local as we can get.

Anyway, among some of the other things that Pioneers ate coming across the mountains and plains they would eat Johnny Cakes, which were cornmeal griddle cakes. The funny thing is that I never had these growing up that I can remember. The first time I remember having them was about 7 years ago at a friend's house. Though I don't make them often, they are quite a treat. They are especially nice with butter and warm maple syrup, but adding caramelized bananas and serving some brown sugar glazed bacon along the side makes these a really special breakfast.

Since the theme for this month's Homegrown Gourmet was Breakfast, I thought I would send these light and lovely pancakes to Michelle at Culinography. I can't wait to see the round-up, so be sure to check it out!

Corn Meal Griddle Cakes
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar

Beat the eggs whites until stiff peaks form. Melt the butter in a small pan on low heat on the stove or in a small container in your microwave oven. Sift the white flour, measure one cup into sifter again. Add baking powder, soda, salt, sugar and corn meal. Sift again. Beat the eggs until lemon yellow, add 2 cups buttermilk and stir to blend. Then add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. If the batter seems too stiff, add extra buttermilk. Add the melted butter and stir. Then fold in the beaten egg whites. Bake on a hot griddle. (Makes about 12)


Steph said...

I'm very grateful for your ancestors as well, I could have never been a pioneer, I've always said that. It had to have been a very hard life. But good things came from it! The griddle cakes look delicious!

Deborah said...

I can't even imagine being a pioneer. But I always love pioneer food!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely cornmeal pancakes. I haven't made my version in quite some time. This reminds me that i need to. Love the bananas along with these, great idea!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm... looks yummy! Ilove cornmeal pancakes!

Thanks for a wonderful entry! :)

K.C. Hunsaker said...

Yep, that's my GGG-Grandfather, too!

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