Big Nana's Pancakes


My Grandmother was tall and the ideal housewife and she approached every new day exactly as she had approached the last. You could say her house was like being in a perpetual ground hog day. Every morning at 7 am the breakfast table would be set, the radio would come on, comments would be made about the local news and the daily funeral notices would be read. The table would then be cleared, with the cloth remaining in place until the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions pickled in sugar and brown vinegar were placed down for lunch along with the cold meats, white bread and old tupperware salt and pepper shakers. The radio would come back on and Nana and Pop would grumble about the midday news while they slurped their sugared, weak, white tea  and happily parted ways again. Dinner was served in the early years at 5, slowly moving to 4:30 and then 4 as the years marched on.

In comparison to my well mannered, gentile Nana I was a spirited busy child, some may even say naughty. I liked to be busy and I liked to chatter. After school I would run around the family car refusing to get in when my mother wouldn’t let me go to play at a friends house. I liked riding bicycles, building cubby houses and being in mud. I wished I was born a boy, pretty much everything for girls in my opinion was frustratingly boring. My Grandmother and I were quite different and she would do her best to do nothing at all when I visited her home. She was uncomfortable with emotion and when I would tell her I loved her she would reply ‘l love you…… when you’re good’. Occasionally she would cook scones just by feel, without a recipe and even more rarely piklets from a recipe in an old tattered book that belonged to her mother.

When I had children of my own I searched high and low for a good fluffy American style pancake recipe but to no avail. My son was an unbelievably fussy eater, however he loved a good pancake with lots of butter and maple syrup. I began to use Nana’s old piklet recipe adding just a little extra milk to get the consistency just right for perfect big fluffy pancakes and I still serve these for breakfast. I like mine with banana, walnuts and a drizzle of good honey but they are a good canvas for whatever tickles your fancy. Please try them, you’ll love them…….they are always good.



  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or (1 ½ cups milk with 2 teaspoons vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Sift flour and baking soda into large mixing bowl. Add sugar and combine. Lightly whisk eggs in separate bowl. Make well in centre of dry ingredients. Gradually add the milk, eggs and melted butter slowly combining until all incorporated and free of lumps.
  2. Heat flat non-stick pan on medium heat, add ¼ cup measures of pancake mixture and cook until bubbles form and pop on surface. Flip pancake and cook until both sides golden brown.
  3. Serve with your favourite toppings.

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