Building a Better Pancake

Screenshot 2014-11-19 12.44.10Important question: How ARE hotcakes selling these days? And why do we say things are “selling like hotcakes” anyway? Kyle Stock at Businessweek is on it:

…The term was born in the mid-1800s when the church bake sale was as popular as today’s farmer’s market; people bought the treats quickly, because they were afraid they would get cold. At the time, the world did not yet have cars, penicillin or Doritos. Today, the humble hot-cake survives in The New York Times recipe file as a kind of old-timey cornmeal pancake.

Whatever hot-cakes are, sales of them are–wait for it–flat at best. In the past five years, pancake mix sales in 2014 dollars declined by 1.5 percent, according to market research data from Nielsen. Cornmeal fared even worse, dropping by 6 percent in that period. These days, Americans, on average, spend just $1.16 on pancake mix in the course of a year—enough to buy a box of Bisquick every three years or so.

Wow Americans are on average either depriving themselves of a nice Sunday breakfast or they are you know, adding eggs to flour and milk all on their own, no Bisquick required? I hope there are as many pancakes being made as ever.

I am not the pancake-maker of the household, though I like to think of myself as a discerning pancake eater. I am pro-sweet and fluffy (baking powder, buttermilk), Dustin is a monster who likes the flatter, denser, less sugar added kind. I try not to complain when people make pancakes for me, though, as a rule.

The last time I bought Bisquick was for camping ($2) and it was so great. You just add water to these ketchup bottle versions of it (“Shake-n-Pour”), then shake it around and squeeze it out. Thank you, dehydrated egg whites and partially hydrogenated soybean oil!

I guess “selling like partially hydrogenated soybean oil” just doesn’t have quite as much of a ring to it.

Anyway, I am in denial that Thanksgiving cometh and instead would like to know whose pancake recipe you use. Your family’s? Bisquick’s? Smitten Kitchen? Deborah Madison? I feel like we are not living our best pancake life.

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