“These are the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten,” said my niece Sarah Oliver of Belfast who even called me on purpose to tell me about them. She learned this recipe from her friend, Susan, in Swanville who got it from her mother, Molly Balch.
So I tried them and they are good. They’re made mostly of cornmeal, and they are just a bit different from the usual. I keep stone-ground yellow cornmeal on hand and I used that. The whole process begins with the time-honored step of “scalding” the cornmeal — that is, dumping boiling water on it to soften it.
This recipe made 12 3- to 4-inch diameter pancakes, enough these days for four breakfasts for myself, or enough for one hungry teenage boy.
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 cup boiling water
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Put the cornmeal, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water into it, stirring well to remove lumps. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mix together the egg, milk, and butter and beat that into the cornmeal mixture. Stir the flour and baking powder together and add to the batter in the bowl and mix with a few swift strokes. Bake on a griddle or fry pan.