an explorer's club of Wisconsin foods and recipes

Celebrate National Pancake Week!

Pancake mug and photo from Posh in Chicago

Pancake mug and photo from Posh in Chicago

February 9-15 is National Pancake Week, according to many event calendars.  This one is promoted by General Mills and Bisquick.  And IHOP promotes its National Pancake Day on March 4 this year, which has been an IHOP effort to support charities since 2006.  And, befitting the pancake urges,  I found these “pancakes make people happy” mugs at P.O.S.H., a store with vintage goodies in Chicago.

Pancake mug and photo from Posh in Chicago

Pancake mug and photo from P.O.S.H. in Chicago

But where did all this pancake hooha come from?

Shrove Tuesday, aka Shrovetide Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Pancake Day and even Fat Tuesday.  It’s always the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.   It comes from a Christian tradition of eating pancakes before fasting during Lent.  According to Wikipedia, the expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess.”

So it appears that February and March have become a pancake-ramping-up period for both eaters and pancake companies alike!

If you can’t make it to IHOP, or want to experiment making your own pancakes — a fun activity with kids — you can make your pancakes from scratch.  I know to some that sounds intimidating, but it really doesn’t take all that many ingredients or time.  In fact, it’s a good opportunity to explore a flour company from Wisconsin!

Among those I found were Great River Organic Milling, Fountain City; Lonesome Stone Milling, Lone Rock; and Sunny Day Gourmet, Milwaukee.  I found a variety of Sunny Day Day Gourmet flours, a family-owned company at Woodman’s, but also bought some on their site.

One of Sunny Day Gourmet's flours

One of Sunny Day Gourmet’s flours

So grab some Wisconsin-made flour and here’s a recipe from my brother, who’s been making pancakes and French Toast and the like, since he was old enough to handle a stove.

Brian’s “Throw In What You Want” Pancakes

From Brian McMartin

Time:  about 10 minutes, including cooking

Makes:  about 8,  4-5″ pancakes


1 1/4 c. flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 Tblsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 Tblsp. oil, vegetable or your favorite

1 handful of oatmeal or nuts or fruit or a combination!

pancake ingredients


In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Then stir in the wet ingredients:  egg, milk and oil.  Once mixed, throw in a handful of oatmeal (or another choice).

oatmeal into pancakeThe oatmeal does what it usually does — adds a stick-to-your-ribs element to the pancakes.

stirring in oatmeal

Once mixed, pour the pancake mix on to a hot pan or griddle in the size of your choice.  Brown on both sides.

mix on griddle

2 cakes cooking

Then serve with your favorite syrup!!

cakes on plate 2

Now you’re ready for Pancake Day, Week or Year!  Enjoy!

Bite This:  I tried making the pancakes with the coconut flour too.  The main benefit of the coconut flour is your cakes will be gluten-free.  However, please know that coconut flour is a completely different animal, if you’ve never used it.  First off, it’s a different color and texture.  It looks more like corn meal.

Coconut flour (on left) v. regular flour

Coconut flour (on left) v. regular flour

Secondly, the coconut flour reacts differently to the other ingredients, than regular flour does.  It needs more liquid.  I tried making a batch of Brian’s pancakes with the coconut flour, above, but used 3 eggs, 2 cups milk and 4 Tblsp. oil instead of what’s in the recipe.  Even then, the batter is much thicker.  And lastly, you must like coconut (which I do) as it’s definitely a coconut pancake.

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