Sleepy towns and big parades. The fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks, firetrucks and pancakes. At least it used to be before the summer of 2020. My brother and his Family used to have a vacation place in the seaside town of Manzanita, OR. In winter, a quiet place where you might not see a soul unless you were having dinner at the local pizza joint.

In the warmer months, it comes alive and is filled with the cries of happy children playing on the beach, racing their bicycles up and down the main drag or simply running amuck the way kids do when they are allowed to be kids.

The sidewalks are filled with people and strollers and dogs. Lots of dogs. The people stroll breezily along, dodging in and out of the many shops or carrying boogie boards and kites as they make their way to the beach.

The beach is at the end of the main street, right near that pizza place, which is also the doughnut shop and the coffee stop (next door). All three reside under the same roof with two or three manning the one cash register and a buzz of activity in the kitchen beyond. I have yet to have a better pizza elsewhere and don’t consider it an official start of the day until I’ve sat outside on the bench, with my dogs, my brother and a bag of breakfast. Sometimes a doughnut and cappuccino, other times the breakfast croissant and fresh orange juice. Either way, after a bike ride on the beach, stopping at Marzano’s makes me feel like it is the beginning of a glorious day!

On the fourth of July, all those people could be found at the firehouse, eating pancakes before the big parade. I have never actually eaten pancakes at the firehouse, but I couldn’t help but remember the many years of riding my bike past the sign that announced that particular big pancake feed. The night before, there were already chairs lined up and down the streets to await the parade that followed. It was tradition. I hope it still is.

Yesterday, I awoke to the sound of people walking by our house, in packs. I sat at my desk watching them carry folding chairs.  Some wore masks and some did not.  The chairs  were set up on the corner, just past our street.

Even our sleepy town has a fourth of July parade and this year, even though it was not the usual gathering, the firetrucks, the medics, the police and even the Mayor, did a drive by through the neighborhood, honking horns and sounding the sirens to the delight of the children, young and old.

I couldn’t help but make a stack of pancakes.

Happy Fourth (on the 5th)!

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Pancakes & the 4th

Pancakes, hot cakes, breakfast cakes. Easy to make and perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or a quick bite before heading off to the Fourth of July Parade.

The batter can be used a day or two later as well. The cooked pancakes can also be frozen to pop in the toaster for that quick, off-to-work kind of affair too. Just add syrup, berries or both.

  • Author: Stacey Bender

Ingredients

Scale

1 1/4 cup bread flour (or all purpose flour)
1 TB brown coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cream on top, plain yogurt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 TB maple syrup
2 TB butter, melted and cooled slightly

Blueberries, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to fluff and then whisk in the milk, yogurt, vinegar and syrup.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and then whisk in the melted butter.

4. Add the egg white mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just unit it comes together (lumps are okay).

5. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the other mixture.

6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

COOK

On a hot griddle wiped with some coconut oil or other non-burning fat, plop spoonfuls of the batter spaced an inch or two apart. If using berries, drop the berries onto the wet surface of the pancake now. Let cook, undisturbed, until bubbles form on top.

Using a spatula, flip the cakes over. The tops should be golden. If not, add a little butter to the pan and let it seep underneath. Continue cooking a few minutes more.

Serve with butter and a good-quality maple syrup, or topping of your choice. Grilled pork sausages or bacon and fresh peaches are a flavor explosion not to be missed in these lovely months of summer.