Tribute to my Grandmother

Alasgun

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Granma Hall hailed from W.Va, she was my Momma’s momma and has been gone for many years now. As a young child, my fondest memories are of her sourdough buckwheat pancakes which they ate with sausage gravy! I’ll be 70 in a couple weeks and have spent a lot of time trying to replicate those cakes; unsuccessfully as you can imagine. Many years ago i came to the conclusion it would be impossible to replicate that memory. We do pretty good with them though!

When im out on the boat for days at a time, i make up a batch and keep them in a cooler where they get used for breakfast or any other time of the day i want something easy.
the glass cooktop on the stove could be easily scratched so i went looking for a polished cast iron skillet to warm them in and discovered you can spend nearing $300.👀 for a skillet!
So i bought me a new Lodge Fajita skillet, nice little oblong thing, perfect for warming cakes etc. however them things are rough these days.
Having the proper tools, i set about to make that right. Here’s a couple pictures of my $15 Lodge after some smoothing and a little Appalachian folk art were applied.
I believe she’d be proud of my effort to keep them cakes alive after all these years.
i’ll season it directly and see how she works This spring on the first shrimp trip.
 

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flowerbug

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it is great to have such good memories and also to be preparred. :)

do you use any cornmeal in those cakes? :)

[ramble zone ahead :) ]

i have no such cakes in my past from Grandma on Dad's side but she was a tremendously good cook and she taught Mom how to cook along with all of her favorite dishes that she made for her large family. if you went to visit her as long as you sat at the kitchen table she'd feed you, even if you were not hungry, she'd bring you bits of this or that, or a slice of pie, or some meatballs and sauce on fresh buttered bread or ... it really was an endless feast and she pretty much did it on auto-pilot with ten hungry children and a husband and all their friends and such. by the time i came along it was a fairly empty house too much of the time. we drove a few hours to visit her and to keep her company. she had a very long life, but her final years were rather sad and hearbreaking. i try to remember her during the better times instead and hope that if there is a heaven she's doing what she'd like, probably feeding them all up there too. :)

now if you got up from the table and went and tried to hide in the small den where the tv was at she might still bring you some things there too, just not quite as messy things, so that was a good strategy if you wanted her to break out the chocolates or some very good cookies. however, i did not think of this until years too later.

as she got older and we didn't visit so often we'd still get there once in a while and it was then that we found out about her stash of cookies and goodies she kept under her bed in her room. she had a harder time opening things and so she was not getting very good meals and all that, but she could still get into her stash of goodies. :) i probably get my sweet-tooth genes from her... they're well worn genes by now. :)

and that cast iron pan. i'd love one more for making breakfast here once in a while. i've been looking for one on discount or at the budget racks or second hand places. i've even watched plenty of vids on how to season and restore them and perhaps how to pick out a good one. mainly avoiding warps and cracks. i'm not too concerned about how smooth it might be. by the time it gets a good season on it perhaps it won't matter as much, but i will sure keep that in mind if it ever does become an issue. the best thing i learned about seasoning was to simply wipe it down with oil and then use it, don't bother with all the rest of the BS, prep, repetition or whatever, just use it. my current only iron pan is about 5yrs old now and looking good to me, not perfect, but it does get used. in theory the seasoning is carbon and grease so i'd wondered about just burning a bit of sugar in the oiled pan to start, or making sure to cook some good bbq type things with enough sugar in them. anyways, i do love a good iron pan and am looking out for the 2nd one so i can stop cooking meat in something else or having to clean up the pan after cooking the meat, i'd rather like to have one pan for frying the sausage and then have to the other pan for cooking the pancakes. cleaning up a meat pan to where i can accept using it for pancakes is not the best thing, if i can use a 2nd pan then i don't have to scrub it so much or so many times.

my own making of pancakes and flapjacks took on a new life when i moved down south for a few years and was getting tons of exercise so i could eat as much as i wanted. flapjacks, pancakes, etc. were on the menu frequently and i'd make these one about an inch and a half thick in a 9 inch non-stick pan. i'd mix some corn meal, flour and buckwheat for them, each batch could taste different from the last and i'd also use other flours or ingredients as i could think of it. rarely did i put anything on them other than butter. they were moist enough and good enough, even with my sweet tooth i'd rarely go for syrups. if i wanted more protein or variety i liked peanut butter and apple sauce on them too, or apple butter. i was in a mostly vegetarian stage of being then so i didn't have too much going on for needing another pan or cooking like i do now. also rarely going to the same extreme on the flours or additions to pancakes because Mom won't put up with such things, she's more the purist, wheat flour is where she is at, a bit of corn meal is ok, but i can't go too far with that. haha... funny. :)
 

digitS'

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Alasgun, @flowerbug started a thread on Chicken Eggs (link) that evolved into a discussion on sourdough. @Marie2020 may have succeeded in the cultural challenge by now, there half a world away from your home.

What do you mean by, "When im out on the boat for days at a time ..?" Is this an ocean or multi-day river outing? Salmon, I imagine or ..?

Your memories of grandmothers reminds me of my father telling me a couple years ago that my grandmother made biscuits every morning and cornbread every night, for her large family.

The cooking equipment also reminds me of my experience with having a wood-burning kitchen stove for a few years, a long time ago. I completely failed trying to use the oven so I bought a stovetop oven. It was the simplest thing imaginable and just big enough for a pan of biscuits or cornbread. Along with my morning pancakes, those became staples.

Steve
 

Alasgun

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I was in my single digit’s when this all took place and not the astute culinary student i would have been had i foreseen the twist’s life would take in later years. @flowerbug mentioning corn meal gives me an adder to ponder! It’s only on rare occasions we eat them with gravy these days and like you, Applesauce, butter and or maple syrup is the preference these days.

@digitS' , my boat trips come in two forms these days. In the spring i’ll leave the dock and be out in Prince William Sound for roughly 5 days at a time trapping shrimp. From home it’s a 2 1/2 hour drive to the launch then traveling 30-50 miles to the shrimp grounds so it’s simpler to just stay on the boat and anchor in the evenings. Later in the year, i’ll go to Seward for a week or two after salmon and stay in a slip going out each day to fish. Still staying on the boat just tied up in the marina in the evenings or on crappy days. “The boat” is a 25 ft C-dory which is self contained and comfortable for 2 of us yet still trailerable.

this is the results of such a trip, 8-9 gallons of tails.
 

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Alasgun

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@baymule, we lived in Alice for a couple years during which id go over south of Corpus to fish and usually bought those white gulf shrimp from a roadside vendor On the way home. They were awful good! We also liked the Croakers but didn’t care too much for the Trout.
 

baymule

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@baymule, we lived in Alice for a couple years during which id go over south of Corpus to fish and usually bought those white gulf shrimp from a roadside vendor On the way home. They were awful good! We also liked the Croakers but didn’t care too much for the Trout.
Oh yes, the Croakers! They were good. And flounder too, I stuffed them with cornbread and shrimp dressing.
 
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