We’re back from a pleasant visit to Vermont. It was surprisingly relaxing. On the way down, I was irked by the lazy winding roads, slow drivers and relaxing landscape- I wanted a four lane highway where I could pick up speed. By the time we were coming home, I was calmly reflecting how pretty it all was, and how smart Vermonters were not to implement hideous interstates all over their pretty countryside.
My Gramie coddled us and tried to feed us constantly. This has always been one of my grandmother’s gifts: food and what she calls country cooking. We happily ate and ate: chicken pot pie, plum jam, eggs and bacon, fresh sweet corn on the cob, fresh peppered carrots, braised beef, potato salad, bran muffins, pancakes, cheese, baked beans, turkey, fresh tomatoes from her garden, shrimp, ham, etc. When I was a kid, I would hardly have eaten anything on that list, but it all seemed so delicious now. She loves food, loves to feed people, and gather family around her. She knows what good food is, and what it’s capable of.
Here’s the recipe for her New England Griddlecakes that we ate with Vermont maple syrup. It’s from the Encyclopedic Cookbook, a falling apart version of which I inherited from my mother. Once my Grampa saw how much my Gramie liked hers, he bought a copy (in Georgia) for all of his daughters. I’ve been flipping through this book all of my life. The recipe actually calls for sour milk, but Gramie loves buttermilk and substituted it with flavourful, fluffy results.
New England Griddlecakes
1 ½ C flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ C buttermilk
3 Tbsp melted shortening
1. Sift dry ingredients together.
2. Beat egg, buttermilk, and melted shortening together.
3. Add liquid mixture gradually to dry ingredients, stirring constantly to keep it smooth.
4. Drop onto a hot greased griddle.
5. Cook slowly until the top is riddled with bubbles. Turn over and brown the other side.
6. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.
Makes 2 dozen small cakes.