To say my family was traditional is so true! My mother's family was especially "old country." My grandparents came from Italy when they were in their teens. My grandmother married my grandfather when she was only sixteen! I have their wedding photo hanging on my wall and it takes me back to another time and place.
My grandmother had seven children and my mom was the oldest. When I would visit my maternal grandparents and stay overnight, they often spoke in Italian. I might have felt left out, but I didn't. Italian created a bond between them that was as obvious as their roles. A barber, my grandfather had a shop on the first floor of their two-story row house. His job was to provide for his family and he did. My grandmother's role was to take care of everyone.
So what does this have to do with grandma's pancakes? Once in a while when we routinely went to their house for Sunday supper, my grandmother would forsake tradition! Instead of the usual multi-course meal, she would serve her home-made pancakes and eggs—any way you'd like them. I would help her mix the pancakes in a huge measuring cup with a hand beater afixed to the top. I'll never forget the aroma of those pancakes cooking in her cast iron skillet or their sweet, cake-like, melt-in-your- mouth flavor.
Often on a weekend or on a night we haven't thawed anything for dinner, my husband and I make my grandmother's recipe for pancakes accompanied by scrambled eggs. The meal brings back many memories and feelings from childhood. I have more than one copy of the recipe so I don't lose it. I always want to remember the sense of heritage and family I feel when I enjoy those pancakes. I thought I'd share that recipe here with you.
Grandma's Home-made Pancakes
Beat 4 eggs well by hand (very important)
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder.
Mix until the consistency of cake batter. Drop with ladle onto a medium hot griddle or skillet. (Wait until bubbles form on top surface before flipping.)You can also add cinnamon and serve with apple butter, butter and syrup.
Caprice De Luca, the sleuth in my Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series is from a large Italian family. Based on my own Italian heritage, the De Luca family has been a joy to write about. I hope you enjoy SILENCE OF THE LAMPS, book 5, coming in May 2016.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.