It is October 14th…

…and yesterday I listened to Christmas music.

I know. How sad is that? Christmas? In October?

I just couldn’t help myself. I was scrolling through my iPod and I was in desperate need of new music. All of a sudden, there was Michael Bublé’s Christmas album from last year. The rest of the afternoon, I was in Elf Land, wishing it was 30 degrees instead of 80 and that there was snow on the ground instead of colorful leaves.

Unfortunately, there are still 71 days until that most wonderful holiday, so I’m blacklisting Christmas tunes until we make our trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving.

On an unrelated note, I converted my new friend at university into a Southerner yesterday. Coming from Washington state, I imagine it must be a very different world for him here in the southeast. We’re always blessing somebody’s heart or getting fussy about if that’s real butter or debating about whether we should go to the tailgate for the high school football games. It’s just our way of living.

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So, I had been promising him that I’d bring him back a Moon Pie from Bell Buckle the next time I went. That opportunity arose yesterday. I went back to school last night and brought him one banana flavored, one chocolate flavored, and one double-decker vanilla flavored Moon Pie. The cashier in Bell Buckle put them all in a bag for me and I wrote “Congratulations on Becoming an Official Southerner” on it. I believe his initial reaction to the best Southern food ever was positive, although he did mix up the word “mushroom” and “marshmallow” when describing them. I really hope this was a genuine mix up. :]

So, today, in honor of living in the South and being a Southern belle, etc, I’ve decided to do some down-home cooking while on my Fall Break. I started this morning with my Grandma’s special recipe for homemade Oatmeal Pancakes. These are so light and fluffy, you don’t even realize they’re healthier for you than the kind you make from Bisquik! If you don’t believe me, I’ve posted the recipe below. Try it for yourself!

You will need:

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup uncooked, rolled oats

1/4 cup (half a stick) melted butter

1 cup All-Purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar

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To start, crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them around until they are scrambled. Add the milk and the oats and stir. I melt my butter in a little cast-iron dish (see photo) on the stove, but you can just as easily pop it in the microwave. Once it’s melted, pour the butter over the mix of eggs/milk/oats and stir it once or twice. Set this aside for 5 minutes.

While you’re waiting on this mixture, get out another bowl and mix together the remaining dry ingredients. No need to sift, just pour together and stir!

After the wet ingredients have set for 5 minutes, add them to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed. This batter will obviously be lumpy because of the oatmeal, but just make sure there is no dry flour floating around anywhere.

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Now for the fun part. I do not nor have I ever used a griddle to make pancakes because I like to make my pancakes the size of basketballs. Baby pancakes just do not work for me. So, you need a skillet – preferably cast-iron – for this part. Grab a stick of butter (for the love of all that is Southern do not use cooking spray) and cut yourself two pats. Throw these into your skillet.

This part is tricky because I have found that all ovens are different. My stove cooks things ridiculously hot. A “low” setting leaves things charred. It’s pretty sad. So, you’ll probably have to play around with temperature settings, but it’s my belief that you are always safe with something on the more medium side of “medium-high.” Let your butter melt and start to bubble (if you burn your butter, just start over; there’s no use even attempting to make a good meal with burned butter), then use a soup ladle to spoon a good amount of batter into your skillet. ImageImage

Use a pancake flipper (yes, that is a very technical term) to flip your cake once the raw surface begins to bubble slightly. If you have never before made pancakes in your life, I recommend practicing with baby cakes first. Otherwise you’ll end up with raw batter everywhere and a destroyed ego.

Because I don’t use a griddle and therefore can’t make more than one pancake at a time, I have to have a way to keep the ones I have already made warm. So, I set my oven to “keep warm” (about 145 degrees Fahrenheit) and stick a ceramic plate inside. Then, after I make each pancake, I put it in the oven. This way, they are still fluffy, warm and delicious by the time I’m ready to serve them. This is also good as I love scrambled eggs to go with pancakes, so I can let the cakes sit in the oven while I cook my eggs and then everything comes out at the right time and temperature.

Well, there you go! Warm and delicious oatmeal pancakes, perfect for a dreary October day. ImageServe these with some Aunt Jemima syrup and you’re all set! If you’re creative, throw some cookie cutters in your skillet and pour your batter into them. Then you get cute pancake shapes!

Enjoy, y’all! And have a great Sunday!

xx Chloe

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