I stepped back in time this morning into my grandfather's 1970's truck camper. The malty sweet hue drifted into my nose and the crackle cooking swept into my ears.
"Do you want a lead balloon?" he used to ask me as a child eagerly sitting in the canvas covered bench awaiting what were his buckwheat pancakes.
"Yes, please. Grandpa." I would respond.
He would heave one, and if I was lucky two, "lead balloons" onto my plate from the small electric griddle.
I never knew how he could make them fit the size of the plate with such exactitude, but I loved that I could attempt to drown the pancakes in Knotts Berry farm syrup. It was always blackberry. The purple hue contrasted well with the spotted cement colored pancakes.
Our prayer, short and sweet, was still never short enough for the oodles of syrup to be sucked up by the lead balloons.
I have moved on from lead balloon pancakes to light and yeasty buckwheat waffles, but I continue the tradition of serving them with Marionberry Syrup.
Berry syrup fills the waffle caves and makes every bite taste just a little bit better. Or maybe it's the fact that I see myself sitting with my Grandpa sharing a hot lead balloon.
Hands up for the life experiences of our grandparents!
What's your favorite grandparent story?
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons canola oil or butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blueberries
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 1/4 cup warm water and stir in the one teaspoon of sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Put the warm milk and salt in a large bowl, then add the yeast mixture and whisk in the flours. Cover and refrigerate overnight if the weather is warm or leave out on the counter if it's cool.
Next morning, add the sugar, oil, eggs, and soda. Cook according to your waffle iron's instructions. The batter will be thin but a Belgian style waffle maker can be used.
Enjoy with Marionberry or Blackberry syrup!