The Almighty Spatula
Smiles in the Kitchen
If I Could Only Have One Kitchen Gadget, it would be.....
My best spatula! I don't mean the rubber spatulas that you use to scrape the sides of bowls or stir up what you're cooking in a frying pan, I mean a good old fashioned pancake flipper type spatula. I've often wondered what people used before the high tech silicone spatulas became available. How did they flip their pancakes and burgers?
The Cat Spatula
My Pancake Flipping Days!
I started making pancakes at an early age
A spatula is one of my favorite kitchen utensils because I've been using one almost my whole life and I've learned that I can count on them whenever I'm in the kitchen. I started using a spatula when I was 4 years old. I was an early riser and on many occasions, my mom would wake up to the smell of pancakes. Yes, I started making pancakes when I was 4 years old - not the box kind either. They were the good old fashioned homemade ones!
The only problem with my pancakes was that many of them ended up raw in the middle. My mom worked at a restaurant and one morning, very early, before the restaurant opened, they had all the employees come in and they made a big breakfast feast. They took me into the kitchen where one of the chefs taught me how to make sure my pancakes were cooked all the way through. I've never had a raw pancake since that day!
Good 'Ol Betty Crocker
The Best Pancake Recipe
This is the pancake recipe that I followed when I was a child. It was in an old Betty Crocker cookbook. The book in the picture is the 1988 version that I've been using for a long time. The page is all full of pancake batter from who knows when and part of the next page is stuck to it but the recipe is still the best. It's a basic recipe using basic ingredients.
Serves: Nine 4-inch pancakes
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- or vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Beat egg with hand beater until fluffy; beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1/4 cup milk. Grease heated griddle if necessary. (To test griddle, sprinkle with few drops of water. If dribbles skitter around, heat is just right.)
- For each pancake, pour about 3 tablespoons of batter from tip of large spoon or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed up around edges. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.
Which one do you call a Spatula?
After all this debate about whether it's a spatula or a turner, I'm curious what you call it.
Which do you think of first when you hear spatula?
Spatulas or Turners? - Someone must know the answer!
Here's a few links that might help clear things up... Umm, or maybe not?
Blogs that might have the answers!
- Spatula or Turner? That is the question.
Kitchen Boy has some good descriptions of spatulas too.
- Kitchen Tools 101: Is It a Spatula, a Turner, a Flipper, or What?
Good descriptions of the different types of spatulas!
- How do I choose the best pancake turner?
This article describes the differences between metal, wood, silicon, and nylon pancake flippers.
Do You Need a Silicone Spatula? - They make flipping easy!
Apparently you can find them on Amazon as pancake turners but you can find them using spatula too. :) You can find many different ones that are the right shape and size for flipping your pancakes. You want one that's a bit rounded so that it holds the entire pancake and you don't get batter all over the place when you flip. But don't get one that's too big or you won't have room to flip your pancake either. Look for one that's about the size of the pancakes that you like to eat.
This one is the perfect size for pancakes! It has nice rounded edges so the whole pancake stays on the spatula. The batter doesn't splash all over if you flip them fast enough! Sorry there's no picture due to website regulations. You'll need to click over to see it.
My Spatula Collection
Why are there so many spatulas?
I have all different shapes and sizes of spatulas. This is only some of them and I have different uses for each one. Some are the perfect shape for pancakes and some are better for burgers. Even eggs have their own special spatula. They are all made of nylon or silicone. I have a nice stainless spatula too but I normally only use that on the grill or my cast iron pans. Metal spatulas can scrape non-stick pans so I'm careful not to use them together.
I Love These Little Pampered Chef Micro Spatulas - Mini Spatulas come in handy for lots of things!
I've had many of the little Pampered Chef spatulas. They are the perfect size for taking along to a potluck for dishing up things like brownies and bars. They are fairly inexpensive and last a long time.
Animal Spatula Set
Great for kids learning to cook!
I went to a kitchen store to find different spatulas and they were all pretty much the same as my black nylon collection, except for these 4. There's a smiley face, a cat, a dog, and a frog. Since I can't resist a good spatula, I did end up buying a few of them! Once I've had a chance to try them, I'll let you know how they work.
Update: They work okay. The cat ears are a little weird to work with but they are kind of fun and cute to use.
Blueberries, Raspberries, Pecans.....
I love lots of different things in my pancakes but my favorite is blueberries. My other favorite is bacon. Pancakes with bacon and syrup. Yum!!
What's your favorite pancake addition?
Need a Betty Crocker Cookbook?
You can find plenty of good deals on Betty Crocker Cookbooks on Amazon. It doesn't matter how old the book is, you'll always get a great pancake recipe! It's a basic recipe that doesn't call for anything but basic food items that most kitchens already have. Enjoy some pancakes today!
You can find recipes for dinner, lunch, breakfast and appetizers all updated with the foods you use the most today. This book also makes a great wedding gift.
Variety is Key!
Pancakes are so versatile. I think that's why I like them so much. My favorite addition is blueberries but you can add pretty much anything - Strawberries, apples and cinnamon, chocolate chips, nuts and bacon.
Syrups come in lots of varieties too - maple, blueberry, strawberry, butter pecan, and many more.
I Bet You Want to Know!!
Did you think I forgot?
Want to know what the chef told me is the secret to making pancakes just right?
She said to make sure that the stove is turned up to a high enough heat, but not too hot. (It takes some practice but you'll get it!) Pour the batter on the pan and then wait until the whole thing gets bubbles. They'll start around the edges where it's thinner but make sure you wait until you see bubbles in the center, then you can flip them! As long as you do that, you'll have perfect pancakes every time!
I LOVE CREPES TOO!!! - My Next Favorite Thing to Flip
I love crepes. It took my mom a long time to get me to try crepes but once I did, I was hooked! My favorite way to prepare them is with blueberries and whipped cream on the inside and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Mmmmmm.... they're so yummy!
Which do you prefer?
Themed Spatulas Really Do Make Cool Gifts!
Spatulas come in all different shapes and sizes and make great gifts. The ones I have are all shaped like animals but you can find them in lots of other shapes too. For example, you can find one shaped like the Starship Enterprise, some are shaped like Santa Claus and there's even a spatula for featuring Dr. Who.
What? There's a spatula floating in space?
- A Spatula Lost in Space
Astronauts have lost some strange things in space. One of them is a spatula. Read the article to find out how it happened and what the other 7 weird pieces of space junk are.
The Almighty Spatula
Another Important Kitchen Tool to Have is A Good Measuring Cup
One other very important lesson I learned is that sometimes a good measuring cup is a necessity to make a recipe just right! Sometimes a small amount makes a big difference. It can make a difference in how thick or heavy your pancakes turn out. It's also the reason why sometimes you have big fluffy pancakes and sometimes they're thin and flat.