Retro Recipes: Sour Milk Pancakes

Mmmm... Sour Milk.

Mmmm… Sour Milk.

I love getting new recipes – who doesn’t?  Sometimes the best new recipes are old recipes.  It seems that whenever I pick up a recipe box or vintage cookbook, there is one page that is dog-eared and covered with flour – you can tell that the cook had come back to that one again and again.  In my last Retro Recipes post I featured ‘White Sauce’, which was certainly the go-to recipe from that collection!

This time I want to feature what appears to be another go-to recipe, Sour Milk Pancakes.  Recently we were at an older home, pawing through the cupboards, and found two recipe cards taped to the inside of the cupboard door – Sour Milk Pancakes and Biscuits Supreme.  I already have a go-to biscuit recipe for Cat Head Biscuits, rumored to be the kind preferred by Elvis.  You guessed it, they’re the size of a cat’s head.  So, Sour Milk Pancakes it is!  There’s nothing like breakfast for dinner.

Go-to recipes are used frequently for a reason – usually, it’s because they are easy!  This recipe is for a super easy buttermilk batter, and they didn’t bother to include any more instructions than that.  Thankfully, I know how to make pancakes.  The batter was really thick and didn’t spread in the hot pan, so these were a bit oddly shaped – but they still turned out to be pretty delicious!  I don’t usually use buttermilk in my pancakes, but these were good.  I can see why they got taped to the inside of the cupboard door.

A little misshapen - but tasty!

A little misshapen – but tasty!

Try them yourself and taste the past!  If I made them again, I would add blueberries.  And re-name them Buttermilk Pancakes.  It just sounds better, don’t you think?


Sour Milk Pancakes

Batter: –

1 t. baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. sugar, pinch of salt
2 cups sifted flour
1 T. melted butter
1 ttt. baking powder. *

Dissolve soda in buttermilk.  Stir in eggs.  Add sugar and salt.  Beat in flour a little at atime.  Add butter and baking powder.

*I believe they meant 1 teaspoon?  A mystery.  A delicious mystery.

Retro Recipes: Classic White Sauce

Clearly, I have too many cookie jars.

Clearly, I have too many cookie jars.

I love cooking, and I love collecting recipes.  Lots of us have recipe boxes that we’ve inherited – I have my grandmother’s, and my husband’s grandmother’s.  I also have a few of these little recipe boxes that I use for storing things like post cards or note cards.  They’re really sturdy since they’re metal, and they come in all sorts of fun patterns like this green daisy print.

I picked these two boxes up at a home in the Pittsburgh suburbs, and when I looked at them more closely I saw one still had a few recipes inside.  I thought it would be fun to feature some classic recipes on this blog, and this seems like a great place to start.

Green = Good

Green = Good

This box only has a handful of recipes in it – but a few of them have one thing in common: white sauce.  There’s a recipe for eggs and peas on toast – covered in white sauce.  There’s a recipe for ham and cheese – covered with white sauce or cheese sauce.  What’s in the cheese sauce?  White sauce and cheese.  Clearly, this recipe was this homemaker’s staple dish!

Anything involving bow ties is delicious.

Anything involving bow ties is delicious.

I appreciated the final instruction on the card – “Add Whatever”.  My whatever turned out to be asparagus tossed with parsley, Parmesan, garlic, and lemon, served over pasta with lots of pepper.  Asparagus tastes like spring, doesn’t it?

Following the instructions was easy, because yes, this is a basic glossy white sauce!  I made a roux from butter and flour, added milk (I used soy milk) – and yep.  White sauce.  I blanched the asparagus in boiling water for a few minutes, and then tossed it with herbs, cheese, lemon zest and juice. The whole thing turned out pretty good!  Probably better than eggs and peas on toast, at least.

If you’re interested in recreating more of this lady’s inspired cuisine, you can purchase these recipe boxes here in our Etsy shop.

 White Sauce

4 Tbs Marg
2 Cups Milk
4 Tbs Flour
Salt to Taste

Over low heat – melt marg. Slowly add flour – stirring constantly – add milk – increase heat – bring to boil – reduce heat to low – add whatever