Lesson 1

Learn to make them, or die trying! 

The Pancake Techniques

Yes, pancakes.   Tasty, fluffy, potentially deadly.  You will learn, and master the art of the pancake, because pancakes are easy.  
 
 
 
You need:
  • A frying pan!

I prefer a small (8 -12") teflon coated pan.  I got mine at Fiesta for $5 and it's lasted me several months so far.  Teflon might cause yummy brain cancer, but really, are you here to cook some pancakes, or whine "Oh no!  It's too dangerous!  I'm going to spend my adult life eating from McDonalds because I'm scared of Teflon!"

Right, moving on.

  • Pancake Mix!

Yeah, making pancake mix is probably easy, but it comes cheap in boxes from the store.  Be sure to read the box, because it comes in two flavors, Complete (which theoretically needs only the addition of milk or water), and Incomplete (which needs eggs, yoghurt, baking soda, and quite possibly uranium).   So make sure you have all the necessary ingredients!  I use the Complete flavor, myself.  Modifiers like Buttermilk or Pinefresh are irrelevant, and can be ignored when selecting your product.

 

  • Plastic Spatula!

 Plastic is important so as to avoid scratching the Teflon coating.  Your spatula is your primary cooking utensil in the kitchen!  Know it well!
 
 
  • Cooking Spray!

Cooking Spray has Many Uses.  You should know them ALL!  According to the above image, it also can be used to produce the royal rainbow.  Use in quick bursts, rather than prolonged saturation to avoid unsightly scar tissue.
 
 
Now you're ready to start!
 
 

Mixing:

 
Ok, measure out however much pancake mix and water you need, and stir it together vigorously in a mixing bowl.   The picture is a Kitchen-Aid Stand mixer, which I don't have.   And my wife and I  covet.
 
Now STIR! STIR! STIR! Vigor is the key ingredient!!
 

Applying Heat to the Pan:

Spray the interior surface of the pan with a quick shot of cooking oil, place it on the burner, and turn the heat to medium. For those of you not familiar with ovens, this is the mid point between low and high, and on my stove at least, means that the indicator arrow is pointing straight down.  Your results may vary,  please try not to injure yourself. Wait 3-5 minuites. Waiting is one of the hardest parts of cooking because you will be tempted to do something else.  This is a fatal error!  At this stage in your cooking, watch impatiently and wait, or things will catch on fire and explode.  
The only remedy for this is  constant vigilance!!!
 

Making the Pancakes

My mother taught me that the most important lesson of pancakes is this:
 
The first pancake must be sacrificed to the pancake gods.   
 
Not eaten, not fed to the cat or in any way "salvaged" in an attempt to cheat the pancake gods, but well and duly sacrificed.  The pancake gods don't mind if they are small pancakes.
 
The practical element of this is that the first pancake to hit the pan soaks up excess oil, and cooks unevenly.  
 
SO, keeping this in mind, pour a small ammount of the pancake mixture into the pan, forming a puddle of proto-pancake abount 3-4 inches across.   Aww!  Isn't cute?   NO!   IT IS NOT.   Remember, CONSTANT VIGALANCE!!!
 
Now, observer carefully what happens!  The proto-cake will start to slowly bubble.  Wait until the majority of the proto-cake is made up of burst bubbles and the surface is visibly dry before attempt flipping the pancake.   
 
 

WARNING

Flipping the pancake is the most difficult part of the entire exercise! 
The primary reasons for flipping related failure are:
  • The Pancake is too Large

Many beginners over-reach their flipping ability or simply succumb to the very real temptation to make giant pancakes.   Pancakes in excess of 7 or 8 inches across are very difficult to flip with a spatula,  and require the more advanced technique of the pan flip.

  • The Pancake is still liquid

Impatience is your enemy!  If your pancake is not dry enough, you may sling hot batter across yourself and your kitchen.  Yet another reason why the pan-flip is an advanced technique.

 

 

Need I say more?    Constant Vigilance!!

  
 
 

Flipping The Pancake

 
Slip the spatula under the edge around the entire circumference of the proto-cake, then slide the entire spatula under it.   At this point, a simple flick of your wrist should accomplish the deed.   The pancake is almost done... usually another 1-2 minuites until the other side is browned suffuciently. 
 
Since this is your first pancake,  it will be horribly discoloured and stained,  indelibly marked by of your inadequacy.  It may not even look like a pancake.  SACRIFICE IT.
 

 
Now! Try these steps again, with larger (6-8") puddle of batter,  and there is a slight possibility that you might succeed.   True pancake mastery only comes with repetition, so I hope you made extra batter, grasshopper.
 

Epilogue:

There are many cooking uses for the ability to scorch liquids in a pan, thus converting them into much more portable and edible solids!  Now that you have learned this basic technique, I highly reccomend that you proceed onward to Lesson 2:  Eggs,  or if you prefer to misuse your hard earned skills, you may proceed directly to the Chupaqueso - How To page, though I will not be held culpable for any damage that imparting this forbidden knowledge causes.

 

Cooking Home

 

Lesson 2: Eggs

 

Chupaqueso - How To 

 

Poison Control

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

Pancakes thirst for your blood!