Sourdough Pancakes (for Grandpa)

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I woke up feeling fragile this morning.

Some combination of aching muscles, impending goodbyes, recent grief, and a weird night’s sleep* left me feeling groggy and disorientated upon waking. Since my New Year’s resolution could best be summed up as “take care of myself,” I decided today was a chance for some radical self-love in the form of breakfast.

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*Nightmares always feel like such a cheap shot– how can I choose joy and peace if you’re picking on me in my sleep? How am I supposed to wake up and face the day with whales and wars and drowning still floating around in my brain?

I mentioned the other day that we lost my grandpa a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a hard and homesick season, with Christmas and loss and all of us so scattered across the globe. But we’ve been sharing memories back and forth over the internet like we would over a kitchen table, and I have loved welcoming each treasured one as it floats to the surface of my mind.

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Summers for me as a child were wild, Alaskan affairs, full of wandering and discovering and moose. My grandparents had a house in Anchorage and a cabin in Cooper Landing, and we would stay with them– sometimes as a family, sometimes just me. This particular memory has very little specificity to it, just shades of comfort and freedom and love. I’m a little girl, maybe seven or nine, and I’ve just woken up at the cabin, and Grandpa is standing at the stove making sourdough pancakes with a big old smile on his face.

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Since I’ve been bringing my sourdough starter back to life this week and it’s just about to overflow all over the counter, sourdough pancakes seemed like the right choice. Tangy and lighter than normal pancakes, these are decidedly still a treat.

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Sourdough Pancakes
Serves 1, generously

1/2 cup (113 ml) sourdough starter, fed the night before
1/4 cup (31 g) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp oil

  1. Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto a greased, medium hot griddle or skillet. Flip when batter looks dry around the edges and a few holes remain without filling in when bubbles pop.
  3. Cook another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Don’t flip more than once.
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