Making the Most of Your
Chapter 12 "Delicious Breakfast Treats"
There is nothing that you can learn or teach your daughters to do that will bring you more praise and satisfaction than learning to bake from scratch. I have to laugh at how every home needs to have this state of the art kitchen with stainless steal appliances, yet most girls today have no idea how to cook or bake! Crazy!
Since I, too, was one of these crazy girls who didn’t know how to cook and never baked one thing in my life before I married (which included even a box mix), I learned how easy it really was and how terribly satisfying it is. That is why I taught my daughters to bake at a young age, which led to them wanting to cook.
When you think about it, an education is not as important as learning and mastering something that you are going to do everyday, up to three times a day. Store bought (as my late Great-Grandma Brown used to call it) tastes absolutely nothing like baked from scratch. The prepared or box mixes are not that much better; however, for some baked treats they do turn out better than scratch: cakes and piecrust to be specific.
The pie recipe in this chapter was my first success at baking, which gave me the courage to try more things. The Lord was with me (and giving me the desires of my heart) one date night, when I was still married, and my husband stumbled on a blue ribbon recipe book in large bookstore. It was full of baked goods that had won a blue ribbon at the state fair. I changed them just a bit by making everything just a bit sweeter!
The rest of the recipes I am sharing are those that women have given me over the years as I confessed to not being able to bake. Ladies, I am now known for my delicious baked goods. Therefore, any one of you, just by following the recipe, can bless your family and friends. “Her children rise up and bless her; her Husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all’” (Prov. 31:28–29).
Erin’s Buttermilk Pancakes (and Waffles)
Every time I make these pancakes, I get rave reviews. The same lady who helped me bake my first pie gave this recipe to me, but it was as a whole-wheat pancake. This makes quite a bit to feed a family or to use as a quick breakfast during your busy week. They can be reheated in the microwave, but are tastier when put them in the toaster lightly done!
2 C flour
2 C buttermilk
2 T. oil
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
It’s so easy. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl with the mixer on slow, then on high. Once it is completely mixed, do not mix again. Cook on a 350˚ griddle. This batter can be poured on a waffle iron for light and crispy waffles (if you want them more chewy increase the oil). I usually make up extra batter, and use the leftover to make up waffles to keep in the freezer to just pop in the toaster.
Ever since we moved to Missouri, I have had to add more liquid for the consistency that my family likes. If you like them “cakey,” use less liquid. If you like them thin, use more liquid.
I also found that I had lighter pancakes when I use self-rising flour for 1/4 of the flour. Use unbleached white flour for a more natural, flavorful taste, or go organic for the same great flavor, which is now what I use.
Pancake Variations: To make Swedish pancakes: remove one fourth of the flour and add an extra egg; they are thinner and taste a bit more “eggy.”
For a real treat, I make the second half of the batch chocolate chips pancakes! My children rave about them to all of their friends!! I like using the “mini” chocolate chips! When you have made all the plain pancakes that you want, then pour some chocolate chips into your batter and fold them in. These are my favorites too!!
For waffles: I had heard that it would require more oil, so I experimented with it. With my new Belgium waffle maker, the best consistency, I believe, is when the oil ratio stays the same. They are a bit crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. However, with my old regular waffle iron, they were too crispy. Test this yourself; keep all the other ingredients the same, just vary one tablespoon of oil and increase it according to your family’s taste!
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Biscuits
You can’t live in the South without knowing how to make good biscuits. I used to love biscuits, and I ordered them whenever we went out. Then, I learned to make my own! Now I don’t enjoy eating anyone else’s. These will give you rave reviews.
One night, we were asked to bring something for a homeschool potluck. I made up a huge batch of these biscuits. A lady came over to our table to ask why my children had snuck up to the buffet line and were hiding something under their napkins. They each had smuggled two biscuits before anyone could get them! Needless to say, she (and most of the mothers there) begged me for the recipe!
On another occasion, my second son, Axel, used to help pick up day-old baked goods from a local bakery to give to the poor. An older man would pick him up quite early for the task. One morning, I got up early and made up a batch of these biscuits and some delicious coffee (I’ll give you the secret to great coffee after the scones below) to share with his elderly driver. The following week, my son panicked when he noticed this gentleman sitting out front almost an hour before they were scheduled to go—it was still dark! He was waiting for the biscuits, and this time he brought his own mug for my coffee!
2 C flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1/3 C shortening
1 C buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450˚. Sift flour, powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Using a hand-held pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well (or hole) in the dry ingredients to hold the liquid, and pour in the buttermilk. Using a fork, stir quickly until the dough follows the fork around the bowl. (If you make huge batches like I do, then use a large serving fork to make it so much easier to mix!)
Turn the batter onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 10–12 times. (If you over knead quick breads they may look great, but they are like rubber. So do NOT over knead biscuits, scones, or the damper—any quick bread.) Pat the dough about 1/2 inch thick (you can use a rolling pin to make them an even thickness).
Dip a round biscuit cutter (or use the top of a glass like my mother did) into the flour between every few cuts. Cut dough straight down; do not twist the cutter.
Place one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 12–15 minutes at 450˚ or until they are light golden brown on top. (If they are ever doughy inside, it may be that they are too thick, so just pat or roll them thinner the next time.)
I found this recipe in a magazine many years ago. My family fell in love with it. One night, I met a woman from Scotland, and she begged me for the recipe. It seems her husband, an American, was disappointed that she was unable to make him Scottish Scones. A few weeks later, when I walked into the store where she worked, I thought she was going to leap over the counter when she saw me. She said that this recipe totally changed their marriage, and she is now married to “the happiest man on earth!” However, a few months later, she said that he had put on quite a few pounds!
2 C flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1/3 C butter (6 T. sliced thin)
3/4 C buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
A little milk for the top
Combine the top five ingredients; then, cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until very fine. Add the buttermilk and egg. Stir with a fork until moist. Knead only five to six times (no more). Divide the dough in half; pat each half into a circle. Cut each circle into eight (pizza type) wedges with a sharp knife that you continue to dip in flour. Place them an inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake at 425˚ for 12–15 minutes. Serve hot!
*If you had my recipe from a previous edition you may notice that I didn’t say anything about having the butter VERY cold, which I heard made all the difference in the world regarding texture. This made the cutting in VERY hard so I really didn’t like making these. Then one day while praying about a way to cut them in easier, the Lord had me try softening the butter. Ladies, neither my family nor I could taste or see any difference! They now are as easy as the buttermilk biscuits to make! Isn’t God awesome when we seek Him for the answers to our dilemmas?!
Overnight Coffee Cake
Every Easter, instead of celebrating with eggs and the bunny, we have a Hallelujah Breakfast—Jesus has risen! I make this up the night before. It is simply delicious!
We also have a turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner. We thank the Lord for dying on the cross, and thank God for sending His Son. We are too busy to do it on Easter Sunday this year, so we will celebrate our Hallelujah Breakfast on Saturday.
2 C flour
1 C sugar
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C butter (1 stick & 2 T)
2 large eggs
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
Combine the first six ingredients; next, add buttermilk, butter, and eggs. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moist; beat at medium speed another three minutes. Spoon or pour the batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2 pan. Combine the last two ingredients, and spread it over the batter with your hand. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Uncover and bake at 350˚ for 30–35 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean from the center. Serve warm.
This is basically a large biscuit recipe from “down under.” Ladies, it’s so EASY—there are only three ingredients!
Cut two sticks of butter or margarine into six cups of self-rising flour with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add one cup of buttermilk and stir with a fork until moist. Knead three–four times (no more). Cut dough in half and form two round mounds. Cut an “x” in the top of both with a steak knife. Brush with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425˚ for 25–28 minutes until slightly brown. Serve warm with jam.
Tip: When cleaning up flour from the surface after you are done kneading, use a DRY cloth or paper towel for easy clean up. Move the trashcan next to the counter and wipe. Then follow up with a wet cloth afterwards.
Tip: When washing anything that is greasy, wipe it as clean as you can with a paper towel (or the cheaper napkin). Grease is what clogs drains, and if you have a septic, what prevents food from being absorbed into the earth.
I buy the long French loaves that are already partially cut on a diagonal, but any kind of bread will do.
Mix three eggs
3/4 cup milk (make it sometimes with buttermilk for a different flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dip and cook on a 350˚ “buttered” griddle. I rip half of the butter wrapper off and rub it over the hot griddle. It makes it tasty!
By using different breads, you can make many different kinds of French toast. My favorite is using cinnamon raisin bread, and my family likes Texas toast (that is just white bread cut thicker) and even simple white bread!
Sprinkle powdered sugar for a beautiful presentation or cinnamon sugar on the top for a different taste.
It is important when you want to be a good hostess to be able to make great coffee—whether you drink it or not. Great-Grandma Brown tried to hint that I needed help with my coffee during one of her yearly visits before she passed away. Once I got the hint, I said, “Grandma, please tell me what to do!” This is what she told me.
First, make sure your coffee pot stays clean. If used daily, clean it once a month by pouring vinegar through followed by two water brews.
Next, make sure the strength is not too strong, not too weak, but “just right.” Measure one rounded kitchen teaspoon per cup of coffee. We recently bought a coffee scoop that equals 3 rounded teaspoons full of coffee.
*However, since coffee has become so popular with espresso and the darker richer coffees being more popular, I began DOUBLING this recipe.
Now, for the final secret—this was the Lord’s doing. We used to have cell group meetings in our home way back when we lived in California. Our group consisted of two coffee addicts! I was totally unprepared for our first meeting. I could quickly see that I was going to run out of regular coffee. After I prayed, I thought I might “stretch” the regular coffee by mixing half regular and half decaffeinated together. Everyone went WILD! The group drank all the coffee I had in the house that night!
I began to buy one can of each (decaffeinated and regular) and mix them together, until I realized that the coffee companies make 1/2 and 1/2 now (half caff). If you are buying your coffee and mixing, just make sure you buy two different brands when selecting your decaffeinated and regular. I store my coffee in the freezer to keep it fresh after opening.
Ever since that night, I have given this secret of great coffee out to my friends. Those who follow the above steps come back to tell me the praises they now receive for their coffee!
Tip: Grandma Brown also made me buy new dish towels. I used the thick ones (terry cloth) that were intended for drying hands, not dishes. Dish towels are very thin, and they don’t leave lint. I bought a bundle of them at a warehouse store years ago, and they lasted for years!
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As an “Older women likewise…teaching what is good, that they may ENCOURAGE the young women…” (Titus 2:3) you will have the opportunity to speak to the younger women who are still single as part of your ministry.