Pancake is described on dictionary.com as "a thin, flat cake of batter fried on both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan; griddlecake or flapjack."
Those of us who enjoy pancakes think they are much more than that. Eating a pancake, imho, brings back some of the happiest memories of my childhood and adult life. We pancake lovers just see a pancake and think of those days when we were children and our mothers were kind enough to make us pancakes. They were not an everyday thing - we had pancakes on special occasions. Perhaps the occasion was Saturday or Sunday, a birthday, Christmas morning; but, one thing was for certain, that pancake made that day special.
I can remember my mother making us pancakes for dinner one evening (actually we had them at night as much as in the morning), and the pancakes were piled high on our plates with whipped cream (the real kind) and strawberries between each layer and then piled high with cream and berries. I cannot remember how old I was (probably between 12 and 15) but remember that meal as if it were yesterday.
Then, I remember the pancakes my former mother-in-law used to make. Charline's pancakes were fluffy and wonderful. They were always made with buttermilk. I can still see that large measuring cup that she made them in. My kids loved those pancakes as well, and I wish my grandkids could remember her pancakes. (Libby Lu does not remember eating her wonderful pancakes.)
Now we have Libby Lu, and she loves pancakes. At first, mine were not good at all. The first time I made them in an iron skillet, and they were black and tasted awful - had to throw them out. I then realized if I cooked them on an electric griddle they would be better, but they were still flat. I finally remembered (after Lauri's remark one day) that buttermilk was the answer. Now, our pancakes are great! Libby Lu's G. P. and Becky gave her a "pancake maker" (as they call it) for Christmas. The first time I used it I didn't read the directions correctly and made a huge mess. "Billy Dave" reminded me that I had the thing upside down. Now, Billy Dave shoots them out of the "pancake maker," and they are all uniform in size and taste wonderful!
Why am I discussing pancakes today? Yesterday morning Billy Dave and Libby Lu brought me pancakes in bed to celebrate Valentine's Day. I must say yesterday was the most wonderful Valentine's Day of my life, and I think that was because of pancakes. I can now add Valentine's Day 2010 in my pancake memory bank and will always have a smile in my heart (and my stomach) for that day - those pancakes - and for those that I love.