Working quickly, I oiled the large flat-top griddle and dropped white circles of pancake batter that looked like little glowing moons into the sizzling fat. As soon as I put the bowl of batter down, I was flipping the golden flapjacks to cook on the other side. The hot pancakes steamed in the cool, crisp fall air as they were whisked away for waiting, pancake-hungry customers.
Little did I know that when I traveled home to Nebraska the first weekend in October, I would be flipping pancakes for over 80 people. Since living in New York City, every fall season I need to fly home at least for one weekend just so I can visit my parents’ pumpkin patch. I miss it terribly, so this year I flew back home as soon as possible. And I just happened to be home for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch’s first ever pancake breakfast.
One of the inspirations for this pancake feast was my Grandpa Chuck’s recipe for buttermilk pancakes. These are no box-mix, just-add-water pancakes. These are the real deal, and to this day I’ve never had a better buttermilk pancake. These pancakes have a golden, lightly fried crisp texture on the outside, and they are seductively fluffy on the inside.
And since we’re a pumpkin patch, we also whipped up from-scratch pumpkin pancakes — so good! If you can’t wait until next year’s Vala’s Pancake Breakfast, here’s the pumpkin pancake recipe we used for inspiration. Whip up a batch this weekend for an awesome October treat!
Written by Kelsey Vala. Kelsey is the youngest of three Vala sisters. She graduated from New York University last May and is currently working for FoodNetwork.com in New York City.