Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Supper/Blueberry Pancakes

The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook
Receipts for Very Special Occasions
By Mary Mason Campbell
Illustrated by Tasha Tudor

I grew up with a butt'ry, and this old farmhouse had one, too, until we knocked down the wall and made it part of the kitchen. And though it is not a separate room now, that part of the kitchen is used just as a butt'ry would be. Here is the way it is described in this beautiful cookbook.

City people used to have pantries. The country counterpart of the pantry was called a "butt'ry." In occasional hidden corners of New England, this country room may still be found in use, but only the most old-fashioned houses, loved and lived in by the most old-fashioned kind of people, have a "butt'ry" these days.

The butt'ry (properly spelled buttery, of course) is a small room with a smell of good things to eat and a look of delicious plenty. It is located next to the kitchen in the cool corner of the house. Its window is shaded in summer by a crab-apple tree. We can watch a robin and her mate busily raising their family in the nest tucked between branches. We can reach out the window with a long-nosed watering can to give a drink to the fuchsia and begonia plants trailing their flowery stems in the dappled shade of the leaves. Through the window, we watch the lilacs and the old-fashioned roses come into bloom, and enjoy a view of the perennial border against its background of gray stone wall as its colors and patterns change from the daffodils of early spring to the last flowering chrysanthemum of autumn.

This most appealing description goes on for several pages, telling the reader of all the wonderful foods and ingredients which are stored in such a room. I have read these words many, many times and find them achingly nostalgic. They paint a picture of the physical details of the butt'ry which tell us much about how it was used, and how life was lived in older times. I love this book which is filled with receipts, the old-fashioned word for recipes, for holidays throughout the year. There are stories about the fun which was had on Valentine's Day and Easter Breakfast and the Thimble Tea and the Quilting Bee. Tonight's Sunday Supper recipe comes from Fourth of July Breakfast and it is:

Blueberry Pancakes

In a small bowl, whisk together well 1 egg, 1 cup milk, and 2 rounded Tbs. sour cream.

Into a larger bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. mace, 1 Tbs. sugar, and 1 Tbs. baking powder.

Into this dry mixture, pour the liquid and beat well with wire whisk or egg beater. Add 2 Tbs. melted and cooled butter and stir until mixed. If you like pancakes thin, add a bit more milk, perhaps 1/4 cup.

Fold in 1 cup blueberries. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other; turn only once.

The batter is light and delicious even without the blueberries. Serve with plenty of fresh butter and maple syrup in generous pitcherfuls. This receipt makes about a dozen pancakes.

My notes:

I used the Kitchen Aid mixer.
I used an electric fry pan sprayed with cooking spray.
I used 1 teaspoon baking powder, not 1 tablespoon. It just seemed like too much to me.
I didn't use mace.
Lastly, and most important, they taste wonderful. Utterly delicious!


  1. Did you use regular white flour or half white, half whole wheat?

  2. Half of each. I do that in pretty much all these sorts of items. I use the King Arthur organic whole wheat flour (green bag) and the King Arthur organic artisan all-purpose flour (blue bag). It works out perfectly!

  3. I have that cookbook and enjoy it greatly, too. My copy is tattered and spotted from decades of use.
    Jeanne :)

  4. Hi Nan,

    (This is just a private question and doesn't need to be approved/published)

    Please help!
    I think you changed something in your blog template and you no longer have any feeds available. This means your updates aren't coming up on Bloglines, etc. anymore. Not sure if this happened by accident when you changed something else? If possible, please change it back via : Dashboard, Settings, Site Feed, Allow Blog Feeds - Full.

    I miss getting the updates for your beautiful blog entries!

    Thanks! Jeanne

  5. Jeanne, I decided to publish your comment in case others are having this problem too. In fact, I might do a blog entry. I ended up changing the blog feed thing because some garden bloggers had their blog entries "stolen" and used somewhere else, and someone said the solution was to allow only partial blog feeds, and I thought I'd just not allow any. I might go change it to the partial and read more about the whole problem. I'm sorry. I guess I really don't get some of this stuff. :<(

  6. Partial should be better than none. Sorry to hear you're having issues with this -- I hope you can find a level of blog management that's comfortable for you.

    (Also you have yourself set as 'no reply' so I'm only able to communicate with you here via a comment.)

    Have a nice evening ~ Jeanne

  7. Those look scrumptious! I love the description of the butt'ry - this looks live a well loved part of your cookbook collection.

    p.s. I have also noticed that bloglines isn't picking you up anymore.

  8. Jeanne and Tara, I hope the problem is corrected now. The only thing, Jeanne, is that I don't know what the "no reply" thing is. I couldn't find any setting anywhere about it. I have chosen not to have an email address posted; is that what you mean?

    And I do love that cookbook so much!

  9. Thanks, Nan! You're coming through on Bloglines again.

    Re: 'no reply' setting -- with many blogs, I get comments in my email and I can just reply back that way. I guess it must be because you have your email blocked.


  10. Ok ...just tried these, as Pancakes were requested for breakfast and I'm 'not good' at pancakes

    didn't have the sour cream... but fortunately the recipe didn't take offence

    Audience response..."can I give a compliment...?...These are YUMMY!"

    I said I'd let you know :0)
    that was from youngest d (6)

    I've just turned around to the table..they are munching as I type and there is just 1 pancake left and I donb't think that's going to be there in a second and I haven't even tasted them...

    "are you going to let her know that I'm on my third pancake?"
    eldest d (7)

    I've been asked to tell you that "blueberries are her favourite thing!"

    So thanks Nan from two very happy girls and Happy February !!!!!!

  11. Oh, Val, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write and tell me. You've made my day! What dear children. I am smiling so much, and couldn't be happier that they liked them so much. You'll have to make 'em again so you can have some!


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