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September 3, 2012 - Mike Donahey
The Donahey kitchen was a busy one over the Labor Day weekend.
My wife, daughters and I were busy making all kinds of goodies inside, while many Marshalltownians were grilling outside.
The stars had aligned just right — our daughters were home and my wife had several days off. My schedule cooperated as well. The last time our family had been together was Christmas, which was much too long of a wait.
I led of Sunday by making a batch of Aunt Jemima’s Whole Wheat pancakes for family brunch. Making the pancakes fluffier and lighter, I’ve found, is adding 12 to 16 ounces of sour cream or plain yogurt. Accordingly, I must give credit to a family friend who suggested the use of sour cream. In the past I’ve added lemon juice as well. But I’ve forgone that as of late. I like the Aunt Jemima product, but my wife suggested I make my own mix — which I plan to do.
However, my wife and daughters were not to be outdone — they followed up with vegetarian lasagna (a family favorite) and groundhog cake. Yes, a groundhog cake. It is a chocolate cake with a unique frosting and the outline of a groundhog made from chocolate and butterscotch chips. It is a tradition started by my wife nearly 40 years ago. She saw the recipe in the Des Moines Register, cut it out, and perfected it.
We’ve celebrated many a Groundhog Day with it, but did not this year, as our daughters were away and I was preparing to depart Feb. 4 for a church mission trip to Africa. It was worth the wait. I’m blessed my wife and daughters have white thumbs and it is evident at least a little of it has rubbed off on me. I've learned good things can happen in the kitchen if one can follow a recipe.
Aunt Jemima, look out.