When I run “pancakes” through an online translator, the Portuguese word it comes back with is “panquecas.” My full-blooded Portuguese grandma says the old folks she knew used to call them “pan-koksh.” Come to think of it, that might just be the regular English word muttered through a mouthful of linguiça. Anyway, I split the difference between the two pronunciations and settled on referring to both the food and my carbohydrate-loving grandma as pancakash (pronunciation key above). As a sign of respect, I capitalize the P when I am referring to my grandmother as a pancake.
So far, this is all true. I’m not sure why I’d make it up.
I am, unfortunately, one of those people who falls hard for anything pumpkin this time of year. (Well, maybe not Pumpkin Spice Lattes since I am not independently wealthy.) A few years back, I came upon a nice, simple pumpkin pancake recipe that has held me in good stead. It’s basically just regular old Krusteaz pancakes with some brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and canned pumpkin added to the mix. To wit:
- 2 cups Krusteaz pancake mix
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ¼ cup cold water
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Fry ’em up like pancakes.
Dead simple, but works like a charm.
Besides pancakes, Pancakash (notice the capitalized P, signifying the person) also likes polkas. This is a mostly acceptable character flaw that only really becomes an issue after the second hour of listening to Frankie Yankovic records, when you begin to imagine your every footfall as the squeeze of an accordion. Taken one or two at a time, polkas are fine and should not compromise your sanity in any lasting way.
Still, the fun of listening to a polka hardly compares to the fun of being forced to sing one first thing in the morning under threat of starvation. Or at least that has always been my theory. With this in mind, one morning at the old homestead last fall, I mentally composed a “Pumpkin Pancakash Polka” while frying up a stack… and then refused to serve anyone who wouldn’t sing the whole song back to me from a lyric sheet.
So it was that I heard Mom, in her fifties, and Pancakash, in her eighties, sing for their breakfasts. They were such good sports that we concluded by doing a trio version of the polka, each taking a verse.
Sounds like a small thing, but it’s hard to have a rotten day when you start out by singing a polka about pancakes. If you’re going to try the recipe, try the lyrics too. I’ll even include both together in an easily downloadable, printable PDF.
Pumpkin Pancakash Polka
Pumpkin pancakash are so much fun to eat
Pumpkin pancakash are such a tasty treat
Pumpkin pancakash are bound to make you smile
Pumpkin pancakash, we’ll have some in a while
Pumpkin pancakash from Krusteaz or from scratch
Pumpkin pancakash, let’s make a big old batch
Pumpkin pancakash can be fluffier or thinner
Pumpkin pancakash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Pumpkin pancakash will be done before you know
Pumpkin pancakash are savory flaps of dough
Pumpkin pancakash are high in vitamin A
Pumpkin pancakash will brighten up your day
Pumpkin pancakash, that’s all I’ve got to say
(everybody) Hey, pancakash!
If someone plays the accordion, it’s even better. Or worse.