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Sunday, January 8, 2012

“Breakfast Spectacular, Pt. I: Buckwheat Pancakes—a Blast from the Pioneer Past by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall”

The Grateful Dead’s one-hundred-and-twenty-ninth album of sorts as it’s a solo effort by the Jerry Garcia Band is entitled, “Cats under the Stars,” and it was released in 1978. This is an album that we consider to be a part of the Grateful Dead catalog even though none of the songs we’re performed by the band in concert that we know of.  We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 348 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!




Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

END Commentary 01-09-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,633.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, January 09, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall


Breakfast Spectacular, Pt. I: Buckwheat Pancakes—a Blast from the Pioneer Past by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Bakersfield, CA, 01-09-2012 M: Greetings, friends, it’s been a long time since last I wrote a blog post for the one-and-only Stinkbug: back on August 07, 2011, a Monday morning which is approximately FOUR months ago.  Who could ask for a job better than that? Write for one week and then be off for four months! I love it, this is the best blog on the Internet to write for and I feel privileged to do so.  I also feel quite privileged to be the one to begin a new series today, the BREAKFAST SPECTACULAR! We are going to take a comprehensive look at breakfast foods for the rest of the week and even though we did an Easter Menu last year for a brunch (February 25 to March 10, 2011, Special Menus, Parts I-XIV authored by Brian Carrick, Goldie McNamara, Gervais Krinkelmeier, and Lilah Paulikovich), this series is going to include a wide variety of items plus maybe I’ll borrow some of the items from those earlier posts.  Whatever way you choose to look at it, it’s going to be fun, informative, and exciting and I ask you to find a comparable site for your foodservice information.  Remember: we have about 23 authors here who have put at least 30-50 years or more into their foodservice careers so let’s say each one has 35 years under their belts, that’s a combined total of: EIGHT-HUNDRED-AND-FIVE YEARS’ EXPERIENCE! Who the heck else out there on the Internet has that kind of knowledge, I ask you? NO ONE!

Buckwheat pancakes is our first recipe for the Breakfast Spectacular Series and since it’s the wintertime right now, that means, it’s the perfect time for a stack of hotcakes.  I remember when I began working in restaurants so long ago; buckwheat was still a popular item that many of the older folks enjoyed including my grandparents who grew up eating buckwheat products.  Buckwheat is a grain we associate with the pioneers moving in wagon trains across the western landscape to the California and Oregon territories.  The interesting thing is, buckwheat flour came from farther east—like Eastern Europe—and was brought to America’s shores by immigrants from those environs.  It is hearty flour; it can withstand difficult weather cycles and can be made into a variety of things.  If used in yeast breads, it’s normally combined at a ratio of 1:5; meaning one part buckwheat to five parts all-purpose or bread flour.  The reason for this is because it’s not as high in gluten as are the other two and needs that gluten in order to stand up.  In a quickbread, however, the ratio is more one-to-one and that’s good, because you get so much more of the flavor. Let’s do it, shall we?


Yield:  for 12 6-inch pancakes / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:

Buckwheat flour

All-purpose flour

Soy flour

Kosher salt

Baking powder

Large AAA eggs

Dark brown sugar

Granulated sugar

Vegetable oil

Whole milk

Lemon juice

Vanilla extract

Powdered sugar

Orange, sliced

Fresh parsley sprigs

Maple syrup


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Making pancake batter is much like making batter for quickbreads and muffins: you shouldn’t overmix it as to do so only makes the finished product all that more chewy which is an unattractive characteristic for any of the aforementioned items. Preheat a griddle to 350°F or grease a couple of large skillets with oil, wiping it off, and then placing them over a moderate flame.  When it’s time to cook, be sure to spray the cooking surface—LIGHTLY—with PAM or some such other food release spray.

2.      Double-sift the first FIVE ingredients together.  You may have to force the buckwheat flour through the fine-meshed sieve as it tends to be somewhat lumpy.  Do the best you can and then set it aside.  The idea here is to break up any clumps of baking powder, flour, etc.

3.      Using an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs until light and foamy and then add the sugars and CREAM the mixture together.  Add the oil and beat it in WELL. Add the lemon juice to the milk and then add it along with the vanilla extract to the mixture, blending well.

4.      Now, fold the DRY into the WET using the least amount of strokes necessary to do the job.  When the mixture is combined, moderately lumpy, but combined, stop mixing and place it inside your refrigerator for about 10 minutes; then, bring it out, mix another 5-10 seconds and stop.

5.      Spray the griddle or the skillets with PAM NOW.  Drop a small portion of batter on the hot cooking surface and see what happens: if it bubbles up almost immediately, the surface is ready to go and when it is, begin ladling the pancakes onto the cooking surface with a 6-ounce ladle. 

6.      This batch will make 12 six-inch pancakes so as you drop each load of batter onto the cooking surface, spread it out just a bit and then cook. Buckwheat cakes tend to take a bit more time than regular buttermilk cakes so wait for bubbles to appear all over the surface of the cakes before turning them.  Turn ONLY once.  To test for doneness, rub a finger across the surface of each: if it feels soft, springy, and smooth, they’re done and if it feels firm or hard, they’re not.  Generally, pancakes cook within 5-8 minutes at the most and many times less than that so keep a close eye on them.

7.      When they’re done, transfer them to either a large serving platter or to four individual plates.  Dust with powdered sugar and slap a sprig of fresh parsley punched through the center of an orange slice aside each.  Serve with warm maple syrup and you’ve got yourself one heck of a breakfast!

Buckwheat pancakes harkens back to the days of the pioneers but buckwheat flour really comes from Eastern Europe and is a classic flour.  Soy flour lightens the final blend and also gives the finished product some longevity before they stale.  Pancakes tend to stale rather quickly once they’re cool so if you plan on saving them, be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap ONCE THEY’RE COOLED and then place inside a freezer zip-loc bag.  They’ll remain fresh in the freezer for about ONE week; after that, toss them.


As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

As I mentioned earlier, I am so excited to be back, it’s been a long time since my last post on August 08, 2011.  I do enjoy each and every opportunity I get to post a blog for Stinkbug, he’s a great guy to work for and I’ve known him since the 1970’s.  We do enjoy what we do here at the Elemental News of the Day and hope that you enjoy it, too. We beg you to send everyone you to know to us so we can drive up our page hits each and every day.  It’s important that we do this so we can keep the blog up-and-running; after all, we’re as good as—if not better—than the rest of the online competition out there on the Net.  I thank you for being a part of this experience and for being a part of the new Breakfast Spectacular Series, it’s destined to be one of the best and I’m the FIRST chef to do it!  Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thank you!

Jimmy Hall

James Hall

Cook III, CWC, ACF, CA273 Santa Barbara ACF chapter and HI033 Maui Chef’s and Cook’s Association


This is me as a chef during the 1980's when we took a group photograph for a Chefs de Cuisine yearbook. At the time, I was working at a hotel in Bakersfield, CA, down on Union Avenue. It was still somewhat nice and the area was still the original "restaurant row" of the city. Now, I am in my sixties and am working over in Santa Barbara, CA, as a food and beverage director for a country club.


END Commentary for Monday, January 09, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall.

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Recipe created by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall on April 18, 1977 in Bakersfield, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!




This is #1338 a 40” x 60" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “August Monsoon." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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