In celebration of Pancake Day, AnOther brings you a peanut butter pancake recipe favoured by inspirational, civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
Formally (and less gluttonously) referred to as Shrove Tuesday in the Christian calendar, Pancake Day precedes Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent. Traditionally, pancakes were eaten as a means of using up a household’s richer foods (eggs, milk and sugar), which were considered “indulgences” and often abandoned or restricted for the forty-day duration of fasting. Nowadays, most people embrace the opportunity to participate in a delicious tradition, regardless of whether or not they intend to follow through with the "giving up" practice.
"Nowadays, most people embrace the opportunity to participate in a delicious tradition, regardless of whether or not they intend to follow through with the 'giving up' practice"
Parks of Montgomery, Alabama was a key figure in the American Civil Rights Movement, referred to by the U.S. Congress as the “the first lady of civil rights”. A seamstress and devoted activist, Parks made history when, on December 1, 1955, she famously refused a white man’s demand that she give up her seat on the bus for him – in line with the southern states' rigid segregation laws. Her subsequent arrest led to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which in turn resulted in a mass movement and eventually culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the end of segregation.
Last year, a number of Parks’s personal papers, photographs and souvenirs were found in her Detroit home (where she lived until her death in 2005) and were auctioned by New York City auction house Guernsey’s. Among the various items listed, including a postcard from Marin Luther King Jr., was this recipe for "Featherlite" peanut butter pancakes, handwritten on the back of a bank deposit envelope…
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon shortening or oil (for the pan)
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, blend the egg, milk, and peanut butter together until smooth.
3. Combine the dry and wet mixtures. To keep the pancakes tender, don't over mix (a few small lumps are ok).
4. Add the oil or shortening to a hot griddle or frying pan (Parks specifies 275°F). And cook for about 60 seconds on each side. Enjoy with your favourite pancake toppings.
Text by Daisy Woodward