Aurora Perez is our Student Service Opportunity Award Fellow in Special Collections this year. She is a freshman at Georgia College majoring in English.
The month of September is National Breakfast Month, and on September 26, National Pancake Day, everyone gets to enjoy varied styles of delicious pancakes whether you call them flapjacks, stacks, fry cakes, lily pads, or even saddle blankets. These hot cakes have been dined upon throughout time by many different people from the Ancient Greeks and Romans to the colonial settlers and now the modern day world. They have lasted through the ages in different forms such as heavy buckwheat pancakes, smooth potato latkes, savory bacon and corn cakes, and sweet flout pancakes topped with honey and walnuts.
When we explored our collections, we found recipes for pancakes, griddle cakes, batter cakes, and buckwheat cakes. Of course, we had to investigate the origins of the different terms.
The term “pancake” originates from England, with its first mention in 1400 A.D. According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, “griddle cake” and “pancake” are synonymous, with the first usage of the former appearing in the 1780s.
“Batter cake” (or “batter-cake” or “battercake”) is a mainly southern term for pancakes, and it became a bit of a rabbit hole for us this morning, starting with a listserv question posed at English Language and Usage. Between that post and the OED, we learned that a recipe for “batter cakes” appears in Mary Randolph’s very famous The Virginia Housewife cookbook from 1736, but travel writer Frances Trollope is credited with the first usage of the term in her 1732 book, Domestic Manners of the Americas.
Finally, “buckwheat cakes” have a very presidential origin. Then-delegate to the Continental Congress John Adams used the term in a diary entry in on September 21, 1774 to describe his breakfast that morning.
Whatever you call them, we hope you enjoy these pancake recipes from Special Collections!
Batter Cakes and Buckwheat Cakes:
Civic Women’s Club of Milledgeville. b’rer rabbit’s busy beater. Cookbook Publishers, 1979.
“History of Pancakes.” FOOD HISTORY:. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. http://www.world-foodhistory.com/2011/07/history-of-pancakes.html.
MissHarper778. “‘Hot cakes’ or ‘flapjacks’ in 1890s American South?” English Language & Usage. StackExchange, 30 Mar. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/109940/hot-cakes-or-flapjacks-in-1890s-american-south.
“National Breakfast Month!” National Breakfast Month! N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/National_breakfast_month.html.
“NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY – September 26.” National Day Calendar. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2016. Online database. 26 Sept. 2016. http://www.oed.com/.
Parent-Teacher Association of Georgia Military College. Old Capitol Cook Book. 2nd ed., Georgia Military College, 1948.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The “Melting Pot” Cookbook (Recipes from Here and There). Women’s Clubs Publishing, 1987.
Salem Baptist Church. Bread of Life. Fundcraft Publishing, 2003.
Snow Hill Church. Home Cookin’ II. Cookbook Publishers, 1996.
Stern, Michael. “Wall_Food_10060.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. https://www.flickr.com/photos/68711844@N07/15203761534.
“What Other Names Do You Have for Pancakes?” Dictionary of American Regional English. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. http://dare.wisc.edu/survey-results/1965-1970/foods/h20b.
WTVY News 4. “Unofficial Holiday of September 26th: National Pancake Day.” Unofficial Holiday of September 26th: National Pancake Day. CNN, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. http://www.wtvy.com/content/news/Unofficial-Holiday-of-September-26th-National-Pancake-Day-394776681.html