What makes a box of pancake mix and fake maple syrup so special? Without a doubt, these two elements are at their finest when they come together at the breakfast table. Breakfast for dinner is an infrequent practice at our house, but when it comes down to it, no one ever turns down a nice short stack. Making pancakes is highly ritualized in our house. There are rules and structure to the whole process. The plates are to be hot, the syrup warm and the pancakes brown and buttery at the edges. Bacon should also be present. Failure to comply with these measures will result in an inadequate pancake experience. All pancakes must be crisp on the edges with a light, fluffy center and they must be served on warm plates. It's amazing the difference a warm plate makes. Just place them in the oven on the lowest setting and by the time you're ready to eat, they will be plenty warm. There is simply nothing more unappetizing than hot pancakes on a cold plate. It kills the mood, but more importantly, doesn't keep your food as hot.
Then there's the syrup. Many people will argue that it's all about using real maple syrup. Normally, I would agree but pancakes are hallowed ground. I grew up on the fake stuff and I'm still partial to the flavor or perhaps it's just the high fructose corn syrup. Like the plates, the syrup has to be hot, so regardless of your preference, be sure to zap it in the microwave and you will elevate your experience from so so to so good. Once the pancakes are ready, everyone eats them in their own way, and after twenty three years of this ritual, I have no intention of changing my ways or my pancakes.