When Families Blend Pancake Style

When Hubby and I got married it was a fairly easy transition.  We both came from farm families.  Both of our moms had small jobs that brought extra income into the home but not a lot and their primary roll was to take care of the family and household.

We both came from larger families.  I have 4 siblings…he has 5.  We both came from families where there is a large spread between the oldest and youngest siblings.  We both were the younger children.

Our families had similar work ethic.  Our families both had similar values.

For the most part….we were evenly matched.  We should have made an easy transition and as I said, for the most part, we did.  There was one problem though…PANCAKES!!  Yep, pancakes is where we have BIG differences.

When we were first married I was a nice solicitous wife.  I would ask what he wanted to eat for supper and make it.  (I gave up on that years ago)  Well Hubby said he wanted pancakes.  I said -I was sorry.  We couldn’t have pancakes.  We didn’t have bananas.  Hubby didn’t think anything of it.  I went to town a couple days later.  I bought bananas.  That night I made pancakes.  Hubby smiled at my “cooking”.  They asked for syrup.  I asked what he meant, syrup??  I was so confused.  He said- Ya-Syrup for my pancakes.  I was totally confused.

After talking we realized that each of our families ate pancakes differently.

My family ate pancakes with a banana mixture poured over the top of them…kind of like the picture shown.


My mom grew up during the Depression era.  Her family was very poor.  When bananas at the grocery store were deeply discounted at the grocery store, my mom’s family would buy them.  The best ones they used to make a “sauce”.  My mom made it for us as kids too.  She would take a sauce/dessert cup and slice bananas into it.  They she would sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the bananas.  When we were ready to eat she would pour a little bit of milk over the top.  That was often our dessert.  The worst bananas were used many to make banana bread.  The in between bananas my mom’s family used for pancakes.

The recipe for that goes something like this…Mush up some slightly browned bananas.  Sprinkle sugar over the top of them.  Put milk over the top of that.  Stir it up and pour that over your pancakes.  I love it.  My siblings loved it and for the most part, my own kids liked it.

Hubby’s family didn’t eat pancakes like that at all.  First off….Pancakes were eaten most Saturday nights.  Saturday lunch was a meal that included all the leftovers from the week.  Then Saturday night was pancakes and Sunday started a whole new cycle of meals.

Hubby’s mom made her own pancake syrup.  It was a mixture of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar and one cup of water mixture together then put on the stove to boil.  Once boiled it was ready to be served over the pancakes.  The syrup was always warmed….at least this is how Hubby tells it.

So being both of our families ate pancakes so differently, how do you think our kids ate them….a mix of both ways.

We do eat pancakes at any given meal.  We don’t eat them only for breakfast.  In fact the picture above was Friday night supper.  I always make banana mush for my pancakes.  Hubby doesn’t eat it.  Hubby often makes his “syrup” and eats his pancakes that way.  As for our kids….Kelli and Kayla have been syrup girls.  The boys, Karl and Buck, have been banana mush eaters…and Kalissa eats both, in fact, sometimes both on the same pancake at the same time…UGH.

It’s funny how families blend when couple get together.  I’m so glad that one of our biggest challenges about blending came over pancakes and not something more serious.

27 thoughts on “When Families Blend Pancake Style”

  1. I remember that imitation maple syrup. Mom made it sometimes. We lived in AK and did not often get bananas or much fresh fruit.

  2. We had pancakes like your hubby was used to. My mom (and now me) always made sourdough pancakes with homemade syrup. I still do. My grandkids count on it :) In fact I boiled over a pan of syrup just last week and am still slaving away trying to get that stuff off my glass top stove! We always added maple flavoring at the end, after the mixture had boiled for a minute. Now I make a double batch of pancakes, freeze them and make a double batch of syrup. I always have to have it on hand, ready to eat for those grandkids….they’re hungry :)

  3. Until this I had never heard of bananas on pancakes, but it sounds good. I never liked syrup, but grew up sprinkling the slightest bit of sugar on my pancakes. Yep, still eat them the same way after all these years. My husband doesn’t care for pancakes, but will eat them with syrup if he has to.

  4. For us it was Goulash. At least that was what my family called it. His family called it macaroni. He asked for macaroni for supper one evening. Imagine the look on his face when I gave him plain, cooked macaroni.

  5. I’ve never heard of bananas on top of the pancake. I mix slices of banana into the batter…banana pancakes…then top them with maple syrup. My stepkids eat sliced dill pickles on top of their pancakes something their grandmother taught them. Now to me that is a UCK!!!!!! lol

  6. It’s funny-I for years never ate pancakes or made them. It was the smell! Now, I can go to our local VFW or diner and eat pancakes, but I still cannot make them at home. My husband believes in LOTS of syrup-I just have butter on mine, dislike syrup & soggy.
    Our disagreement came over molasses cookies! My family always made a cake-like cookie that required mixing, cooling in fridge, then rolling out & baking. I made them when first married-took 1/2 the day! Hubby bit into one and said they weren’t like his Mom’s! She made a kind that just mixed, dropped & baked. Ours were dark & cakey, hers were light & chewey. Funny, the ideas & traditions that each family has!

  7. Jo I really Oh I enjoy them all but as you may know this one comes pretty close to home :)
    and you guessed it I’m the syrup girl, sometimes peanut butter but try as I might I just can’t learn to like banana mush!

  8. Great story! It is funny what we find out about other peoples’ ‘customs’ when we get married. I had never heard of your banana mush for pancake topping, it sounds delicious! I make homemade syrup for pancakes but I use it very sparingly because it is so sweet. I do like peanut butter on pancakes though and banana mush sounds like a great addition. I also laughed about asking you asking your husband what he wanted to eat. Mine hubs’ reply is almost always ‘I don’t care’ which annoys me to no end, because the hardest part of cooking is deciding WHAT to have/make! I also quit asking years ago for the most part, but every once in a while it slips out and I will ask again – his answer doesn’t change lol.

  9. Of course, with our family, pure maple syrup was the only option for regular pancakes. The family has been making it since 1851. We did have what we called “big round pancakes” which are essentially crepes. We ate them rolled up with melted butter and sugar.

  10. We were not pancake eaters growing up. The depression era was flour and water pancakes. No syrup. When our kids were young I started mixing peanutbutter and syrup together. New tradition.

  11. Oh yeah – bananas with milk sprinkled with sugar was a dessert we had when I was growing up too. My husband never heard of such a thing! But then I don’t think most fruits and vegetables were on their menu very often.

  12. Thanks, Jo. This really brought back memories of hotcakes… at least that’s what we called them then. Of course, we got food out of the ice box as well. After marriage and kids we started a “fend for yourself” Friday tradition. We’d pay for a pizza delivery if the kids wanted it or let them eat cereal or popcorn. As long as someone didn’t have to cook or go anywhere, we were okay with that. (We both worked full time outside the home and were always worn out by Friday night.)

  13. Growing up in NE Ohio it was pure homemade maple syrup on thick pancakes. we used to tap 500 trees. When married and living in Ia. it had to be thin pancakes, which I dubbed Tanner pancakes our last name. Later we made pure maple syrup from our six trees. Those were the days, as not my body doesn’t tolerate the syrup of any kind. Enjoy

  14. I grew up with pancakes and syrup made with mapleine flavoring. Sometimes Mom would open a can of peaches and put them on top-delicious. She’d make Swedish pancakes, a crepe-like thin circle, which we’d eat with butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice squeezed on. Even now I like to eat pancakes or waffles (not belgian though) with butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

  15. very interesting post! specially about the syrup and how and why you were raised to use what you use. My mom always made our own syrup too, and added maple flavoring.
    When my first husband and I had kids we would make Sunday Morning Pancakes. I would get so crabby from the pancake syrup! Too much sugar in the store bought I think.
    i have switched to Really maple syrup and that is OK, but often I use applesauce instead of syrup. get a serving of fruit in, and no chance of crabbyness!

  16. Bananas, sugar, and milk were always a treat when I was growing up. I hadn’t thought about them for years! Thanks for reminding me.

  17. Richard (in Charlotte, NC)

    It is amazing how families differ in their food habits. My Mom always had rather large pancakes and us boys would drown them in whatever syrup was brought home from the store. I don’t remember Mom ever making home made syrup but, if it was made, it must have been made from Karo syrup and something else. Mom used both Light and Dark Karo syrup for a lot of things. I don’t make pancakes much myself; I’ll usually make two Belgian waffles and that fills me up. I do drown them in either real Maple syrup or Mrs. Butterworths.

  18. I’d never heard of the banana mush thing on pancakes. When I was growing up we had good old dark Karo syrup on pancakes. After I got married I always bought pancake syrup, but now that everything is made with High Fructose Corn Syrup I’ve gone to making a syrup like your hubby’s mother made…pure cane white sugar, pure cane brown sugar, water, with a little maple flavoring. When it’s boiled for three minutes or so and allowed to cool it even has the consistency of maple syrup. I have a thing about the HFCS. I believe it has a lot to do with the current obesity & Type 2 Diabetes epidemic.

  19. So here is my pancake story. I grew up on a farm and my husband was a town boy. The first time I made him pancakes, after our marriage, I asked him how many he wanted and he said at least 6. I said “Six! Are you sure?” Yes, he wanted at least 6. When he sat down to eat, he was in shock. Why – well, I grew up in a household where pancakes were the size of the cast iron frying pan. So, no one ever wanted more than one because that was one big pancake! My husband came from a mother that made pancakes the size of the bottom of a coffee mug. My husband was looking at 6 pancakes each the size of a dinner plate. Shocked! It didn’t take us long to figure out the difference in our upbringings and the difference in expectations of pancake size! :)).

  20. Susan the Farm Quilter

    So funny how we ate as kids has stuck!! Pancakes…hubby likes buckwheat and I like Swedish pancakes made from the recipe my grandmother brought with her from the old country!! Huge difference!! He likes maple syrup and I HATE maple anything! I have to have boysenberry, blackberry or blueberry syrup…and yes, your hubby is right, the syrup has to be hot!! Fun stories to read…yours and the comments!!

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