A wake up call “Alton Brown Whey Pancakes”

Driving home after picking up my daughter from school. We stop to get a few things and decide to change our usual way back home to avoid traffic. We are making plans for the weekend, we bought supplies to make sushi for the first time and some lamb chops which my daughter loves. She is trying to convince me that we can make the sushi in the 15 minutes we have before her dad gets home. We change topics, she has her second month exams and we were discussing the possibility of squeezing in a picnic if she finishes studying early enough.

We are almost half way home,I take a right down the last busy street, thinking if I can just get out of this street, out of this traffic, I can get home and my weekend can start.I hear a crash and the car starts shaking. I see huge wheels passing by my car’s window. I press the brakes, the horn and close my eyes for a second “oh God!”. The sound of metal scrapping metal continues along with the sound of the brakes of what I now only realized is a truck that hit my car. It seems that time has slowed down and everything is in slow motion. All I can see is Big wheels almost as tall as my car and the sound of scrapping metal is making my stomach turn.

It finally stops, I take a quick look at the kids in the back seat and check that they are OK, and for second I hesitate to open the door. Scared of how bad the damage will be. People start gathering around. I open the door and step outside to see the entire left side of my car dented and covered with blue and black scratch. The driver of the truck comes towards me asking if we were ok and apologizing for “not seeing my car!”. I am a jumble of emotions. Furious, trembling, worried about the kids, looking at my car makes me wince. My brain is racing, what do I do now, do I call my husband, my dad, do I report the accident, how long will the car need to be fixed, I have appointments on Saturday do I cancel them, who will get Jana from school when the car is in the shop. The driver of the truck interrupts my thoughts buy asking if I want to report the accident and get a police man. He says joking, it is only a few scratches from the wheels, it is not worth it. I am vaguely aware of the crowd around the car, of my kids peering at it all through the car windows, I am looking at the driver with his pale yellow shirt,the pack of cigarettes I can see through his shirt pocket, his tobacco stained teeth half of which I realize are missing slightly insulted by his attempt to get away with it. I reach for my phone, call my husband then my dad then tell the man I want to report the accident and I want a police man to check out the accident scene

For the next hour, we go through the technicalities. Police reports,accident reports, waiting for officers to arrive , to decide who to blame. The kids are restless in the car, they raid the shopping bags and the chocolate and jelly beans go missing. I call my husband who was supposed to be here by now, he’s stuck in traffic.After an hour and a half it is finally over. The report is written, it is the truck driver’s fault and I didn’t do anything wrong to cause the accident. A sigh of relief. I hear the truck driver tell me for the 10th time that he did not see my car, that he was not supposed to be here, that it is his friend’s truck and he was helping him deliver a load. Again all I see is his pale shirt, stained teeth, the gap of the missing ones and his unshaved face.This time around I am not insulted, not even angry, I just want to get out of here, out of the sun that is burning my face, I want it all to end. I walk to my car feeling drained and get in. I put my hands on the steering wheel almost afraid to turn the switch but I have little ones in the back seat who want to get home. I turn the switch and start moving, aware of every car around me, waiting for another  impact and metal scratching noises all the way home. This time they don’t come and I get home safely. I park the car, put my head on the stirring wheel and say a silent prayer to thank God for getting us all home safe.

In the crazy rush that is our life we seem to forget how fragile we are, how one second can change it all, how all we take for granted can vanish in the blink of an eye. I got my wake up call through a huge blue truck, I hope these words are yours. Life is too precious, too fragile to waste, make the best out of it. Celebrate your loved ones, let them feel how special they are and what they mean to you. You don’t need to do big things. Simple things are all it takes, a word, a rose , a hug or maybe a special breakfast to show them you care.

My kids love pancakes and their favorite is the lemony ricotta pancakes which have been their number 1 for sometime. A couple of weeks ago Ani of cooking Spree posted this recipe for buttermilk pancakes by Alton brown. I have yet to try a recipe by Alton Brown that I didn’t like and this one came with the highest recomendation..the Spree seal. I knew I had to try it.

The original recipe calls for buttermilk as a liquid but I didn’t have any on hand. I tried making my own using some store-bought buttermilk but it turns out it didn’t have the cultures needed. What I had on hand was whey from making homemade greek yogurt and I thought why not! I have used whey before in making dough and it gave amazingly fluffy baked good, I hoped for the same effect and I was not disappointed. I think the lemony ricotta pancakes and my favorite carrot cake pancakes are in for very tough competition. Alton brown’s pancake recipe provides you with an instant pancake mix that you can keep on hand. It saves you all the measuring and getting out and putting back all the ingredients (which is perfect to help you make more special breakfasts for the special people in your life or for yourself)

Whey or buttermilk pancakes

you can find the printable recipe here


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.

Use the mix within 3 months.


  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I used 2 cups whey)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups “Instant” Pancake Mix, recipe above
  • 1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired
  • 1-2 tablespoon sugar (that is my addition because my kids like their pancakes with a hint of sweetness)

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk (or whey) in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk (whey) mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined.

Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

I served the pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup that I will be sharing with you in my next post