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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Pancakes as the ultimate comfort food


Before James Beard award-winning cookbook authors Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer opened their restaurant in Milford, N.J., each day they were at their studio they would post what they were making for lunch.

Short but entertaining, the posts would include what they made, an explanation of how and why they made it, an enticing photo and how the dish tasted.

The posts, which also came as emails for those who signed up for them, were popular among the readers of the authors’ many cookbooks. But they came to a halt when the authors chose to open Canal House Station Café, where they were busy preparing lunch for their customers most days.

The café closed with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, and currently offers takeout for Sunday dinners only. But the bright light in all this is the return of Canal House Cooks Lunch, which now has entries from each author since they are self-isolating and dine at their separate homes.

The charming, chatty missives are complete with handsome photos designed to make the reader hungry and inspire them to cook. They range from soups to avocado toasts to leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, to simple scrambled eggs to sauerkraut with pork chops.

To see the lunch posts, go to and click on Canal House Cooks Lunch. The site also is the best place to find the authors’ hefty selection of cookbooks.

This recipe, from Hamilton and Hirsheimer’s sixth volume of “Canal House Cooking: The Grocery Store,” would be a treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Sour Cream Pancakes

1 cup sour cream

3 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons melted butter,plus more butter for serving

7 tablespoons cake flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

vegetable oil

Maple syrup, for serving

Whisk the sour cream and egg yolks together in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the melted butter. Put the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a sieve and sift it into the sour cream mixture. Lightly whisk until just mixed (a few lumps won’t hurt anything).

Put the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold them into the batter. Don’t overwork the batter, keep it light and fluffy.

Pour a little oil on a nonstick griddle or large skillet. Wipe out the oil with a paper towel, leaving only the thinnest film. Heat the griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Pour about ¼ cup of batter on the griddle.

Cook until little holes appear on the surface and the cooked side of the pancake – lift the edge to check – is golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Slather on the butter and a few good glugs of real maple syrup.