Standby Pancakes

I have learnt a valuable lesson in the last 48 hours. Never fly on standby at Christmas. Ever. Don’t even consider it.

Let me tell you why…

Attempt number 1: Friday, December 20th, 6:40pm, SFO airport, United gate 94. 6 people on the standby list. I’m number 5. Only lucky number 1 makes it on the plane. Home I go.

Attempt number 2: Saturday December 21st, 6pm, SFO airport, United gate 97. 25 people on the standby list. I am number 24. Not a single person gets on the plane.

At this point I envision myself sat on the couch in my pajamas, alone, on Christmas Day. And that’s so 2012. So I bite the bullet and buy a ticket. Ouch.

So here I am. Attempt number 3: Sunday December 22nd, 2pm, 16th & Mission Bart station. Heading to the airport on what feels like Groundhog Day, hoping to receive my checked bag from the clutches of United Airlines and check it in at Virgin Atlantic. Every cloud has a silver lining 🙂

While I unexpectedly spent my Saturday at home, I decided to try a recipe I have had on my to do list for a while.

One of my favorite brunch spots in SF is Brenda’s, a soul food restaurant right in the heart of the Tenderloin. Aka, the ghetto. The first time I went there back in 2008, I ordered the special – sweet potato pancakes with a butterscotch sauce. Since that day I have been meaning to recreate this decadent dish.

It’s not for the faint hearted. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, back away now! This is also something you’d really only want to make on a special occasion as the butterscotch sauce makes it one of the most calorific indulgences you could consume for breakfast! Especially if you serve it with bacon, which I highly recommend!


The sweet potato pancakes are actually not too bad for you, as pancakes go. And you can make them paleo by using coconut flour in place of the standard all purpose.

As always, I checked with Smitten Kitchen first, and sure enough she has a quick and easy butterscotch sauce recipe.

It would also be great drizzled over ice cream, inside cupcakes, or even just licked off the spoon. It really doesn’t get much simpler than this, and it’s so delicious you’ll never want to open a jar of shop bought butterscotch sauce again!

Here is the sweet potato pancakes recipe I used…

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Coconut oil for frying

Mix together the dry ingredients.
Mix together the wet ingredients.

Of course I paired these with some bright, floral breakfast wine from Santa Barbara. The 2010 Firestone Gewürztraminer went down a treat while I sat watching The 40 Year Old Virgin and devoured my pancakes. Now please, keep your fingers crossed this flight gets me to England in time to enjoy what I hope will be a delicious Christmas dinner with the family!

Merry Christmas, and safe travels!

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