EMMA LAKE SUMMERS … Beach Breakfast and Lemon Pancakes

Summer at the lake.

When you say these words  you conjure up memories of sunny days that last forever.


Weightless in the water.

Sand scrubbed bodies

stretched out to the sun.

Long, delicious summers beside a small, quiet lake.  Emma Lake.

Beach combing (a very young me and my older siblings) found an injured falcon.   Our father made a  splint and  bandaged the wing.   We fed him raw meat. He   became very tame while the wing was healing.     Then one day he was just gone.  On the beach we found bits of the bandage and a few feathers.  Our falcon was flying free high above us.

We had a tiny cottage on the lake.  A low bench of sand and birch trees shielded us from the  winds off the water.  Against the bench of sand our Father made his outdoor kitchen, a few steps from the cottage.  He cooked on an old black kitchen stove.  A wooden table scrubbed white was both a prep counter and a place to eat.

On the weekends our Father would drive up to the cottage –   the car filled with fresh produce, groceries and most important baking he had done during the week.  Our favorite treat was Royal Bread Pudding.  It was  creamy,  cinnamon flavoured, raisin filled,  bread pudding topped with a layer of pastry and then vanilla icing.

Breakfast was cooked and eaten outside.  Dad would scour the top of the stove clean, then build a roaring fire.  He would use the entire surface of the stove to cook light, delicate brown rounds of  “flap jacks”.  These he would spread  thick with butter, sprinkle with sugar and then a  squeeze  of lemon.    Stacked  high, kept warm in the oven  he continued to flip pancake after pancake.  Warming in the oven the butter melted into the sugar and lemon and drizzled into sweet pools around the pancakes.  Ah, sweet heavenly delights.


Whisk together in a large bowl:   1 1/2 ups flour, 3 tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt

Whisk together in another bow; 1 1/2 cups milk, 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, 2 large eggs room temperature, 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined.  Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto a heated griddle nudging the batter into rounds.  Cook until the top of each pancake is speckled with bubbles  and some bubbles have opened, then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned.  Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200°F oven.

To make Lemon pancakes, butter each pancake with soft butter, sprinkle generously with sugar, squeeze lemon juice over and top with another pancake.  You can make several small stacks or one large cake.  Just be sure to make lots.  Enjoy!

PS:  Emma Lake was internationally know for it’s Art School.  Artists from around the world would spend their summer at the EMMA LAKE ART SCHOOL.


14 thoughts on “EMMA LAKE SUMMERS … Beach Breakfast and Lemon Pancakes

  1. Thankyou sooo much for writing your blog I love reading it. You write beautifully and your stories are wonderful. I hear your voice telling them to me everytime. Thanks for the smiles…and sometimes the occasional tear.
    Big Hugs Doris

  2. We had a tiny cottage on the lake. A low bench of sand and birch trees shielded us from the winds coming off the water. Against the bench of sand my Father made his outdoor kitchen, a few steps from the cottage. He cooked on an old black kitchen stove. A wooden table scrubbed white was both a prep counter and a place to eat ”

    Very nice description. great post.Recep excellent. I love sweets and I do

  3. Virginia, these vintage photos are precious, as is your mention of the falcon lovingly rehabilitated by your family.

    I’m eager to try out this recipe – what a fun addition to your nostalgic posting!

  4. Pingback: CHILDHOOD SUMMER MEMORIES | Bel' Occhio's Blog

  5. Happy Ending, indeed! Again, the photographs are so lovely, Virginia. How long did the falcon stay with you? I guess you were both happy and sad to lose your sublime-feathered friend?! T.

    • I’m the funny little girl wearing just shorts and I am just 5 years old. It seemed to me it stayed with us all summer but in reality it was just over two weeks. My Dad was surprised the wing healed so well and so quickly. I think I had it in my mind that we would be able to take it home and I would have my own pet bird. Fortunately for all concerned ,and especially the bird, that didn’t happen. V.

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