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Pre-Code and Pancakes

Lara Gabrielle and I teamed up for this special breakfast event during the TCM Film Festival.



The Recipe


This recipe is from Hollywood Magazine in 1935 in conjunction with the film "Imitation of Life".



Million-Dollar Griddlecakes

(A flexible recipe which will turn out a variety of delicious cakes.)


2 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

½ teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups sour milk

1 or 2 well beaten eggs

2-4 tablespoons melted shortening


Sift the dry ingredients into a deep bowl. Add eggs beaten in with the milk. Add shortening. Blend the mixture with a few deft, quick strokes. Don’t try to beat out all the lumps. These will mysteriously disappear during the baking. Over mixing causes tough cakes.


Drop mixture by spoonfuls on a greased or un-greased griddle, hot enough to make few drops of water sputter. Bake until bubbles break on top side. Turn and complete. Serve as soon as possible.


Special Guest


Lara Gabrielle is a writer and film historian. Her new book Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies from UC Press is slated for release in 2022. She writes book reviews, festival coverage, and pieces on the history, theory and culture of film on her blog Backlots.



The Final Result


Lara made this recipe and she said it turned out really well, but makes a TON of pancakes. She suggests that you cut down the recipe depending on how many people you are feeding. Alas, I am a terrible morning person so I just used a mix this time around. I vow to do this original recipe in the future though. The picture below is from my friend Barbara Boyd Doss.



By the way, these are posters from some of the pre-code films we discussed. They are all available on DVD and Turner Classic Movies.



Next year Lara is hoping to organize an in person event where we can dress up in our pajamas, watch these movies and eat pancakes together!