“We are kicking off the summer with our first ever free pancake breakfast and used book sale for the community,” said Kathy Hill, president of the Hartsel Community Library.
The pancakes will start sizzling on the grill, turned by Dave Harvey, self-described pancake expert flipper, Saturday, June 5, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. in the Hartsel Community Center Pavillion (behind the library).
Harvey has not revealed his apparently top-secret pancake recipe to the library board members, however, “I know eggs are involved,” said Hill.
In addition to pancakes, there will be scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee and juice. The HCL will be open with COVID safety measures in place.
The book club meets the first Monday of each month and the current book is Life and Other Inconveniences. Hours of operation for the all-volunteer library are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
As for the book sale, hardbacks will be $1 each or six for $5, paperbacks and children’s books, 25¢ each or $1 each, or fill a bag for $5. There will also be an opportunity to donate at the event.
Money raised from donations and the used book sale will be used for the HCL scholarship program. The HCL scholarship is available for graduating high school seniors from the Hartsel area who will be going to a community college, four-year college or trade school.
The year was 1965 and a Western State College student and cafeteria worker, Richard Van Vleet, replaced the traditional pancake mix with cake mix. The WSC students gave great compliments to Van Vleet on his pancakes.
In addition to pancake fame, Van Vleet also became famous as the actor who portrayed Dr. Chuck Tyler on the soap opera, All My Children.
The origin of pancakes
The Unofficial Happy History of Pancakes, as recorded by the Betty Crocker website, documents the following:
600 BC – The first recorded mention of pancakes dates back to ancient Greece and comes from a poet who described warm pancakes in one of his writings.
1100 AD – Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) became a traditional way to use up dairy products before Lent. The pancake breakfast was born.
1445 – That year, villagers in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, started their famous pancake race. Each year the winner receives a smooch from the church bell ringer.
1700s – Before baking soda, chefs used fresh snow, which contains ammonia, to help make pancakes light and fluffy.
1800s – Milk and occasionally cream become the preferred liquids for pancake batter. Before then, brandy and wine had been just as common.
1870s – The flapjack became known as the pancake, and America was changed forever.
1880s – Maple syrup becomes the topping of choice.
1931 – Bisquick was introduced, and good cooks across America started using it to make extra fluffy pancakes.
1995 – The largest pancake ever flipped was made in Rochdale, United Kingdom. It measured 16.4 yards across, weighed 3 tons and took more than just a frying pan to flip it over.
2008 – Actor Rainn Wilson created soulpancake.com, a feel-good website that encourages people to explore what it means to be human with a little laughter along the way.
2009 – Aldo Zilli set a new world record for flipping a single pancake. He flipped it 117 times in 60 seconds.
2012 – 890 people set a world record for the most people tossing pancakes. 930 tried, but 40 flippers were disqualified for dropping their cakes.