By Elijah Berg, Direct Support Professional

One of my favorite memories from childhood was spending the weekend at my grandparents’ house. On Saturday mornings, I would awaken to the smell of my grandfather’s pancakes. My grandfather worked at Pillsbury for years, and he had a “secret” recipe for making his pancakes. They were so delicious! I couldn’t wait to get downstairs to eat them. When he made his pancakes, it made me feel special.

Pancakes 2Some things, like this memory, never go away, no matter how old you get. When I started working at Knollway a few years ago, I introduced two things to the four young men who call Knollway home. One was my dog, Truman, a 5-year-old Cocker Spaniel. He and the guys had an instant bond; they love hanging out each week. The other thing I introduced was the ritual of Saturday morning pancakes.

Now, every Saturday morning, the men can’t wait to get up and have me make pancakes with them. Like my grandfather did for me, we make them from scratch. I introduced a healthier version of the “secret” recipe for the men at Knollway, but they love the pancakes nonetheless. The guys all like them a little differently – with butter, peanut butter, or peanut butter and jelly. However, they always like them with syrup.

Here is the coveted recipe for the Saturday morning pancakes:

4 cups of Pillsbury Best whole wheat flour                                               

3 eggs

1 cup of sugar                                                                       

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 heaping tablespoon Baking Powder

2 cups milk + 2 tablespoons vinegar or 2 cups of buttermilk

Pancakes 4Mix all ingredients together except milk. Add milk slowly and add more or less if batter is too thick or thin (will depend on humidity). Mix into a batter that is easy to pour and mostly lump free. Pour onto hot (275 degrees) non-stick griddle or pan. Flip pancakes when bubbles form on top. Cook until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup. Batter makes 12-15 good-sized pancakes.

I share this story because I feel it’s also a story of Hammer. Everyone at Hammer has always worked hard to celebrate the uniqueness of its people, both residents and staff members alike. At Hammer, anything we can bring to the people we serve that enhances them as individuals is welcomed and celebrated. I have always marveled at how everyone at Hammer – the residents, the staff members and the leadership – inspires each other to be the best we can be for those we serve.  For me, even though I have another full-time job during the week, I feel fortunate to be able to stay a part of this organization. The exceptional standards of service that I see here are truly remarkable. Watching how those standards translate into fun and joy for the men I work with keeps me coming back every week.

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