I Learned a Cooking Tip on Criminal Minds

I posted on Living Large’s Facebook page on Sunday morning that Dale didn’t pick up the remote on Sunday morning and instead, kept the house nice and quiet while we both read.

While I do not like the television blaring 24/7, I’m not anti-TV. I think there are some good educational, as well as entertaining programs.

Not many, but Dale and I have favorites we watch together.

Sometimes, if I’m paying attention, I can learn from the entertaining shows too.

Take “Criminal Minds,” for example.

We watched an episode last week we had DVR’d (as we do most programs to be able to fast forward through the ads) and two of my favorite actors, Kathy Baker, who starred in the 1990s  series “Picket Fences” and William Russ, who played in the 1980s series, “Wiseguy.”

The two played (bad) parents trying to appease their son who was paralyzed in a car accident.

Little did I know, Kathy Baker would be opening up a cooking mystery that has boggled my mind for a couple of years.

Dale and I like to eat breakfast at a restaurant called “Cracker Barrel” when we are traveling. They simply have the best pancakes we’ve ever had. A little crispy on the outside with a soft, airy middle.

I’ve never figured out how to get the slightly crispy outside. I even bought the mix from the restaurant the last time we were there and cooked it up on our cast iron griddle. No dice.

My pancakes came out as always, not with that slightly “fried” crispiness on the edges.

Anyway, on “Criminal Minds,” Kathy Baker’s character tells her son, “I will even make your favorite pancakes, just like you like them with a little oil in the pan so they’re crispy aournd the edges.”


Dale and I looked at each other like we had won the lottery.

Of course, pancakes were on the menu for Sunday brunch and now I know I can get those same slightly crispy pancakes at home.

The key is using just a little oil and not under or over-cooking.

It all sounds so simple to me now, I’m amazed I needed a fictional television show to help me get our pancakes just right.

Just goes to show one can learn something in the most unexpected places.

Have you ever had a “Eureka!” moment in which you learned something quite expectantly?

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30 Responses

  1. I’ve recently discovered essentially the same thing, but with butter. All these years of trying to limit fat intake deprived us of great pancakes! 😉

  2. Cindyt says:

    LOL, here is another tip…instead of oil if you are also frying up a batch of bacon..take the bacon drippings and pour off into a clean cup wipe down the skillet and then pour back in the drippings and then do your pancakes. Perfecto, you get that little crispy edge on the pancakes and the yummy bacon taste too! Sorry I can never get too much bacon or butter in my receipes :P)
    Yes I am Fluffy…not Fat thank you very much!

    • Cindyt says:

      Oh need to add, you don’t have to pour ALL of the bacon drippings back in the pan…only as much as you need as you go along…just saying. 😉

      • Kerri says:

        Thanks, Cindy for the tip. That is a GREAT idea! I agree, never too much bacon or butter in anything! 🙂 I’m a bit fluffy too. 😉

  3. Shirley says:

    Oh my! I didn’t realize that was a mystery. LOL! I’ve always cooked pancakes with oil in the pan. I just made a big batch of homemade pancake mix as well.

    • Kerri says:

      It may not have been for many, Shirley, but since living here in the country, I’ve cooked more at home in 5 years than I had the previous 22 of our marriage! 🙂

  4. Good tip. Criminal Minds used to be one of my favorite shows. (I watched it way too much so I’m on a CM break for awhile.) I’d love to know how to make ultra light, fluffy pancakes. One of the only times I ate such pancakes is when I was in Guatemala City, of all places. Every morning the pancakes were the best I ever had.

  5. Sheryl says:

    Of all things to learn from a crime show! I guess that beats learning how to commit a crime, though…

  6. Jane Boursaw says:

    I love a good crispy pancake, too. That’s funny that you picked that up on Criminal Minds. Amazing what you can learn with a little TV, from surviving in the wild (Dual Survival is a favorite around here) to negotiating for the best price (Pawn Stars).

    • Kerri says:

      Ha, Jane, I prefer the shows that have real actors, but I do like Pawn Stars as I love learning about antiques and knowing the history of things.

  7. Heather L. says:

    I love that you’re getting cooking lessons from Criminal Minds. I saw that episode and hope it didn’t give you any other ideas.

    • Kerri says:

      LOL, Heather, no. No other ideas on Criminal Minds. They have some pretty sick serial killers on there. 🙂 The other thing I also love about this show is when they end it with a great quote.

  8. Kerry Dexter says:

    maybe not quite what you mean, Kerri, but one thing I’ve learned is that many current TV shows don’t sustain narrative all that well — and have a harder job to do it, too as there are more and longer commercial breaks now than used to be allowed.

  9. Wait … haven’t you always greased your pain in one way or another? I’m confused. What’s the process?

    • Kerri says:

      I’ve always just used a little tiny bit of butter, Roxanne. That’s how my mother taught me. I never used oil (and try not to use it in much of anything). This is like coating the bottom just enough and getting it hot enough to fry just a little.

  10. Becky King says:

    I guess I would have to agree …u-tube is amazing for finding out just about everything.. even me learning and trying some fun dance moves to impress my grandkids….:)

  11. Kim says:

    Knitting videos at knittinghelp.com are the only instruction I’ve ever had. They’re so helpful.

    You would think this wouldn’t shock me, but I learned recently that there are tons of hairstyle videos on youtube that teach you how to fix your hair. As a curly-headed woman who’s gotten through life with a minimal amount of cosmetological skills, this was a revelation to me. The mysteries of the sock bun have been particularly life-changing; it’s now my go-to “no shower today” hairstyle.

    A “return to Eden” gardening film this week is my latest revelation. Woodchips in the garden… is it really that simple to make amazing soil?

    We live in an amazing age… you can learn anything, at home, sitting on your rear end in front of the computer. (Both a blessing and a curse, I guess.)

    • Kerri says:

      We do live in a very amazing age, Kim, one where we can empower ourselves to be so well informed, as well as learn just about anything from the comfort of our homes. Now, I just need faster Internet! 🙂

  12. Barbara says:

    I enjoy your writing. Ahhhh, the perfect pancake. I can tell you that I have learned to cut my own bangs, make fried rice, how to butcher a turkey and so much more on you tube. When I don’t know how to do something or want to perfect it I run to youtube and type in the subject and by the time I have watched a couple of videos I have it figured out. Even grooming my own poodle now thanks to you tube. Off to make the perfect pancake 🙂

    • Kerri says:

      Thank you, Barbara, for enjoying my writing and being a part of our Living Large community! YouTube. Wonderful! I do wish we had a better internet connection here so I could watch all of the internet videos. I make a list and try to remember to do it while at the library in town. Hope you enjoy those pancakes. It took me a whole batch to get the oil just the right temp!

  13. Kerri says:

    Very cool, Cal. One thing I wished I would have learned from my mother is how to crochet. I guess I will have to try to learn again from a show! 🙂 I can think of worse things then a crochet obsession, keep needling! 😉

  14. Cal Olson says:

    Well, alright! I’m so gonna try that! 😀

    The closest I’ve come to that is a couple of weeks ago when Vicki and I, after checking out a random “how to crochet” video, started crocheting out of the blue. I’ve tried before, epic fail again, yet this time it clicked for both of us.

    Now I need to find something visual to inspire me to break a crochet obsession. *sigh*