WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – let’s hear it for the girls

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“The word “power” just ruins my idea of breakfast.” Marian Cunningham

I was out of town last week and I missed the final Thursday in March. So I am a day late but not a dollar short with the subject of this post. For my final salute to female chef’s I am going to talk about Marian Cunningham. Marian had a great love for cooking and a great deal of curiosity about the art of preparing food. She also was sadly an agoraphobic. At the age of 50 she read in the paper that James Beard was giving a cooking class in her area. She bravely forced herself out of the house and went to the class. James apparently took a great liking to her and eventually made her his assistant for the classes. She went on to have a career of her own and received the honor of being asked to revise the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Her revisions were published in 1975 and 1990 respectively. Marian was very fond of breakfast gatherings. She was 65 years old when she published the first cookbook under her own name, The Breakfast Book. In the introduction, she said that there were almost no books on breakfast, a meal she loved for its “honest simplicity” and for remaining “pure” amid all the stylish food trends, so I am going to share her recipe for pancakes.

Marion Cunningham’s Lemon Pancakes


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup (half a stick) butter, melted, plus more butter for greasing skillet
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest


  1. In a bowl, stir together the egg yolks, flour, cottage cheese, butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest until well mixed. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
  2. With large spoon or spatula, fold whites into yolk mixture, stirring gently until there are no yellow or white streaks.
  3. Heat skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease lightly and spoon out about three large tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 minutes, then turn pancake over and cook for about 30 seconds. Keep pancakes warm in 250-degree oven until ready to serve.

Special Notes: This recipe is the New York Times variation and these are the Time’s notes – These spectacular pancakes, adapted from a Marion Cunningham recipe, are made with cottage cheese, lemon peel and beaten egg whites, which makes them puff up like a soufflé. You have to whip the egg whites using an electric mixer, so this is definitely a weekend or holiday affair, but goodness, are they ever worth it. Serve with blueberries or raspberries and a dollop of plain yogurt.

Doesn’t this recipe sounds like a lovely Easter morning breakfast?

See you soon, 🐣🐰Bernadette

4 responses to “WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – let’s hear it for the girls”

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Thanks for this research! And yes, the pancakes sound light and lovely!

  2. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    chef mimi says:

    Great post! I remember her from way back when. And these pancakes sound wonderful. They’d be great on Easter morning!

  3. Linda – I am a devoted wife and mother who loves to create delicious meals for my family and friends. I also love traveling, interior decorating and photography.
    Linda says:

    These pancakes sound delicious! Lemon and cottage cheese – what an inspiration! Thanks Bernadette for sharing Marion’s recipe…

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