Years ago, when one yearned for home-cooked meals without spending hours in the kitchen, they'd head for Barron's Family Restaurant.
The late Edith and Gordon Barron ran the business in several locations for more than 50 years and almost 40 years on Burbank Boulevard. Daughter Connie “Barron” Trimble and son Jerry until 2001. Shortly after they sold the restaurant, it was ravaged by an electrical fire.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly reported that Jerry Barron and his sister, Connie “Barron” Trimble, ran Barron's Family Restaurant until it was destroyed by fire. In fact, a new owner purchased the restaurant a few days before the fire.
Now, Trimble cooks at special occasions at First United Methodist Church — most recently an early St. Patrick's Day meal on March 16 and a pancake dinner and fundraiser for the church youth group on Shrove Tuesday, March 4 — a 15-year tradition.
Jerry Barron has the magic touch when it comes to making the batter with all fresh ingredients — buttermilk, eggs, pastry flour, sugar and butter. Hot off the griddle, they are topped with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar.
This year, the youth group is splitting the funds raised with Family Promise, said youth pastor Jon Gathje. The youth group's half will go to summer-camp scholarships.
“It gets kids out of the city for a little while and it teaches them to make close friendships with the other campers and it gives them an in-depth experience with their faith through worshiping, praying and singing,” he said.
The tradition of Shrove Tuesday is the same as Mardi Gras, where you use up all those rich ingredients you won't be having after Ash Wednesday during the 40 days of Lent, he said.
Youth group members were serving guests their plates laden with pancakes, sausage and fresh fruit. They had eaten the test batch before everyone arrived, said member Sophia Pawlek, 13, an eighth-grader at Flintridge Prep in La Cañada.
“It's been a lot of fun, I like doing it and I get to meet so many new people, and the pancakes were really good,” she said. “Connie is an excellent pancake chef.”
Sitting at a corner table were Cheryl and Richard McMillan and Cheryl's sister Cindy Smith, who made sure I noticed their Mardi Gras beads and striped socks.
Richard McMillan noted that he has traveled the world tasting pancakes — in Europe, Canada and throughout the United States.
“And I have yet to find a pancake that was equal to those made by the Barrons,” Richard McMillan said.
“They were homemade like I don't make anymore,” Cheryl McMillan said.
Smith had one word for them.
JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at email@example.com.