In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vegetable oil. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until a smooth batter forms. (If you used the full amount of buttermilk, the batter will be thin.)
Heat a heavy (preferably nonstick or seasoned cast iron) griddle or very large (12-inch) skillet over medium until it’s hot enough that a drop of water skips across the surface and evaporates almost immediately. Use a tablespoon of butter to film the surface, then pour the batter onto the hot griddle, using about a ¼ cup per pancake. Leave an inch of space between each one. Cook until bubbles form and pop on the surface, about 2 minutes, then flip the pancakes and cook until golden-brown on the other side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, re-greasing the griddle between batches, until all has been used. Serve the pancakes immediately with the warm syrup.
A Savory Riff on Cornmeal Pancakes: There’s nothing inherently sweet in the pancakes themselves, so sometimes, I like to make them small and serve them as a savory light dinner with dollops of Greek yogurt, crumbled crispy bacon and a spoonful of salsa. Scrambled eggs can work themselves into the mixture, too, if you want. And some crumbled hot-smoked salmon (or practically any other smoked pork product) is a delicious replacement for the bacon.