As a kid, the actual day seemed somewhat random. Sometime in February, after Valentine’s Day, there would be Pancake Day. Mom would make her amazing hearty stick-to-your-ribs pancakes for dinner, and we’d get to drench them in real maple syrup.
It’s a tradition I like to pass on to my family now.
So today I sent Leif a text message, saying that dinner tonight needs to be pancakes, because it’s Shrove Tuesday. Little did I know, He had no clue what Shrove Tuesday is, and had no experience with the whole Pancake Day thing. And he somehow missed the text message – busy day!
He looked bewildered when I arrived home with the kids, and I saw that he’d started making dinner – a dinner that did not include pancakes. But … but … it’s Pancake day, I’m ashamed to admit that I whined. Just a little. A mere hint of a whine. He pointed out that we had lots of leftovers in the fridge that we had to get eating! He’s right, but hey, I’ve been taking leftovers for lunches. I’ve been good! There’s not that much, and not much that’s threatening to spoil. Yet. But … pancakes? I still thought at this point that he knew what I was talking about. Because everyone does. Don’t they? My amazing partner relented, and let me do pancakes. He
recognizes slightly crazed obsession when he sees it loves me. Helped that I had the kids on my side, they had heard about the pancakes, and there’s no way leftovers would go over well with any of the three of us at that point.
I didn’t try Mom’s thick and hearty ones. I had been thinking forever about a recipe I remember from childhood, German Pancakes. Apparently our former neighbours, when I was really little, made these. They’re rich and golden, full of eggy goodness, light and fluffy. So dug up my binder filled with Mom’s recipes. I love that binder. It’s got photocopies of newspaper and magazine clippings, typed out recipes, and some handwritten in cherished and recognizable writing. Mom’s, Nana’s, Mimi’s, Dad’s. I’ve got another binder with my great-grandmother’s recipes in it. There, typed out carefully, are the instructions for German Pancakes, with my mathematics scrawled out in the margins from the time I tried to figure out how much to increase it by for a different sized pan.
So dinner was German Pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries, breakfast sausages, and of course (since it was dinner) spinach salad. I think we average spinach salad five times a week, at least. And I talked a little about Pancake Day. The kids were intensely relieved I think that I have no intention of making them observe Lent, but we did tease them a little. No TV, no Xbox, no yummy food, no … candy! Being not particularly religious I pick and choose which holidays and events to observe, generally sticking with the pleasant ones.
I really need to learn to take pictures of things that I make.
At any rate, like the other recipes I’ve been testing out on the family, this went over really well.
So I’ll share.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix 1 cup flour, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking powder in a bowl.
Add 1 cup of milk, beat well.
Add, one at a time, five eggs, beating well after each is added.
Warm a tbsp of oil in a heavy pan that can be used both on the stove and in the oven. 9×13” is recommended – I more-or-less doubled the recipe and put it in a deep pan that’s roughly 13” in diameter. Cook on medium heat for one or two minutes, then transfer into the oven.
Bake for around 20 minutes until it rises and is golden and fluffy all over.
Serve with whatever toppings you like. Maple syrup, jam, fresh fruit, applesauce, whipped cream, fried onions, whatever tickles your fancy. Enjoy!