Saturday, August 14, 2010

When Light Opera Meets Breakfast

My wife and I sing little songs to each other occasionally in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. It’s kind of like the Veggie Tales’ song, “Where Is My Hairbrush?” We take the simplest, everyday things and randomly burst into song. Sometimes they can be songs of joy (“My Wife is a Reubens Painting”) or exasperated expressions of annoyance (“I Can’t Find My Cell Phone and I’m Late, Late, Late!”). Some songs are one-hit wonders and others have become standards.

When we first married 12 years ago, the German pancake was one especially delightful thing I brought into the marriage along with all the other, ahem, less desirable stuff. My wife loves this alternative breakfast item. So much so that occasionally she’ll begin warbling, “I Want a German Pancake, Made By My Husband’s Hands, I Want a German Pancake…” and on it goes up to the rousing finish (and strangely, I can actually HEAR the brass in the band playing along in my head): “And I Want It Right Now!”

Photo by Jennifer Dickert via Flickr
This means I head to the kitchen and pull out a 10-inch black iron skillet and get to work. By now it has become easier than making just about anything else. I go through the steps and then call her into the kitchen. Although we’ve done this many times before, she is still like a little kid filled with anticipation before looking at Christmas lights or scanning the sky for fireworks set to begin. She gazes at the skillet as I set it on top of the stove. The heat has transformed the drippy batter into a yellow, puffy, round sun with a little nut-colored corona.

“Oooohh, look at it!” she says with admiration. Then there is the clatter of Blue Willow plates, the rustle of forks, the zip of the paper towels being procured, and then, “Mmmmm! It’s so good.” Try this recipe out. You might make somebody sing.

German Pancake


          6 eggs                                                             
          1 cup milk
          1 cup flour
          1 teaspoon salt
          2 tablespoons butter
          ½ teaspoon almond extract
          ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in skillet (or put in oven to warm skillet but don’t take too long to mix batter). Make sure sides of skillet are greased. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Take skillet out of oven and pour off most of the butter into the batter, stirring well. (I have skipped the preheating of the skillet many times). Pour batter into skillet and bake in oven 15 minutes. Pancake will puff up. Serve with lemon juice and powdered sugar or jam or preserves or syrup. Serves 2-4; can halve the recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! Thanks for sharing the story and recipe. We also have a tendency to break into song around here- lol both about random events AND because we have Veggie Tales songs stuck in our heads :-)