Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Revealing my heathen upbringing

Apparently, today is Pancake Day. (Thank goodness for Twitter, or I would never know important stuff like this). Really, of course, it's Shrove Tuesday, last day before Lent, so last chance to eat sweets before the long fast. (A quick internet search revealed that I am the only English-speaking person in the world who apparently does not know this.)

It's a great excuse for a blog post, but presented me with an ethical dilemma. I try only to post things on this blog that, first I actually make, and second, anyone could actually make. As I like to say, I'm not a cook, I just play one on the internet.

Unfortunately, the only pancakes I ever make are the kind on the side of the Bisquik box. Inasmuch as it was a minor miracle when I actually had breakfast food in the house (unfortunately that includes boxed cereal), let alone cooked breakfast for my poor deprived children, let alone got creative at 7 a.m...

Anyway, I think you could count on one hand the number of times I cooked breakfast for my family. I'm sure that scratch pancakes are probably easy and delicious, but this was just not something I ever did. So I'm sitting here thinking, damn, gonna have to skip Pancake Day. And what kind of cooking blogger would that make me.

So I set the problem aside, and opened my Facebook. At the top of the feed was a link that a Swiss friend sent me, which set off the memories.

I went to art school in Austria (that's where the name of this blog comes from). For a year, I shared a very rudimentary kitchen with 60 people. Four electric burners, a toaster oven and a fridge. I can make anything on a burner because of that, and one of the recipes that I brought home with me was the wonderful light Alpine pancakes that are a staple of the Austrian diet.

Easy, versatile and delicious, they are a perfect quick meal. I haven't made them in years, and had a couple of false starts remembering the recipe. I also hope I've spelled it right!


1 cup flour
2 T sugar (for dessert or breakfast. For lunch or dinner leave the sugar out)
pinch salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Gradually add the milk until it forms a smooth batter. Add the beaten eggs, and mix until the batter is smooth. Don't use an electric mixer as overmixing can make the crepes rubbery.

Heat a 9 inch skillet (if you use an iron one you get a nice little boost of iron as well) and pour in just enough melted butter to cover the pan. Pour in enough batter to cover the pan very thinly, but completely. Cook the crepe over medium heat until the underside is lightly browned; turn and brown it lightly on the other side.

Serve with jam, nutella, or fruit and schlag (well, whipped cream) for a sweet crepe, or with sauteed mushrooms or [use your imagination!] for a lunch or dinner crepe. Or just roll it up plain and eat it on the go. Austrian fast food!

Unfortunately, no pix until later-- I have to go to work! (Who put pancake day on a work day for heaven's sake) but I'll make these for dinner and post the pix.

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