This year, just before the holidays, our city was covered in ice. Hundreds of thousands of people were without electricity, without heat, as the temperature sank well below zero and stayed there for days. So many friends and family members — including all of my grandparents who are in their eighties — were without power.
But that first morning of the ice storm, I had no idea that anything was amiss. I woke up in a warm room, showered, dressed. I snapped a few shots of the storm, salted our walkway, and set about making the brunch I had arranged for a few days before. My friends trickled in from all corners of the city, and brought news with them of trees collapsing, cars skidding, and whole neighbouroods in the the dark.
As we gathered around the table, with our meal spread out before us, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I don’t say it nearly often enough, but I have so much to be thankful for in this life.
I’m thankful for the new year and all the possibilities it brings. I’m thankful for the family I’ve got, and for the family-of-friends I’ve gained over the years. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, for the job that keeps me going, and for this tiny corner of the internet, which I get to share with all of you.
I’m grateful for old, faithful recipes, and for the new ones that come my way. Most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this food with the people I love.
The first day of the ice storm, I was able to share these German Pancakes (sometimes called Dutch Babies — reasons unknown). This recipe’s been made countless times for me by my paternal grandmother and also by my father as we were growing up. German Pancakes are perfect for serving a crowd at brunch. They’re outrageously easy to make. In the oven, they pillow and poof like a souffle, and by the time you take them out, they’ll have risen in a spectacular display. They manage to be soft, chewy, and perfectly crispy all at the same time, and are best served with a smattering of icing sugar and a few fat wedges of fresh lemon.
German Pancakes / Dutch Babies
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- generous pinch of salt
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs melted butter
- icing sugar & lemon slices, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they’re lightened. Whisk in the milk, salt, and lemon zest. Gradually add in the flour, and beat until there are few lumps remaining and the batter is relatively smooth.
3. Using the melted butter, grease a 9×13-inch pyrex dish (or a couple of large non-stick skillets). Pour the batter overtop.
4. Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.
And just in case I don’t say it often enough, I am grateful for you, dear readers. Thanks for sticking around.