Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday Pancakes

Tuesday Pancakes were a total hit (greeted with"Yippee!") when my two boys, Franz and Ben, were growing up. Maybe it was the strangeness and allure of having breakfast for dinner. Maybe it was the way the fat and batter puffed up magically in the hot oven. Maybe it was the powdered sugar and jam accompaniments. I don’t know, but their enthusiasm was genuine.

More than a year ago, my former husband ran across some of my old cooking notes, recipe clippings, and a 1976 kids’ cookbook by The Youth Publications of The Saturday Evening Post called Holiday Cookbook and very kindly sent them to me. Flipping through the splattered and raggedy cookbook, I spotted the recipe for Tuesday Pancakes, with many notes scribbled onto the batter-spattered page, as you can see above.

The page from the cookbook reveals that the Tuesday actually refers to Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or Marti Gras, the blow-out day preceding the beginning of Lent, a time of giving up something you adore. When I was making Tuesday Pancakes for my family back in the 80s, I didn’t pay the slightest attention to that fact. It was an easy, quick and popular dinner (and sometimes breakfast) beloved by all. And that was all I needed to know.

3 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup sifted powdered sugar
Lemon juice, optional
Orange marmalade or other preserves, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Beat together the flour, milk, salt, nutmeg, and eggs. Don’t worry about the lumps.
3. Melt butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet.
4. Pour the mixture into the very hot skillet.
5. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pancake has puffed up.
6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Serve immediately before the pancake deflates.
7. At the table, encourage your table mates to squeeze lemon over the top and/or spread with marmalade or other preserves, if desired.

Makes 1 pancake. It will serve more than 1, but less than 3.
For 3 people, make 2 pancakes. Double the recipe and use two pans or skillets. Can bake at the same time.
For 4 people, make 3 pancakes. Triple the recipe and use two pans or skillets. Bake in two batches.
Adapted from Youth Publications/The Saturday Evening Post Company’s Holiday Cookbook. Text by Peg Rogers.

Tuesday Pancakes with Blueberry Preserves. Just excellent.

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