My love of cooking heated up years ago when I first started living with a boyfriend and accepted sole responsibility for preparing meals. My favorite part of a meal was a sweet ending, and that led to a joy of baking. I was eager to try new recipes and curious to see how they would be received.
I couldn’t eat everything I baked so I shared with my friends and neighbors. Over time I became adept at recognizing recipes that really worked, and at tweaking recipes to suit my sensibilities. My love of cooking, baking, and sharing eventually led to a love of entertaining.
Looking back at my personal cooking career I see that my repertoire of recipes grew exponentially during times of stress in my life.
The summer my son left for college my nest began to feel not only empty, but way too big! I began filling it with food, all kinds of food, food from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Morocco and the Caribbean. My husband gained 15 pounds that autumn and I gained even more confidence in the kitchen.
When my beloved other mother died in the Spring every imaginable kind of salad began to sprout from the crisper drawers in my refrigerator. The easier the better…the tastier the better.
Many of my favorite recipes were given to me by clients when I worked as a manicurist in the beauty business for 18 years. My days were 8-10 hours long and the faces across from me changed every 30 minutes. The time we shared at the manicure table almost always included some talk of food, and often led to an exchange of recipes.
I still use many of those recipes today and it’s always a pleasure recalling the memory of the client who gave it to me. Friendships with many of my clients developed easily and naturally. Seeing someone each week for 30 minutes or longer certainly hastened that pleasurable process.
Catie was a client who inspired me to eventually become a docent at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She had been a docent for quite some time and enjoyed sharing her love of art. I remember visiting her home once, and as I walked from room to room I saw many beautiful original pieces of art that she and her husband had lovingly collected over the years.
She had young twin grandchildren who lived in the East and when they came to visit she would prepare a German Pancake for them. She told me about how they loved peering through the oven door to watch the pancake grow tall, puffy and golden brown while it baked.
I didn’t have grandchildren when Catie gave me the recipe but when my son was in his early thirties he married a woman who had fraternal twins. They were about 5 years old, a girl and a boy named Alicia and Cassidy, and soon after that their younger brother Cooper joined our family.
I love being a Mema and my grandchildren have all enjoyed watching the German Pancake rise through the oven window, and then eating it with their favorite topping of powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, coconut, pecans, or Nutella.
The twins are 18 now and we see too little of them, but Cooper spends the night with us as much as possible, and it’s still one of his favorite breakfast foods.
Thank you Catie for the gift of this delicious recipe and for the many joyful memories it has created over the years for my family.
8” to 10” cast iron skillet
4 T. butter
¾ C. all purpose flour
¾ C. milk
Melt butter in skillet in 425 oven (be careful not to burn butter)
Beat eggs…add flour…add milk…whisk until almost smooth
Pour batter into hot skillet of melted butter
Bake until puffy & brown 20-25 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve with:
Fresh fruit hot or cold
Maple syrup or honey