Now we’re talking. I had three ideas on how I should celebrate this one. My first thought, which seemed rather obvious, was to head to the hallowed halls of pancake worship not just for these great United States but for the whole international community: the International House of Pancakes. They seem to have a pretty good grasp on the pancake thing and they actually seem to be doing good work in research in development as they keep introducing new breakfast items like Pumpkin Spice and Apple Ring pancakes. But the IHOP in town is on the other end of the island which seemed like a long trip for just pancakes.
My second idea was then to keep it local, as in up the street and around the corner local. That would be Reidy’s – our local breakfast restaurant (they serve lunch and dinner too). It’s really a five minute walk away and although we don’t go there that often, when we do, there’s always a warm feeling. Lola usually knows a waitress or two from having gone there all her life. They always ask about the family and our sincere in their asking. The tables there are along the walls and the lunch counter is in the middle, usually filled with locals talking about Patriots football, local issues or just politics in general. It’s clean (in a way) and the food is good – just what you’d expect from a local place like this. More often than not, you usually end up seeing someone you know there (which is not always fun). Today was one of those days when we didn’t feel like bumping into anyone we knew, so we decided to skip Reidy’s.
That brought us to the third option which came down to me cooking at home which I was fine with but if I was cooking, I wanted to create something a little out of the norm (I can cook pancakes any day – this needed to be special). Not too long ago, a recipe popped up on my Facebook feed from the NY Times Food page which was for an incredible looking pancake. A quick side note, the NY Times Food page has some really great recipes. Sometimes they get a bit complicated to make, but it’s a great source for recipes you might not otherwise think of. I dug into their archives and found the recipe I was looking for and decided to make it. The day had gotten away from us, so I also decided that we would be having pancakes for dinner, which seemed like a a more festive way to celebrate this dish.
The recipe was for a Dutch Baby pancake. A Dutch Baby is also known as a German pancake or a Dutch Puff (oddly enough, that was my nickname in high school). It’s origins are from Germany, although in regards too being a Dutch Baby, its origins are traced to a Seattle restaurant from the early 1900s. Locally, it was a featured dessert pancake at a New England favorite Bickford’s. It’s easy to make – add eggs, milk, sugar, flour and nutmeg in a blender and then put it in a hot skillet and cook in oven for 25 minutes. The results when you pull it out of the oven are spectacular. It fluffs up and fills the whole skillet with this delightful pastry of insane goodness.
If you were looking for the typical pancake taste, this is not for you. I described it as more of a French Toast taste although Lola nailed it and said it was like a popover (which it really is). Still, if you douse it in syrup, it tastes good to me. Lola thought it would taste good with some maple butter or some jam (which is how she eats a popover) and it would be (serving it with jam was a recommended serving suggestion from the Times). It’s also not quite as filling as a short stack of pancakes. We split the Dutch baby in half and I could have easily eaten the whole thing by myself. Still, I would say it was a fun twist on the standard pancake. It was also nice to be able to finally try the recipe as I had been thinking about it for a few weeks. In the end, we celebrated the delight of pancakes and made the day a holiday, and better yet, we doused it in syrup.
Next Up: National Corned Beef Hash Day