Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Grandma Hansen

When I was young, my Grandma Hansen would make us - my brothers, cousins, and me - Norwegian pancakes. I did not eat "regular" pancakes very much - in fact it took me about 8 years to actually learn how to make them properly!!! Ha - And I still don't care for them very much. I decided I needed to buckle down and make Norwegian pancakes for my family!! I was very excited about the prospect of pulling out my 12 inch cast iron skillet and whipping up a batch. Well, it did not go as planned. See, Norwegian pancakes take a bit of practice, if you are not an expert cook (which I am not). For all intenstive purposes, they are a 12 inch crepe. And you need a long, thin spatula to turn them. The heat has to be rather high and you have to work rather fast!! I had no problem with working fast and rather high heat. It was the whole finesse thing I had troubles with!! After much work, I did get a dilapidated batch made. My family was not impressed and complained. I did not give up making them, but decided to wait for a better day. About six months ago, that better day came. I had told the Lord the one thing I really wanted to do was make breakfast for my family. And He has helped me to get up most mornings (when my alarm is working properly) to do this. One morning I decided to make the pancakes for my family. And voila! They came out great. And they were very excited and loved them!! And now, that's what they want every morning for breakfast. It's a blessing to see my children enjoying a meal that brings back so many memories from my childhood.

Now, we don't eat them like Grandma Hansen served them. She had an assembly line and you had to be ready to have your pancake thrown on your plate, and eaten, before you next turn. If your turn came around, and you were still eating, you didn't get a pancake. Which explains why I was so thin as a youngster. I was a very slow eater so about every third turn I would get a pancake!! I am rather boring in my way to make them. I pile them on a plate and the children grab them from the plate after they are all made.

Here is the very simple, very easy recipe. In our family butter is the only staple. I have never tried to make them with margarine so if you do try, let me know what you think.

2 cups flour
3 cups milk
2 eggs

Blend together until very smooth. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, on a medium high heated 12 inch pan (nonstick will work too) treated with butter, hold pan off burner at slight angle. Pour 1/4 cup batter in pan near top edge and swirl around quickly to cover bottom of pan. Slice a teaspoon of butter and place on top of pancake (this is really important for a cast iron skillet, not for a nonstick one, though). Wait approximately 2 minutes, until edges begin curling slightly. Using long thin spatula (DO NOT try this with an offset spatula), carefully slide under pancake near center. Lift up and turn over. This is the tricky part - putting it back in the pan properly. Once this is done, wait about 15 to 30 seconds. Lift out of pan and place on serving platter, or serve immediately.
Fillings include, but are not limited to: sugar (#1 favorite growing up and in our house), jelly/jam/preserves, nutella, bananas, eggs, cinnamon and sugar (Our cousins eat this way). Put any of filling about 1/3 way down pancake all the way across. Roll up, cut, eat!!


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