Friday, August 5, 2011

Æbleskiver Day 2011

Grandma was a pioneer in
Enterostomal Therapy Nursing
Happy Æbleskiver Day! Today would've been my Grandma's 90th birthday, and every year we make Æbleskivers to celebrate. Æbleskivers are a Dutch pancake, made in a special cast iron pan and my Grandma loved 'em. I told you all about my Grandma Cat two years ago on her birthday. She was born in 1921 and lived a tough life before she settled in as the Enterostomal Therapy Nurse I knew her as. Both of her parents died before she was 10 years old, she lived through the Great Depression, was a nurse in WWII, and became a widow at 48, just when the post-child-rearing fun was about to begin. She volunteered tirelessly for the Cancer Society, and till the day she died was making friends and we have hundreds of photos and Christmas cards to prove it. She saved every photo and letter I sent her, and now I only wish I'd written her more. There's something about writing your grandma a letter; you know she wants to know everything you have to say, no matter how trivial. And she loved my handwriting, which also encouraged me to write. If you are reading this, do yourself a favor and find a grandma to write letters to.

This year, since we are making Gluten-free Æbleskivers, I figured I'd not only post the recipe, but I'd do it food-blogger style. I want to start making my own GF all-purpose flour mix, but I haven't reached that level of gluten-free baking preparedness yet, so it's good ol' Bob and his Red Mill to the rescue.

Here's what you'll need:
2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 tsp plus 1/8tsp (or about 2/3tsp) Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups buttermilk (or like I do, 2Tbs lemon juice and milk to make 2 cups)
2 eggs, separated -- BEAT the egg whites and set aside
3 Tbs butter, melted

Sift all the dry ingredients together. GF flours seem to be more dense than wheat flour, and when sifted, seem to be a little more than what I measured. I can't spare any stress for these things; if it's too thick, I'll add milk later.

 Beat the egg yolks and add to the milk. Stir into the dry mixture.

 Stir in the melted butter.

Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Heat the pan on medium and drizzle a little melted butter into the holes. I suppose you could use some low-cal spray, but where's the fun in that?

Do as I say, not as I do: fill the holes with batter to the top, or you won't end up with nice round kugels.

When they start to puff up and rise a little, and look like they are starting to set --oh, who am I kidding? I don't know how to tell you when they're ready. I cook entirely by feel. Just feel it, baby. You'll know when it's time to flip. Just slide that knitting needle down the side and around the bottom of the hole until you've flipped the darn thing. It might take some practice...

...and as you can see, I use a fork to help things along.

 Once again, if you fill them up all the way, you'll have nice, round kugeln (that would be German for "balls" because I didn't want to say "nice round balls," I'm not ...sure ...why ...maybe because there's an eternal twelve-year old living in my head? Anyway, kugeln reminds me of how my friends and I ordered ice cream in Switzerland, c.1994).

This takes some time, seven kugeln every seven minutes or so... so meanwhile, send your kids out to gather blackberries. Because it's August, and they're ready!

And because it's tradition to pick wild berries with Aunt Renee. The minute we know she's coming, our mouths start watering and we grab our gathering bowls.

 Dust on a snowstorm of powdered sugar...

...don't forget a smattering of jams, and if you're from my Grandma's side of the family, Key Lime Curd...

....and yell, "HAPPY ÆBLESKIVER DAY!"

And by the way, this was my Grandma in WWII:

Sharp, yes?

And her husband, whom I never got to meet, but whose middle name I share:
Hello, James Dean!He looks like a pretty cool cat, don'tcha think? I wish I could have known him, and known he and my grandma together. Willard 'n Janet. I hear they had a lot of fun, in their own little way. :)


bicylist mama carie said...

This is all the tabs on PW- you rock! I ebleskivers!! Have a great weekend V's :)

Kosel Family said...

I'm crying now ;) She was a very special lady that I loved very much! And her brother I might add was of the same fold... they are much missed! Someday I'm going to have to make some of those! And you even had your mom and aunt to join you!!!

Chelsea said...

love this! i tried those for the first time at the Raspberry Festival in Lynden this year! they were wonderful! i know Chris is going to love trying this recipe! such special memories. and i love hearing about your Grandma. looking forward to hearing more stories!

katieoz said...

wow! those look amazing! And I really dig your foodie blog pictures :) way more successful than our sad attempts with the flourless chocolate cake (and blending the chocolate in my mud room! oy!)

And women like your grandma are kinda my heroes!