At what age does summer stop being relaxing?
I remember, as a child, how long the summer days were. I remember reading Nancy Drew on the front porch, drawing hopscotch boards on the sidewalk, riding my bike around the neighborhood. I remember an inexhaustible supply of popsicles in the freezer, and rootbeer floats on the back porch, and hot dogs on the grill. I remember fishing, and camping, and swimming. And I remember that the days were so long.
It has only occurred to me in the past few years how hard my parents must have worked to give me summers like that.
I am trying to do the same for my own children. At the end of the day, I want them to be dirty, maybe a little sunburned, and completely exhausted. I want them to wear out their sandals and maybe their welcome with the neighbors. I want their clothes to be grass-stained.
I want them to look back, when summers are less carefree, and remember how much fun they had when they were young.
One of the things that made summers special for me when I was young was the relaxed nature of breakfast. Up early, and with nothing to rush off to in the morning, we would often have the type of breakfasts that were reserved for weekends the rest of the year. One of my favorites was my mom's German Pancakes. They were puffed and golden, and she just served them with lemon and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. They are also called Dutch Babies, and I can't help but prefer that name because, well, it's adorable.
I added vanilla and fresh blueberries to my mom's recipe, which makes them taste especially fresh and sweetens them up just a bit. They are a lovely way to usher in a long summer day.
Blueberry Dutch Babies
- 2 T. butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/2 t. coarse kosher salt
- 2/3 c. whole milk
- 2/3 c. flour, sifted
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set two 9" cast iron skillets or cake pans in oven as it preheats.
Process eggs in a blender until they are very light and fluffy. Add sugar, salt, milk, flour, and vanilla. Process on the lowest setting until ingredients are well blended. This should only take a few seconds. Batter will be very thin.
Carefully remove hot pans from oven and put one tablespoon of butter in each. As butter melts, swirl it over the bottom and sides of the pans. Pour half the batter into each pan. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the batter, dividing blueberries evenly between the two pans.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 6-10 minutes. Pancakes should be golden brown, puffy and slightly curled at the edges.
Slide the pancakes out of the pans, and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a generous dusting of powdered sugar.