Where has the summer gone? The first day of school is around the corner, the Babe is going to go to a dance and play group starting next week, where has the time gone is a better question. My girls are growing up so fast.
We have most of the things we need for the first day of second grade for the Lady, got the outfit, new shoes, but still haven’t found a new back pack or lunch box. She says that she’s okay with using her old ones until we find ones she likes, and I’m glad. She’s so grown up, I can’t think about it too hard or I get a little freaked.
Overall we had a good summer, the Lady had two weeks of music camp where she learned how to play the ukulele, and one week of dance camp, she learned a little bit of tap, jazz, musical theatre. The Babe spent a lot of time at the neighbourhood splash pad, running around in the sun, sometimes fighting off tiredness so that she wouldn’t miss anything. Even her grumpiness was kind of fun, but not really.
I feel like I worked a lot, but at the same time we tried to book a few days off here and there to hang out together, relax, and see family and friends. Part of that relaxing was me making my big brunches at home when I could. This summer was the summer of the Dutch baby pancake. I made them so many times and have decided that I like them even more than regular pancakes, and that is big, I am a pancake lover, no doubt. But now I’m all in for Dutch babies!
Dutch babies are a cross between a pancake, a crepe and a soufflé. It is a wonder to watch as it bakes, rising and getting all puffy and crispy, damn I want one right now as I type this!
Back in the day I used to make Dutch baby pancakes for when friends in bands from out of town would crash at my place. I had a beautiful cast iron pan that my boyfriend at the time gave me and it was perfect for making those big puffy eggy pancakes, served simply with icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. We’d make pots and pots of coffee and talk about the gig the night before while the pancake baked in the oven.
When my chef friend and I were recipe testing for the Restaurant brunch menu so many years ago we really wanted to put a Dutch baby on the menu, but decided that it would be too hard to do properly so I forgot about them for a while.
Then recently I bought a new cast iron skillet and the memory of those hungover mornings making them for friends popped into my head and I had to make them again. The first time, I admit, was not my best attempt. The pan wasn’t hot enough, and I didn’t bake it long enough, although it was still pretty good. But now, I’ve got it down. I put the pan in the oven as it’s heating up, as well as heating it up on the stove until it’s almost smoking. I make sure all the ingredients are room temperature before I mix the batter, and the batter needs to be really smooth, no lumps, please. The result is a super puffy edible sombrero with crispy golden edges, I literally sit in front of my oven and watch the magic happen.
We’ve had them with some of the best summer fruit this year- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and my personal fave, peaches, with lots of maple syrup, of course. In the fall I think I’ll try making some apple and pear compotes. Dutch babies are here to stay, baby.