It’s almost as if it was a delayed April Fools’ joke. After all, the e-mail did literally appear in my in-box at 12:06 a.m. on April 2. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the heading, “Ebelskiver pan, our number one customer favorite.” It’s not that I thought the word “Ebelskiver” was some sort of joke. It’s that I thought, “How does everyone know about Ebelskivers? I thought my grandfather Brown invented them?”
It’s as if, with this one little Williams-Sonoma ad, that someone changed my childhood memory from something only I knew, to something that is the “number one customer favorite.” This is no joke. I really felt duped, not by my grandfather, but by the people at Williams-Sonoma who burst my little childhood bubble.
My dad’s parents lived in Baton Rouge, La. while the rest of my family lived in the Northeast. I actually only remember seeing my paternal grandparents maybe a handful of times in my life. But during their visits, the fondest memory I have is when my grandpa Brown would make what he called “ableskeebers.” That’s how they were spelled in my mind. He made these pancakes in muffin tins and would toss them onto our plates as my brother and I had abelskeeber eating contests. My brother is four years older than I, but as a young, active girl, I gave him a run for his money. I think I remember his record being 24.
Now looking back, I’m actually not surprised that my grandpa Brown knew about Ebelskivers. After all, he was a military man and they had lived all over the world. Perhaps it was during their stay in Europe that my grandfather stumbled upon Ebelskivers, “a beloved treat in [their] native Denmark,” according to the Williams-Sonoma ad.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really blame Williams-Sonoma for bursting my bubble. In fact, I love Williams-Sonoma. To me they are like the Tiffany’s of cookware. I just wish I had never known the truth about Ebelskivers. But now that I do, I guess it’s a good thing. I can share some Ebelskiver recipes with you and you won’t think I’m completely weird for talking about them.
If you’re a grandparent you can even get your grandkids to think that you are so cool, like I thought about my granpa Brown, for inventing this fun little pancake batter treat. Maybe that’s it. It’s not that my grandfather was trying to pull one over on me. It’s that I probably just assumed that he made up the name abelskeeber, because that is exactly something only a grandparent could do. Oh, well, the Ebelskiver is out of the bag, so to speak. Now you can create some fond food memories of your own.
Although I do love Williams-Sonoma, I don’t believe you have to have a gadget for every kitchen need. Instead of buying an Ebelskiver pan right away, you can simply do as my grandfather did and use muffin tins. It worked just fine for him. My brother and I had no problem scarfing down Ebelskivers until we were about to hurl. I would never do that these days, nor would I encourage it. In fact, to help you and your family enjoy Ebelskivers in moderation, please have a nice vegetable omelet and fresh fruit with two to three Ebelskivers. Then go outside, play a game of badminton, shoot some hoops, use a hula hoop, jump rope, ride your bikes, go for a walk and even try out a retro pogo stick. These are just a few of my favorite childhood games. Save the abelskeeber eating contests for the county fairs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup rice four
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
(If you are not gluten sensitive, you can sub 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour for the first four ingredients)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk plus up to 1/2 cup more milk until you reach desired consistency
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Beat the egg and 1 cup of milk in another bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredient and blend with a fork. Do not beat. You want the liquid ingredients to be absorbed by the dry ingredients until you get a gelatinous, sticky, thick batter that is still liquid enough to pour. Lumps are OK. Coat muffin tins with oil of your choice. Pour batter into tins and fill about three quarters full. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until Ebelskivers are browned on the outside and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with warm fruit and maple syrup.
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
(or use any fresh vegetables of your choice)
2 omega-3 rich eggs plus one tablespoon water
Salt, pepper, basil, oregano to taste
Chop vegetables. Set aside in a bowl. Scramble eggs with water until light and frothy. Heat a small to medium size non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil or butter to the pan. Use a heat resistant rubber spatula (a must-have item from Williams-Sonoma) to disperse oil. Heat vegetables until browned. Pour in egg mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and whatever fresh or dried herbs you desire. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid to allow omelet to steam for about five minutes. When omelet becomes puffed and fluffy, flip with the spatula or if you are brave, flip in the pan using good wrist action and a strong sense of conviction. Allow the omelet to heat on the flipped side for about a minute. Slide omelet onto a plate and serve with fresh fruit plus two Ebelskivers.
Elizabeth Brown is a registered dietitian and certified holistic chef specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, disease prevention and optimal health through whole foods. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.