A few weeks ago Lyn of Lex Culinaria sparked a wild fire when she suggested a blogging event to celebrate Canada Day. My mailbox was instantly filled with eager participants, excitedly sharing thoughts and ideas. In the end, it was decided that the event would be called "Taste Canada", and Canada's own, food famous, Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess, put together a fantastic intro to the event on her site.
Here we go then. What does Canada taste like to me?
I would have to say that the center of my Canada has always been my parents’ acreage. It’s where I grew up, spent most of my life and it will always feel like home. As if it were yesterday, I see the early morning sun shining through the spruce in the backyard and covering my bed in a sea of glimmering light. I recall climbing trees, building forts and catching a zillion bugs. I remember Mom and Dad getting us out of bed on hot summer nights so we could watch the passing thunder storms, and all four of us huddling under sleeping bags on the trampoline to gaze in wonder at the northern lights. I'd have to say that Canada is everything that my family has made it to be.
So, when I started to think about my taste of Canada, I naturally turned to foods passed down to me by my family. However, in the search for possibilities, I soon realized that most of what I considered to be Canadian was not Canadian at all. My list wasn’t made up of Canadian symbols like poutine, maple syrup or raisin pie, but of foods stemming from my German heritage. At first I was worried that this would be the wrong direction for a Canada Day event, but after much debate I decided that the origin wasn’t what mattered. What makes these foods Canadian is me and because they've become traditions deeply rooted in the soil of my Canadian family they are Canadian.
The one food that really stood out yesterday, when I headed into the kitchen was Grandma’s German Pancakes. Covered generously in plump blueberries, or sweet peach slices these are the perfect taste of home and of summer.
Grandma’s German Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 generous cup of milk
blueberries or sliced peaches
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the milk and egg to the dry and whisk until combined.
Heat the frying pan (Mom always used cast iron, but I find non-stick pans work better with the caramelized sugar) and add the vegetable oil. Be quite generous with it so the pancakes fry up crispy around the edges.
Once the oil is hot add the batter and then quickly arrange whatever fruit you’re using onto the pancake. You need to do this fast so that the fruit can cook into the batter, making it easier to flip. Once the fruit is on, sprinkle the pancake with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. When the edges start to brown, flip the pancake over. Let it sit a minute, don’t get impatient, like me and take it out too soon. Let the sugar melt and get brown and yummy. When you think it’s ready flip it out onto a plate fruit side up. Serve warm plain or drizzled with cream.