Recipe: German Apple Pancake

I’m going to give you a secret. This is the  most asked-for recipe in my arsenal. I’ve gotten phone calls and written note-cards asking for this recipe, and I’m going to give it away today. Some people call this a Dutch Baby, but I’ve always known it as a German Apple Pancake- and it’s simply one of the best things you will ever eat. Oh, and you simply must have a cast-iron skillet for this. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet- first, shame on you! and next, run to the second-hand store and grab one. They always have them, usually for only a couple of bucks. Google how to season it, and get going! Let me know how it goes…

re_applepancake608

Dandelion Mama’s Apple Pancake of Yumminess (Official Title)

  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 2 large firm apples ( I prefer tart) peeled, cored and sliced in wedges
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in middle position.
  2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat, setting aside 2 Tbsp in your blender.
  3. Add apple wedges to butter in skillet and saute until they soften and get some color. About 5 minutes, usually.
  4. While apples are cooking, add milk, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt to butter in blender and whirl until smooth.
  5. When apples are colored and soft, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then pour batter over the top of the whole mess.
  6. Put the skillet in the hot oven and bake until pancake is puffy and golden, usually 12-15 minutes.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with real maple syrup.
  8. Die happy.
  9. I’m not kidding.

What the World Needs Now, Is Love, Sweet Love

The muffled voices of the TV, talking importantly to itself, float though the wall. My chin rests heavily on my bent wrist, as I absently gaze out the back window. Fat white snowflakes are flying helter skelter on the cold wind, up and down in my gray, barren yard- mocking the near spring-like day we had yesterday, and the hope it contained.

For a while, the warm-ish ground was fighting back, melting the flakes as they landed, but now, the snow is winning, a veil of white descending on the yard.

I need green the way I need water or air. Yesterday, hope sprang, as all the Christmas snow finally melted and the faint tinges of green could be seen looking over the fields. Now, they are white again. When I lived in California, February meant spring, and by March, I had a tan. This is the time of year I struggle with most living in the Northwest. While mostly I love the seasons, March still being winter is really hard to take.

So, I’m off to make some stuff. I don’t know exactly what, but I need to do something to pep myself up. My floors need mopping and the laundry needs doing, but that will still be there, much like winter, tomorrow. Today, I create.

Dodge and Duck

I know why the American auto companies are failing. I found out yesterday, when I finally got my rental car with three rows of seats. The car Randy delivered to me, after my incomparably disastrous morning, was none other than the Dodge Journey:

dg009_014jn

It’s a disaster on wheels. It’s ugly. It’s boxy. It’s small. It has absolutely NO visibility when looking over your right shoulder to make a lane change or turn. The interior is cramped- so much so, that even reaching for your cup in the cup holder requires contortion skills. The seats are uncomfortable. It’s hard to flip them open and back to access the rear seats, even my 7 year-old hits his head on the ceiling in the third row. If the boys are sitting in the third row, there is no room for legs in the second row. It’s dangerous to Abby’s legs, the space is so small. Forget an adult’s knee needs.

And, I’m not the only one who thinks so… a quick Google search turned up a scathing review by The Truth About Cars, and he says: 

“…the instrument panel upper is finger sink soft. But all the bits attached to it, including the protruding center stack, are straight from the bargain basement. It looks, feels and smells cheap.”

“…the driving position is an ergonomic abomination. The steering wheel rim obstructs the temperature gauge and the right half of the tach, and the optional rearview monitor is positioned at knee level.”

As if that’s not damning enough, he adds 

“And speaking of Novocain, the Journey’s driving experience is the only aspect of the vehicle that’s more forgettable than the exterior styling.”

My question is this: Why is this happening? With all the excellent automobiles out there, with all the fantastic designs, ergonomic beauties, why are American car designs so freaking butt-ugly? And not only are they ugly to look at, they are uncomfortable, and in the case of visibility, unsafe. I just don’t get it. There are car companies doing it well, making a quality product with good retention of value. There are companies making nice cars that fit your body comfortably, and get good gas mileage. So why are the Americans trying to reinvent the wheel? Why not look at what is doing well, and DO IT TOO?

Driving this disaster makes me all that much for frightened at the idea of bailing out the American Auto industry. It seems like a bottomless pit. If a company is making a sucky product, shouldn’t it fail? Nature abhors a vacuum, so another will rise and take their place, right? Maybe the next car company will be competitive with our Asian and German neighbors, and we won’t have to subsidize the American version of the Yugo.

End rant.

Stepping off the Ledge

I just did something really scary. I sent away for a registration packet for a trade-show for the industry I’ve been dabbling in for a few years. It’s scary because, well, what if it works? I’m not going to talk more about it for now, but I just wanted a record of when I did this. So there it is.

Can you tell I’ve been playing with code? Not very good at it yet- and I cannot for the life of me get the big words to go away on the header. I made an entirely new header, but it looks like crap with the big ugly font over the top…