Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pups and Pancakes Life with a Dog

A house without a dog
With a dog.

Abby had her five year gotcha day not long ago.  As many rescues are, she was quite shy the first couple of weeks but is now is simply a happy lab playing with her toys, retrieving a ball, the tail thump thump thump against the couch when I come into the room and she's bonding really well with our new Lab rescue Lorelei.  Abby was well behaved from the start, not chewing on anything that's not a chew toy, obeying basic commands and learning new ones each week. She's allowed on the bed to sleep but prefers one of the couches or her big poofy Orvis dog bed.
She does well in her harness and likes her rides in the vehicles to visit friends or run a quick errand while one of us stays in the car with her. The "exploding retriever" experience of our first trip north is but a memory (hey, we've all gotten car sick)  On the last  car trip she laid quietly on the seat snoozing the whole time but for one time I turned on some Classic Country and she sat up with an irritated look that said "they're playing LeAnn Rimes - if she yodels I'm going to start barking". I turned it off.

The only other non-snooze moment was a stop to stretch legs and get a Chick Fil a. Like her Mom, Abby loves Chick Fil a, the smells from the bag setting her tail on high rpm.
Abby on her "gotcha day".   So very skinny and SO happy to have a home.
where she wasn't in a pen outside having puppies.

Like all labs, Abby does like her food, going into a full-body wag each morning as I get up to feed her a bowl of kibble.

The house settled into quiet, I think it's time to make a German (also known as Dutch Baby) pancake. I think back to the lst batch I made, a little experiment.

It was right after we'd adopted Abby and my husband was driving down to my crash pad, to give her a couple of weekends to get used to us all together as a family before we took her to Chicago to her permanent home for a weekend.  I wanted to make one of those Dutch Baby pancakes like we'd had at a local restaurant. There was one recipe in this little book of Swedish recipes I picked up out West, though and I thought I'd try that. In mixing it up, the proportions seemed a bit off, and the amount of batter seemed like too much for the size pan recommended and the recommended temp a bit high. But I tried it anyway thinking, "it's a published cookbook, how can it be wrong". But I said that about the "overnight, no-knead yeast bread" recipe I got from a well-known website. And we know how THAT loaf turned out
The pancake was assembled and after 45 minutes  I had what looked like a giant pan of hot jello in the oven, even after cooking an extra 15 minutes. I'm not sure how the edges can be almost burned dark brown AND raw inside, but they were.  I poked it with a spatula and it rippled and growled. I've had science experiments that looked less toxic.
I disposed of it like any good bio-hazard.

Abby played dead to avoid having to act like she wanted to try it. . . .
while my husband started looking for cold cereal (or the nearest exit).

I double-checked the recipe and I'd made it just as directed.  Oh well, that's what I get for following the rules as opposed to my usual cooking style of "Watch this!" with the fire extinguisher handy.

Not willing to admit defeat, I tried again, this time just winging it, Husband patiently waiting, as anyone that hangs around someone that likes to experiment with stuff, often does. Since an oven pancake is sort of a cross between a pancake and a popover, I adapted my standard popover recipe to the bigger pan and added some Cardamom and Lemon Zest. Melting four Tablespoons of butter in the pan, getting it all nice and hot before pouring the batter in, didn't hurt, either.

Ta Dah!  Puffy Oven Pancake.  (Recipe in the comments)

This is what the doctor ordered.  It was perfect, with a tender crunch to the edge, and soft and fragrant in the middle.
Served the traditional way with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I do think the second try was worth the wait, as my faithful lab assistant seemed to agree. For yes, she begged for a piece and I gave in.


  1. Puffy Oven Pancake (also known as a "Dutch Baby")

    4 small or 3 jumbo eggs at room temperature (leave out about half an hour)
    1 and 1/4 cup whole milk at room temperature
    1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 generous teaspoon lemon zest
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

    Preheat oven to 375 F.

    In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt butter in skillet in oven or on stove top. Use a brush to get some of the melted butter up the sides or simply spray sides and top with a little non stick cooking spray.

    Whisk eggs and milk until fluffy. Add salt, vanilla, lemon zest and cardamom. Whisk in flour until mostly smooth (may still have some small lumps), about 20-30 seconds. Do not over mix.

    Pour batter into warm pan and place in oven.

    Bake 30-32 minutes. When edges are puffed and brown and center does not look "wet" remove from oven remove from pan immediately so it doesn't get soggy.

    Serve with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice (try it!) or the usual pancake toppings.

  2. Oh boy...this sounds delicious!!

    Happy belated Gotcha Day Abby!!!

  3. Oh yes!!! That does look delicious. Happy Gotcha Day to Abby!!! Our newest cousin Murphy is a rescue boy. He has only been "home" since Saturday and he is blending in so amazingly well - it's like he was always there.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  4. The second bed looks just like ours most nights. You've got great instincts in the kitchen.

  5. Whoa...I'd have waited too for that second beauty! Well done.


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on our Lab Rescues that have joined our household since Barkley left us.

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