Mom and Dad have always kept things pretty equal in our family. With two daughters 26 months apart, I would say that’s pretty important. My grandmother has always said: “Can’t do for one what you can’t do for the other.” And for 99% of my life, I would say that Mom and Dad lived by that motto. With the exception of my tenth birthday when Sharon got a Barbie Car. That’s right. Sharon got an ultra-cool, battery-powered, get-in-and-drive-it Barbie Car on my birthday. And she was cruising the driveway at mybirthday party, looking infinitely cooler than me. I’ve never fully recovered.
But when I opened my first (early) birthday present this weekend, it was Sharon’s turn to be jealous. I was holding the much-hyped Williams-Sonoma Ebelskiver Pan, complete with turning tools and a cookbook with dozens of recipes, both sweet and savory. I don’t remember how it all started, but Sharon and I have talked about Ebelskivers so much, they’ve become sort of mythic. I can’t believe one of us didn’t just go out and buy the thing, but I thought $39.95 was a myth too much.
Ebelskivers, for the uninitiated, are filled pancakes of Danish origin made in this special pan (picture). Think pancake meets popover with filling. You put about a tablespoon of batter in the well, let it cook for a moment, then add a teaspoon of filling, then top with another tablespoon of batter. Once bubbles start to come through (just like pancakes), you flip them over. I was given these specialty turning tools, but I was about as awkward with those as I am with chopsticks. A spoon is far more effective.
Ebelskivers caught our attention because they are filled pancakes. Need I say more? And the flavor possibilities are endless. This weekend we tried simple fillings like jam, Nutella and peanut butter, just to get a feel for the process. But you can also add things to the batter—spices, herbs, cheese. Sharon suggested a few weeks back “cornmeal pancakes filled with sharp cheddar and chilies or pulled pork.” Or a puréed strawberry filling with whipped cream dip. You can even dip finished Ebleskivers in chocolate or other sauces. The accompanying recipe book suggests walnut, pear and blue cheese or sage and goat cheese (to which I would add caramelized onion). I drool as I type.
This weekend Sharon and Tony are coming to New York to celebrate my 27th birthday. You’ll hardly be surprised that we’ve decided to have an Ebelskiver brunch. I have missed Sharon these past few weeks as she finished up her first year of grad school. Papers and exams stood in the way of our daily chats. But now that she’s finished, we are free to spend the next six days attending to the really important things in life, like coming up with flavor combination for our Ebelskiver Birthday Brunch. I’m happy to share my pan with her, but that’s because we’re older now and I’ve totally forgotten how she refused to let me drive that gorgeous Barbie Car on my birthday.
You’ve had that pan for TWO weeks now, and I have yet to enjoy an ebelskiver! Now that we’re all adults, I think you need to apply the same you-can’t-do-for-one-what-you- can’t-you-do-for-the-other principle to Sharon and me. Next time we’re together, you owe me a filled pancake or two.
Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says
Wait, what did you get on your tenth birthday??
I guess it doesn’t matter because NOTHING is cooler than a Barbie car.
What a cute story. I look forward to more ebelskiver recipes. How do you pronounce that word?? Our Williams-Sonoma was making these and giving out samples but we never could get one–people were gobbling them up as fast as they were being made. Now I’m intrigued…
Maggy-what a great birthday present! I absolutely drool over Ebelskivers from Shopsin’s in the LES. Its a bit intense to eat there but you need to try them.
I’m so jealous of you – I want one too! (Yes – I’m aware of the irony.)
If I buy one and have it shipped to you and send you the money, will you mail it to me?!
I don’t understand how she got a barbie car on your birthday. That’s just a recipe for emotional baggage. How was this allowed to happen? Please explain, I’m curious
I know the sister-envy situation so well, with only 18 months between my sister and I. Maggy, you and I are both first daughters, and I think this is part of the depth of our friendship. We both know what it’s like when the baby sister gets that Barbie car.
I can’t wait to try some of these nommy little things. I think we’d better start with our idea for goats cheese, red onion chutney and walnuts. James won’t want that one, which means more for us! Muahahaha! Maybe then we’ll make some strawberry jam ones so he doesn’t pout.
I stopped in at William-Sonoma the other day and saw the ebelskiver pan and contemplated buying it. When I lived in Phoenix a friend invited me over and made them for me. What in the world are ebelskivers, I thought. Well, I never forgot that experience and now here they are again. Maybe I’ll have to break down and buy that pan after all. The idea I really like is all the different filling options — mmmmmm! And Maggy, it’s pretty remarkable you turned out so well after that traumatic tenth birthday!
Haha! Bea, your comment cracked me up. I don’t understand either! As best I can remember, Sharon and I always got something on eachother’s birthdays. But usually something more like a game or a doll (just to soften the blow that the other person was getting presents.) But that year was out of control. I can’t remember what I got for my 10th birthday, so it must mean it wasn’t as good as Barbie Car. But as I said in the post, this incident was a one off, which I guess is why I’ve kind of let it slide. Forgiven, but not forgotten 😉
it’s about time for me to weigh in, lest everyone think maggy was such a poor and deprived child!
the untold story is…that maggy (whose birthday is May 16th) got to bring cupcakes to school every year, she had huge birthday parties my mom meticulously planned with themes and food and favors. she invited the better part of the universe and they were always a blast, and maggy would get loads of presents.
MY birthday falls in the summer (July 20th), so no one was in school, there were no songs or presents from my teachers and classmates, they didn’t announce my name over the loud speaker, and i didn’t get to have mom bring cupcakes. in my 24.5 years of life, i can remember about 3 official birthday parties. in july, people were always traveling or we were away, so i didn’t get to have big blow out parties (plus, i was pretty shy.)
SO, the barbie car was more like ‘something to do’ at your big celebration for the shy little girl who NEVER got a party. you guys all feel bad for maggy now?
mom and dad also knew that even if i tried to keep you from riding it, you would do it anyway. so it was really a present for both of us. remember how slow it went when we BOTH tried to ride in it 🙂 🙂
love you, mags! (but you’ve gotten way more presents in our collective lives than i have, so chill.)