Translation: Life is more beautiful than I had ever thought.
Yesterday, I promised to share two yummy recipes with you, Eierkuchen (best translated as “fluffy pancakes,” but literally “egg cakes”), and vanilla syrup. I just found another recipe that I’m going to share with you (I’ll explain why later in this post), but I have decided to post only one recipe per post. That will make it easier for you to print it off, for those of you who want to do that. I’ll always provide links at the beginning and end of the posts to the other recipes in the grouping.
We made the Eierkuchen because Rob was craving good German pancakes–they are different from American-style pancakes. They didn’t quite meet his expectations, so we are going to keep trying, but I found the recipe to be A-MA-ZING. I didn’t have any expectations for them to live up to, but I will definitely use this recipe again when we want pancakes or to treat guests to a special breakfasty treat.
We first had vanilla syrup when George and Christina had us over for brinner one evening, and it just goes perfectly with the Eierkuchen. Grocery shopping bonus: all three recipes for today require an item you might not have in your kitchen, buttermilk, so you can buy some and hopefully use most of it up before it spoils.
I’m going to post the Eierkuchen recipe in its original German and in English as well. There is a section of the German recipe that even Rob is not sure how to translate (not that he doesn’t know what the words mean; he doesn’t understand how they translate into method UPDATE: Thanks to Gerhild from Quick German Recipes, I can now translate this part, see comment below for explanation), so I’m going to put what we did in square brackets. If you are a native German speaker and can shed some light on how to properly follow this recipe, please do so in the comments. Believe me, they still taste delish!
250 g Mehl
500 ml Buttermilch
½ TL Natron
1 TL Backpulver
50 g Zucker
1 TL Vanille oder Vanillezucker
1 Prise Salz
3 Ei(er), getrennt
Butter oder Öl für die Pfanne
Eier trennen und das Eiweiß mit einer Prise Salz steif schlagen. Eigelb mit Zucker schaumig schlagen. In einer Schüssel Mehl mit Backpulver, Natron und Vanille mischen und im Wechsel mit der Buttermilch oder Milch zu dem Eier-Zuckergemisch geben. Alles nur kurz verrühren, so lange, bis das Mehl sich dann am Ende aufgelöst bzw. gut verteilt hat. Als letztes den Eischnee vorsichtig unterheben. Abgedeckt ca. 30 Minuten ruhen lassen!
In einer Pfanne etwas Butter oder Öl warm werden lassen und eine Kelle Teig hineingeben. Auf mittlerer Stufe schön goldgelb backen. Wenn die oberste Schicht blasen wirft, den Eierkuchen wenden und noch mal kurz braten. Auf einen Teller stürzen und weiter wie bisher braten bis der Teig komplett aufgebraucht ist.
Dazu schmeckt am besten Zucker mit Zimt oder Apfelmus oder Kompott! Wer es nicht so süß mag, gibt keinen oder nur 1 EL Zucker hinzu. Anstatt Buttermilch kann auch Milch verwendet werden, wer es knuspriger mag, verwendet Mineralwasser. Die Vanille kann durch 5 Tropfen Vanillearoma ersetzt werden oder durch Vanillekakao oder einfach komplett weggelassen werden, wer es nicht so mag!
Zubereitungszeit: ca. 30 Min.
Brennwert p. P.: keine Angabe
1 2/3 c. flour (if you have a kitchen scale, use 250 g.)
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. baking power
1/4 c. sugar (if you have a kitchen scale, use 50 g.)
1 tbsp. vanilla or vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
3 eggs, separated
butter or oil for the pan
Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they make stiff peaks. Beat the yolks and sugar until foamy. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Alternate between adding flour and then buttermilk to the egg yolk mixture until combined. Finally, fold in egg whites. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Heat butter/oil in a pan over medium, then add one ladle of batter to griddle. When you start to see bubbles forming on the top, turn and brown for a few seconds on the other side.
Tastes best with sugar and cinnamon, apple sauce, or fruit compote/jam. If you don’t want them so sweet, use no sugar or only 1 teaspoon. You can also use milk instead of butter milk. If you’d like to make the pancakes crispier, add sparkling water [club soda would probably work just fine] instead of buttermilk/milk. You can substitute 5 drops of vanilla extract or [vanilla cocoa?], or leave it out completely.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Difficulty level: simple
Calories per portion: not available
If you try these recipes and play around with them, let us know how it goes in the comments, especially if you tweak them and it works!
My two-year stint in Germany is almost over and I have learned a ton of new German words in that time. Some I can’t ever get quite right (what is the past perfect of verstehen?!), and some I learned in the first semester of German class then promptly forgot when I needed them because of stage fright (the word for “postage stamp” is Briefmarke). Some I trip over every time I try to say them (“Muss ich” always ends up sounding like “mush ish” or–worse because it sounds like a vulgar word–“mushee”).
Here are my favorite German words, all of which, with one exception (Kartoffeln), I learned in the last two years.
- Ausfahrt. It means: exit ramp. Why I like it: It sounds like “ows-fart.” Farts are funny, especially aus-farts.
- nördlich. It means: north, northern, northerly. Why I like it: It sounds almost like “nerd-ly.”
- Schnarchen. It means: snore. Why I like it: It sounds like a snore!
- Schmachtenhagen. It means: It’s the name of a town in the state of Brandenburg. Why I like it: Say it! My mother-in-law also says it “Schma-en-ha-en” to shorten it, and that’s funny too.
- Bälle. It means: balls. Why I like it: “Ball” sounds pretty much the same as the English word, but “balls” in German sounds like “Bell-uh.” And that tickles my funny bone. :)
- Kartoffeln. It means: potatoes. Why I like it: I really can’t explain why I like this word, but I always have, since I learned it from Jackie in German class in high school.
- Glühbirne. It means: light bulb. Why I like it: German has so many logical words, and this is only one of them. Literally, it means “glowing pear.” This is a little backwards, but if you saw a pear hangin from a tree and it was glowing, what would you say it looked like? A light bulb. Logisch.
There are so many logical words in German: Krankenhaus “sick house.” A house where sick people live. What does the word “hospital” mean? Who knows. Regenschirm “rain shield.” What shields you from the rain? Where the heck does “umbrella” come from?!
What other logical German words do you know? Share them in the comments!
Entire English Phrases in One German Word
- Absacke. It means: last drink of the night before the bar closes. Why I like it: I like the way it sounds and I love German words that mean an entire phrase or sentence in English.
- gondolieren. It means: to ride a gondola. Why I like it: In German, I can say “We gondola-d for on the night of our anniversary.” In English, I have to say “We took a gondola ride on the night of our anniversary.” Efficient, no?
- übernachten. It means: to stay overnight. Why I like it: In German, “We overnighted in Frankfurt.” In English, “We stayed overnight in Frankfurt.” Here, the English translation isn’t too many more words, but I just like having one word for this very frequent situation.
- Verschlimmbesserung. It means: an improvement that actually makes things worse (slang). Why I like it: This is another one of those words that means an entire sentence in English. It’s so efficient!
- mutterseelenallein. It means: Dictionaries will tell you that it means “all alone,” but when you know what the words themselves mean, you see the deeper meaning. “Mutter” means “mother.” “Seele” is “soul,” and “allein” is “alone.” Taken all together, it really means, as one of my students explains in her This I Believe essay*, “being left alone by everyone, even by the one thing you were always confident of: your mother’s soul.” Why I like it: Wow, do we even have words like that in English?
* Listen to “The Very Basic Rule of Energy” by Masja Raab.