Some memories, like popovers, linger for decades -complete with sights, sounds, and tastes – as if it were only a moment ago.
The Stuff of Princesses
I can still vividly feel the elegance of sitting with my mother, as the waiter served the famous Neiman Marcus popovers with their strawberry butter, and I thought, “This is how princesses live.”
My mother laughed in her dainty way and explained that the egg and flour batter could easily be replicated at home in our very “normal” kitchen.
“Why don’t we have them every day, then!” was my incredulous reply. “Because, then we wouldn’t have this special moment,” she laughed.
She eventually made them for us, convincing me once again that she was the most talented and ladylike woman I had ever known. And hers truly tasted as delicious as the ones we had at that special tea, minus the elegant surroundings.
Paris Gougère – French Popovers
I encountered another type of popover in France, called a Gougère, a cheese filled puff that delights the senses. At that time I lived in student accommodations, and I was excited that these culinary treats were affordable at a local pâtisserie. And they were affordable for students on a low budget.
Years later I sat at a restaurant once again with my mother. This time my father was there and the surroundings even more elegant – the Savoy in London. Thrilled at the incredible opportunity to travel with them, knew that this kind of experience would seem like a dream in the years to come. When I ordered a popover, the waiter served it with gravy and had the delightful name Yorkshire Pudding.
Dutch Babies – Pennsylvania Popovers
Decades passed and we settled in Lancaster county with our eleven children, which as you can imagine, was a totally different lifestyle. Here we encountered a family farm specialty of the Pennsylvania Dutch culture: Dutch Babies. These baked breakfast yummies are actually a cross between a pancake and a popover. Popovers follow me wherever I go!
There’s a moral here. Popovers, are for the elegant, the country folk, the student, the classical chef, and the family cook. Don’t find yourself intimidated. Look up our blueberry popover recipe and try them for yourself. Don’t wait for a trip to Neiman Marcus. Be royalty in your own home.