Friday, July 28, 2017

A Need to Connect & Peachy German Pancakes

I have a problem; I love talking too much. I go on and on, and when I wear out the ears of those who know and put up with me, I move on to strangers.

Yes, I’m one of those people who can’t seem to keep her mouth shut in a doctor’s office or in the line at the bank. I have no idea why I feel compelled to open my mouth and start rambling on. I know some people consider it rude, but I just can’t stop myself. I guess I have a need to connect with people.

Recently my talking-to-strangers problem has taken a turn for the worse. Now I’m feeling the urge to write letters to strangers. I have a mental list of unsolicited letters I want to write, and the list keeps growing.

Some of the people are actually companies. For example, quite a while ago we bought a giant-sized jar of Nutella at one of those club stores. It was a treat for sure, but the design of the jar made it nearly impossible to get all the chocolate-hazelnut goodness scraped out.  For years I’ve wanted to write a letter and suggest redesigning the shape of the jar, but I’ve managed to keep silent.

Sometimes I want to write thank you letters to strangers, but most of those would be undeliverable:  “Dear sympathetic-looking lady behind me in the grocery check-out line-- Thank you for smiling in what I took to be an encouraging way when my children were fighting over who got to put the frozen peas on the conveyor belt. It made life a little easier.”

And while I’m not normally hung up on celebrities, I might actually write a letter to Ree Drummond, a blogger and television cooking show host better known as Pioneer Woman. You see, I watch her show on Saturday mornings, and occasionally some of the children stick around after cartoons to watch with me. But my little Molly always watches with me; she loves Pioneer Woman.

Last fall on vacation, we happened to be driving through Pioneer Woman’s part of Oklahoma when her new store was opening, so we planned a quick stop. However, when we drove into town, the line for the store was blocks long. With road-weary, tired, and hungry kids in the van, I settled for taking pictures out the window as we drove past. But my normally jolly and easy-going Molly cried tears of bitter disappointment for a long time, and my heart broke.

Long line

Another long line

I’m hoping that if I write a letter and ask, Pioneer Woman might send Molly a birthday card this year, thus assuaging my guilt over causing my little girl to shed so many tears.

The other kind of letter I write looks more like a column in a newspaper. I don’t start it out with, “Dear Reader,” but those of you who take the time to read my ramblings are dear to me. Thank you for reading the words I feel the need, for some inexplicable reason, to write to strangers.


It’s been peachy around our house since we took a trip to an orchard last week. We didn’t buy enough peaches to can or dry, but I did freeze a few. Mostly we’ve just been eating them fresh; they were especially nice atop this German pancake at breakfast. If you don’t have peaches, top the pie-like slices of pancake with other fresh fruit, cooked apples, or syrup.

This recipe doubles (or, for my family, quadruples) easily. Just increase the size of the skillet you use; you may also need to adjust the baking times accordingly.

German Pancake

1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 425℉ and warm the iron skillet in the oven while making the pancake batter.

Beat together flour, eggs, milk, salt, and sugar either by hand or with a mixer. A few lumps are okay. 

Remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to the hot skillet. When the butter is melted, pour the pancake batter into the skillet. Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the pancake is set in the middle. Cut into slices and serve with your favorite topping.

*This column ran in the Hancock News on July 26, 2017 (without pictures and captions).
**This post has been shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth for The Art of Home-Making Mondays.

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