New Year’s Day Flop


For New Year’s Day, I decided to make a dish that isn’t a traditional one in our family. So, instead of the New Year’s Day roast pork and sauerkraut that was served on January 1 as I was growing up, and in place of the southern tradition of black-eyed peas and cornbread, I opted for something different. Why not celebrate the good luck tradition of Denmark with a dish known as ebelskivers?!

We had the cookbook and the special pan. I selected the recipe I wanted — cinnamon and sugar ebelskivers — and got to work. Whipping up the batter was easy. Cooking was definitely problematic.

As you can see, the cast iron pan has seven “hemispheres,” with the intent to create rounded pancakes by cooking one side, flipping, and cooking the other side. My recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar in the recesses of the pan. This was intended to melt and form a crunchy and sweet outer surface of each ebelskiver.

Then a small amount of batter gets added to the pan. CRAP ALERT: Here’s where the trouble started. The brown sugar in the bottom burned before the batter cooked. What a mess!

The first batch got tossed. For the second and third batches, I left out the brown sugar step. CRAP ALERT: Now the finished product wasn’t sweet. ANOTHER CRAP ALERT: To make a traditional ebelskiver, you use skewers to flip them so they cook on the other half. Flipping looks easy but isn’t at all. My ebelskivers were less than round and fluffy in the middle.

I got better as I progressed, but I didn’t like the savory taste. So in true crapsmanship fashion, I sprinkled the finished ebelskivers with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Still not enough sweetness for a good bite.

Cardinal rule of crapsmanship: MAKE IT WORK! So I sprinkled the ebelskivers with powdered sugar. That action solved two problems — they were now sweet enough and the pitiful appearance was camouflaged.

While it was fun to experiment with a new tradition (is it a tradition if you’ve only done it once?), I think I’ll stick with the black-eyed peas and cornbread!

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