Experiencing an evening of making perfectly imperfect blintzes.
I rarely attempted blintzes when my mother was on this earth. Hers were amazing and from my early childhood to months before her passing I was filled with joy whenever she made them. She would feign exasperation when I told her of my failing attempts at replicating her mouthwatering treats. It was a humorous give and take discussion whenever the topic came up.
Upon her transitioning, I tried to make blintzes to connect with my mom’s memory. Most often they turned out blah, ununiform in appearance, and not quite right. I would give up for months until I once again needed to try. I wanted the connection. I needed the feeling that my mom would be proud of my victory over the blintz.
A few months ago, I scoured the recipes online and saved many to my Pinterest account. That was a mistake. Do not add things to your Pinterest account unless it is tried and true. Otherwise you have a ton of recipes and don’t know which one was “the right one.” I was so overjoyed with the results from my last batch, I gently wept. I felt my mom looking over my shoulder and then giving me a hug.
I don’t make blintzes often as I am the only one in my house that adores them. Tonight, is the first night of Hanukkah. I wanted blintzes again. I have been feeling a little off tonight. My spirit is not as it should be. I am aware of losses tonight. I am missing people who loved me and the love of people I loved.
I first looked online for recipes. I remembered the recipe I liked last time was considered “easy.” (That’s right up my alley.) I didn’t find the exact recipe I successfully used last time, so I checked my Pinterest files. OMG I was overwhelmed. None looked quite right. Being the analytical science teacher that I am, I searched for similarities in the recipes.
They were all close in the ingredients listed, but the quantities varied like crazy. I remembered an important factor in making the crepes was letting the mixture rest for at least a half an hour before frying. One recipe recommended letting the mixture rest in the fridge for up to 10 hours. Any recipe that said to pour the batter right away was eliminated.
How is it possible that almost all the recipes called for precisely four eggs, but some had a cup of flour and some stated up to two cups of flour? It is a mystery to me. All recipes seemed to call for unsalted butter, but then required you to add salt. This seemed strange to me. A couple said to add vanilla. My mom never added vanilla, but I decided to add a scouch less than what they listed. It seemed right to me. When pouring the batter some said use a ¼ cup, some said ½ cup, and one even said a ladle full. I remember on the recipe I liked last time, that ¼ cup was just right. The batter must be thin and poured quickly to surround the interior of the small frying pan. Some recipes stated to fry both sides while others said that was an unnecessary step. The “easy” recipe was not so easy tonight. Because nothing seemed just right, I took a little of this and a little of that and made what “felt” right.
Then of course came the hilarious filling of the stack of now fried crepes. I made the filling, again by combining different recipes. It took most of my counter to make my assembly line. The pictures they show you are perfect little blintzes, uniform in size and shape. Mine however have the occasional misshapen blobs. They still taste good, but they will not pass any beauty contest. Because I am making them mainly for me, I am not concerned with perfection.
After filling the blintzes, you must fry them in butter. (Not a low fat, or low cholesterol food.) Some recipes than state to eat them after they are filled and fried. Other recipes say to then bake the fried blintzes to make sure they are hot all the way through. I choose to bake after frying. It guarantees the blintz is hot and yummy all the way through.
I was thrilled with the end result. I had to eat a plateful. There was no other option. Mouthwatering blintzes now fill my Pyrex containers to enjoy later. My Hanukkah evening was fun as I ventured into the culinary world of blintzes.
I am OK celebrating my holiday my way. I am channeling my mom’s love and strength tonight. I am grateful for the hope that this new calendar year will bring more joy filled days.