This ultra-thin pancake has been part of my life since I began to eat solid food. It was the queen of comfort foods and still is. It’s not a food you sit down at the table and wait for to be served, but rather, this is a magical thing that slides out of the pan, onto a plate to be slathered and rolled with filling and eaten right away.
Two hands are required. One to hold it to your mouth, the other to hold the tail end as you eat your way through it. Usually, the first ones off the pan never make it to the rolling plate, we would just hold the transparent circle of cooked dough and peel pieces from it. The crunchier edges, give way to the softer, springier middle. My brother and I were like little birds, waiting for morsels from the mother bird.
The ones my mother made were almost always perfect. Mine however were not, but it was intentional. The imperfect ones were for “testing”. When I saw the kids waiting in anticipation, I made a wonky one so they could get one right away. It was a way to keep the magic of that anticipatory memory alive for me.
Yesterday I decided to try to make palacsinta. It’s been about ten years since I played with that delicious thin batter. I wanted to make super comfort food that doesn’t take an eight-hour commitment like cinnamon rolls.
My granddaughter was here, and I asked her if her Mom made them for her. Shockingly, the answer was no. It’s not an easy thing to master. It’s all technique and a messy undertaking.
So I set about setting up the batter, the pan, plates, filling…
And then as the first ones came off the pan, there she was, just like her mother, the little baby bird, waiting in anticipation. It was magical. After the first one, she took over smearing the jam and rolling them for herself.
Yesterday was quite a learning experience. I found out what I can do comfortably while healing from this hip surgery, and still create something delicious. I’m not sure about the logistics going forward.
But I do love the role of mother bird making something delicious for waiting baby birds.