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Father's Day Breakfast Surprise

Dutch_baby1 Santa Maria is a woman of remarkable fortitude. She once ran the New York City marathon without training (she had volunteered to escort a blind runner through half the course, but the person who was supposed to relieve her didn't show up, so she ran the whole way). Also, when she was younger, she climbed Kilimanjaro. Oh, and she married me.

Her strengths were on display this morning. Last night we went out to a friend's wedding, and we didn't get home until well past midnight. Nina, who is just getting over yet another bout with a mystery virus was up at 5:50 a.m., and she was hungry. At least she wasn't throwing up, like she was the day before. Santa Maria got out of bed and took care of the kids and let me sleep in. It was a generous Father's Day gift.

Once I got up, Santa Maria made an old-favorite breakfast, something she's christened a Dutch Baby. Her mother used to make the sweet and savory egg dish for her. It has flour, lemon, and powdered sugar in it. The Dutch Baby is essentially a variation on a popover or Yorkshire pudding. Santa Maria makes it in a cast-iron frying pan. We once went through a phase of eating it every week. That was shortly after Pinta was born, a period that also coincided with Santa Maria carrying around a since-lost, post-delivery, thirty-extra pounds: watch out, it's a rich dish.

It's a delight to cook. It fluffs up in the oven, and then has to be rushed to the plate before it completely collapses. The kids love to get involved. They can sprinkle the powdered sugar on top. We eat with cherry jam and smiles.

Alas, Santa Maria had to make the Dutch Baby this morning from a modified recipe. I had taken to my office the recipe that she perfected during that pos-partum period. She didn't have the right one at her disposal. I thought that this version turned out well. The kids agreed. Pinta saw the little triangluar piece on her plate and said "Pizza!" I was excited to see her devour the Dutch Baby. Up until now, she has refused to eat eggs. We might have to start making it more often again. Tomorrow, I'll post the proper recipe for the Dutch Baby.

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