When it comes to cooking, I’m a late bloomer. At least if you compare to those whiz kids and wonder children on Junior Masterchef, who kind of freak me out to be honest, with their perfectly beaten bernaises and elaborate passionfruit mousse desserts. Me, I barely cooked at all until I was about 20.
I would help my mom in the kitchen from time to time and I especially liked to assist with the Christmas baking and festive things like that, but for me to actually prepare a full meal was a rare event. More like the opposite. Coming home from school, me and my brother would stubbornly wait each other out until the one who was the hungriest caved in and put something that usually came in tin foil in the oven. The other one, the winner in the I don’t want to cook-game, would have to do the dishes and for me that was the perfect trade. “Fine, I’ll make something to eat then!” my brother would grumble after a gruelling hour and then I would look up in faked surprise and go “Oh, what I good and unexpected idea! I can do the dishes!”. No, I really didn’t like cooking at all.
The big change came when I moved to England to work as an au pair. For those of you who have never heard the term before, an au pair is just another word for a live in-nanny. Besides taking care of two little boys, I was also in charge of the whole food department. That meant planning every meal for the week, grocery shopping and, god lord, cooking. When I heard this, I allowed myself to freak out just a little. I couldn’t cook. It was common knowledge. Malin doesn’t cook. She does the dishes.
Those poor kids, they were gonna starve if I didn’t pull myself together. So, well, basically, I did just that. Pulled myself together. Couldn’t let those boys suffer for my inadequacy. Before leaving, I went through the few cookbooks I had and tried the recipes that looked the least difficult. Then I had my mom teach me her classics, like meatballs and bolognese. It was when I aced the cinnamon bun I understood I might be on to something and I cheerfully emailed my au pair mom-to be and declared “I have now made cinnamon buns. They are delicious. I think we’ll be OK.”
So I went to England, the kids didn’t die of hunger and after a while, I started stepping out of my comfort zone. I scoured every cookbook I could find and made a thing of making new recipes every week. The meal planning was soon my favorite part of the week. No matter how many new and fancy dishes I tried, though, two things remained on top of my kids’ most wanted-list: the cinnamon bun, which I’ve already told you about, and pancakes. Apparently, I’m some kind of genius when it comes to pancakes. I don’t mean to brag or anything, but for some reason I don’t even understand myself, people are crazy about my pancakes. In just a few months, I went from “Malin doesn’t cook” to “Malin is the pancake master”.
The Swedish pancake, because that’s what we’re talking about here, is thin since it doesn’t contain baking powder. It’s traditionally served rolled up with jam and whipped cream inside, but it’s delicious with just caster sugar, maple syrup or ice cream as well. Fresh berries are a great compliment too. Actually, it’s a little bit “anything goes”. Go wild!
Like I said, I don’t know why mine get such praise, but here’s how I do: mix 2,5 dl flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl. Add 3 dl of milk, stir till smooth and then add 3 dl more. Stir until smooth. Add 2 eggs and beat again till, you guessed it, smooth. Melt a pretty big lump of butter in a pan and add to your batter. Fry your pancakes (each one about 1 dl of batter) on a medium heat, I prefer mine golden like in the picture. This makes about 9-10 pancakes, which two people can manage with some will power.
Malin’s eating is now on Instagram at malinseating and on Facebook at facebook.com/malinseating