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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Memorable, to say the least

April 23, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was all about talent, and 20 year-olds, and it got me thinking back to when I was young, or younger, anyway — a junior in high school — and how nervous I was to be one of the final five candidates for Miss Butter Pat at the county fair. I had a heck of a time coming up with something for the talent portion of the contest.

At first I thought I'd sing. I don't recall the title, but there was a lovely song about a young man who "sleeps in the valley where the wildflowers nod; and no one knows she loved him but herself and God." I practiced it with my choir teacher, but got a bit emotional whenever I got to the "Sorrow, sing sorrow" part. Especially since I had a serious crush on Bert Lipschke, who played trumpet like all getout and who was always in the choir room filing music during my rehearsal time. The attraction was not mutual, however, and it made me a bit crazy to sing my heart out in the presence of a boy who had unknowingly captured mine.

So I opted for dance. I'd had a few lessons along the way and could tap well enough to get by. The choir teacher, Mr. Harpinke, chose a Broadway medley for my performance piece and for two weeks I spent long hours every day after school dancing away on the concrete floor in the basement with the washer and dryer running and my father at his workbench tying flies for his summer fishing trip to the Kenai in Alaska.

I remember it all so clearly — "Pennsylvania 65000" and "String of Pearls" and "Lullaby of Broadway" and "42nd Street." For the contest I wore a little black skirt and jacket with a sequined little...umm...shirt underneath the jacket and a metallic silver top hat and silvery tap shoes. My father took issue with the outfit but my mother told him to shut his piehole and let me do my thing. Which I did.

I was runner-up for Miss Butter Pat that year. Helen Doosenhagel won, something we all predicted. Her father was the bank president and wore a monocle and never smiled, and her interpretive dance (with scarves) to "The Star Spangled Banner" was memorable, to say the least. Such blessings they are, the gifts we're given. Once you figure out your thing, all you've got to do is do it. And who knows where you'll find yourself.

The kids are taking big tests this week and have, as per their teachers' suggestions, asked for hearty breakfasts. This recipe is quick and easy and will fill 'em up 'til lunchtime.

Big Puff Pancake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs plus one egg white
1 t vanilla
Mix above ingredients well. (I use a blender.)

Melt 1-2 T butter in a 9 inch cake pan or 2 qt casserole.
Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until center is set and sides are puffy.

Cut into pieces of desired size. Serve with butter and syrup. MMM!

A delicious variation: pour a can of cherry or apple pie filling into pan before adding batter. (You may have to bake it a bit longer.)

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