“Abel, a charaid!” Jamie had paused to greet the last of the men from Drunkard’s Creek. “Will ye ha’ eaten yet the day?”
MacLennan had not brought his wife to the Gathering, and thus ate where luck took him. The crowd was dispersing around us, but he stood stolidly in place, holding the ends of a red flannel handkerchief pulled over his balding head against the spatter of rain. Probably hoping to cadge an invitation to breakfast, I thought cynically.
I eyed his stocky form, mentally estimating his possible consumption of eggs, parritch, and toasted bread against the dwindling supplies in our hampers. Not that simple shortage of food would stop any Highlander from offering hospitality— certainly not Jamie, who was inviting MacLennan to join us, even as I mentally divided eighteen eggs by nine people instead of eight. Not fried, then; made into fritters with grated potatoes, and I’d best borrow more coffee from Jocasta’s campsite on the way up the mountain.
We turned to go, and Jamie’s hand slid suddenly downward over my backside. I made an undignified sound , and Abel MacLennan turned round to gawk at me . I smiled brightly at him, resisting the urge to kick Jamie again, less discreetly.
Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 1 – Happy the Bride the Sun Shines On)
For as long as I can remember, my very favourite breakfast in the whole wide world has been my Dad’s potato pancakes.
He got the recipe from my grandmother, who got it from her adopted mother, a German immigrant to Canada at the turn of the 19th Century.
Of course, over the generations, each cook adds their own little flair to a treasured family recipe. For example, the potato pancakes I ate from my Dad bear no resemblance to the ones my grandmother made for my dad when he was a boy. She used leftover cooked potatoes, mashed together with an egg and some flour to hold it all together.
My dad decided somewhere along the way that grated raw potatoes were superior (probably after satisfying a craving when there were no cooked potatoes ready in the fridge), but he kept the rest of the batter the same.
And now it’s my turn to alter the family recipe. My change is simple — I added another egg and a little bit more flour to the batter, then fried them in a lot more oil than my dad used. That’s all it took to turn them from pancakes into fritters.
And since My Englishman prefers this new recipe, it looks like the change is permanent.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
: Crunchy on the outside, soft and savoury in the middle. A quick, hot breakfast ready in under 20 minutes. Add a glass of fruit or vegetable juice to round it out nutritionally.
Serves 4 – about 12 fritters
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 pound Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean – 2 medium
- 1 small onion, peeled and halved
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Heat ½” of vegetable oil in a large, heavy pan over medium.
While the oil heats, grate the unpeeled potatoes and onion halves into a bowl. Add the flour, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
When the oil is hot and shimmering (350° F), add rounded tablespoons of potato batter, frying 4 or 5 at a time. Fry until the bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes, then flip. When golden on the second side, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Serve hot, with your choice of sour cream, applesauce, ketchup, or plain with another sprinkle of salt and pepper, which is how I like them.
Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)