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Recipe of the Week: Potato Pancakes

The following Potato Pancakes recipe is from The New Butterick Cook Book, by Flora Rose, co-head of the School of Home Economics at Cornell University. It was published in 1924. A professional scan of that 724-page out-of-copyright book will be one of the bonus items in the next edition of the waterproof SurvivalBlog Archive USB stick. This 15th Anniversary Edition USB stick should be available for sale in the third week of January, 2021.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups grated potato
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Juice
Directions

Scrub and pare the potatoes and grate them into cold water to keep them from discoloring. Drain well and to every two cups of potato allow one beaten egg, two tablespoons of flour and sufficient milk to make a stiff batter. Season with salt, pepper and onion-juice [to taste]. Cook in a frying-pan with hot fat to the depth of about one-half inch. A large spoonful of batter makes a good-sized cake. Cook until well brown and crisp.

SERVING

Serve as a vegetable with meat and gravy. Especially good with a stew.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail [1]. Thanks!

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#1 Comment By benjammin On June 8, 2020 @ 4:10 pm

Definitely a good recipe, but not quite what I’d call a pancake. More of a hashbrown. Tasty, but a different category.

To start with, I’d use mashed potatoes instead of grated. I’d adjust the flour to a 50/50 volume match with the amount of potato. Probably increase the amount of milk and introduce a leavening to give it a little fluff. It will be noticeably different from a standard pancake, but in the same category.

Think more like potato rolls vs. potato fritters as a similar comparison.

#2 Comment By Bear On June 8, 2020 @ 7:32 pm

These are also quite tasty crisped up on a griddle! (and a little healthier that way too)

#3 Comment By joyce On June 10, 2020 @ 5:05 am

As a very young child, my father, (Amish/Pennsylvania Deutsche by birth,) made potato pancakes that were indelibly etched on my mind and tongue! As many youngsters, i did NOT pay attention to the how…just reveled in the glorious texture and taste. Fast forward to my young adult years when i once again enjoyed these delectable potato pancakes at a local buffet where the chef paired them with beef stew, which is also German. Life rushes by at that age so i did not stop to ponder or search further.

Many years later, after marriage and having my own children i happened to hear on the radio, a regular cooking show caller give a potato pancake recipe that sounded “right.” (Up till then, my many tries had not produced a close facsimile…sad face.) Like “miss-hearing” words to songs, i HEARD “potato-poopers,” instead of potato-poofers.” But that is what i took to calling them, and my young children delighted to follow suit! (Recently, i searched the internet for Sunshine Line recipes and found my mistake…sheepish grin.)

Fast forward to now…my youngest son, with four of his own, has decided the breakfasts at Grandma’s were not often enough to enjoy HIS childhood favorites, so has learned the recipe and how to make them, my oldest daughter as well. All that being said, the call in recipe for Poopers, once i tried it, was exactly what i had remembered from my childhood.

Even though the ingredients are comparable, the preparation is what sets the end product apart from the many others tried…some similar to the posted recipe above. Since blenders were not used in my Grandma’s Amish kitchen, she must have had a particular grater/method that accomplished a close end result. Use of my blender, part of the given recipe, made the texture come out just as remembered. This is what the caller said when i heard “POOPERS” on The Sunshine Line way back in the eighties…

Peel, (i dont if the skins are nice,) and chop 4-5 medium to large potatoes into about 1 inch cubes. Place in blender. Add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, (i use 1 teaspoon onion powder sometimes instead,) about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to the potatoes and blend ONLY until barely smooth. (The goal is not to liquefy, only to chop finely/mix it all together. Stopping to adjust the ingredients with a rubber spatula in between pulsing is needed till everything falls into place as the blades turn. A food processor might actually work better, but i don’t have one. Sometimes i get it more mixed than prefered…haha.) Portion onto hot griddle/skillet with large spoon or ladle. Big or small cakes work equally well, depending on what you prefer. How much oil, (i use UN-flavored coconut oil,) is up to your tastes. Turn when browned…the potato starts to look cooked. Takes a little bit but you learn when it’s ready. We like to use butter, salt and more fresh ground pepper when we eat them…takes restraint to end up with leftovers.

We have also used 1-2 tablespoons of flour plus a quarter teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder that adds a different texture…more like a regular pancake. (These are added after the main ingredients are blended, trying not to over mix, still again.) Daughter and granddaughter like it with flour, i still prefer without.

Thanks for posting a recipe that made pleasant memories come sweeping back to enjoy…sad that the radio call in talk shows have been replaced by Pinterest, but then, i am showing my age by saying so. The mentoring callers i so enjoyed listening to are probably long gone by now but many of their recipes are still going strong.