German Pancakes: Comforting Kummerspeck, or "Grief Bacon"

A few months ago, I came across a term that intrigued me: Kummerspeck.

The German word means “grief bacon” (and we all know how much I love bacon). Despite its bacon reference though, the word has a rather negative connotation — it refers to weight put on due to emotional overeating.

Nonetheless, the word fascinated me — and the Let’s Lunch crew, as it turned out. So off we went, dreaming up ideas for the perfect kummerspeck …

Now, shortly after we’d decided on this topic, I mentioned it to a dear friend of mine who happens to be German.

“Kummerspeck?” he said. “That’s so negative. Why not hüftgold? Gold of the hips. It’s a much nicer term.”

The man had a point — it’s true that it would be much more pleasant overall to ruminate on delicious foods that make you so happy they add gold to your hips. (Or, love handles as we know it.)

In recent months though, some tumult in my life made me think a lot about kummerspeck. I won’t go into it, but ambitious 25-year-old girls who like married men — never a good thing. For the wife, anyway.

What I learned these past few months, however, is that kummerspeck doesn’t exactly apply to me. Instead of over-eating, I simply stopped eating. (If you haven’t read my friend David Amsden‘s hilarious column on “The Breakup Workout,” you must. He lost 20 pounds after a bad breakup.)

After I dropped six pounds in a fairly short period of time (and weighed almost 10 pounds less than I did when I was 15), friends sprang into action to feed me, however.

Which is how I eventually discovered my own kummerspeck.

According to Mr. Germany, kummerspeck ideally should be all about butter and baked goods topped with crumbly buttery sugary bits. What I ended up loving, however, was something far more basic — pancakes.

Specifically, German pancakes. They’re pretty easy to make — first, you mix together flour, milk and eggs with a pinch of salt, then heat up a pan with some ghee in it and you’re ready to go.

You want to get the batter super flat, like a crepe. (The smells are amazing.)

And once you have a big pile of these pancakes, get out the fillings — creme fraiche, ham, cheddar, cinnamon sugar, jam and fresh fruit, for example.

For sweet pancakes, you can pile on creme fraiche and fruit or jam or just sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. For savory ones, creme fraiche with ham and cheddar work well.

Once you have it all nicely positioned, you roll it all up …

… and you’re ready to eat!

After a few of these pancakes — and more made into Flädlesuppe (pancake soup) later on — I began to feel very well-fed indeed.

Not long after these, I had dinner with my dear friend Hillary, who had been closely tracking me over the last few months.

“You’ve put on weight,” she said right away. “It’s good. You were getting too skinny.”

And that’s when I thought: Ah, there it is — my hüftgold. And I couldn’t help but smile.

~~~

Don’t forget to check out other Let’s Lunchers’ kummerspeck offerings below! And if you’d like to join Let’s Lunch, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #Letslunch — or, post a comment below.

Annabelle‘s Evil Grief Brownies at Glass of Fancy

Betty Ann‘s Mung Bean Soup with Bacon at Asian In America

Karen‘s Maple Candied Bacon at GeoFooding

Linda‘s Dark Chocolate Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Peanut Ice-Cream at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Lucy B‘s Slap-Yo-Mama Brownies at In A Southern Kitchen

Lucy M‘s Cold Fried Chicken and Potato Salad at A Cook and Her Books

Margaret‘s Chicken Noodle Soup at Tea and Scones

Rebecca‘s Comforting Toasts at Grongar Blog

Tammi‘s Pot Stickers at Insatiable Munchies

Vivian‘s Hug-In-A-Bowl Noodles at Vivian Pei

~~~

German Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ghee or melted butter

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together until you get a smooth batter. (If you feel it needs to be more liquid, add more milk.) Heat up a pan, then brush ghee or butter onto the pan so it’s coated. Once that’s heated up, place a large scoop of batter onto the pan and spread it out so it’s very thin. Once you start seeing bubbles, flip it over and cook for just a little more.

Remove and repeat until batter is done.

Serve with tart jam, creme fraiche, ham, cheddar, cinnamon sugar or fresh berries, depending on whether you prefer sweet or savory pancakes. Place desired combination of ingredients on a flat pancake, roll it up and eat with your hands.

 

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25 Responses to German Pancakes: Comforting Kummerspeck, or "Grief Bacon"

  1. Monica Bhide says:

    Sending love and hugs. I am going to try your recipe soon!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Oh Cheryl… what can I say? I’m sorry that you’ve been through this. I’m glad you found your way to these pancakes though, and to some renewed strength, and that you have those wonderful friends to lean on. xo

  3. Mai says:

    Lots of hugs, Cheryl. I know it’s been a tough few months. Your post was touching. Thank you for this. Can’t wait to try!

  4. Pingback: The toast truck will serve soft-ripened goat cheese « GrongarBlog

  5. Karen says:

    Wow, I am so sorry for your heartache, Cheryl, but glad that you are eating again. I have found the same thing – I am at my thinnest when I am most miserable and bursting out of my jeans when I am happy. These pancakes look so authentic that, I think I will even try them out on my German in-laws! danke schön!

  6. Eleanor Hoh says:

    Sorry about your heartache and was nice to finally meet you in Miami, you looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G in your sundress! These crepes make me crave starchy carbs even though they are not in my ‘diet’ as you’ll read in my post.

  7. HapaMama says:

    Like and Dislike. The pancakes, however, look amazing. Sending hugs!

  8. HAHA. huftgold. I think that’s brilliant that this lets lunch is not only getting me in the kitchen, it’s teaching me German!

    On a more serious note. I’m really sorry for what you had to go through. Some people are bastards.

  9. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait | spicebox travels

  10. Dear Cheryl, I am so sorry, but glad you found your hüftgold and are getting your groove back! I’m like you– those who know me would be very alarmed indeed if I stopped eating. I promise to feed you very well whenever you come back to SF.

  11. Annabelle says:

    I hope your tumult is over; so sorry to hear you had to deal with it in the first place. Having your hip gold go to returning you to health and cheer is far better!

    Creme fraiche with ham and cheddar sound PERFECT.

  12. Pingback: Glass of Fancy » Blog Archive » Let’s Lunch: Kummerspeck - Fashion, fiction, and life in the city.

  13. What a rich and luxurious recipe for pancakes. Can’t wait till morning, must make these for brunch. Thanks for sharing the recipe. What fun to do Let’s Lunch with you, Cheryl!

  14. Lucy M. says:

    Huftgold and I are old friends, but the German pancakes are new to me ~ and you make them sound fantastic. Love that there are two Lucy’s in #LetsLunch now, and we’re both from Georgia.

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