For a year in my twenties I lived with three lovely ladies (who I still adore) in a hilltop house that was perfect for entertaining… so we did. A lot. And, to be honest, we weren’t the best cooks ever – we rarely followed recipes, chose the most difficult things we could to make (with no practice rounds, naturally), and we nearly always had a substitution or two. BUT we were fabulous hostesses (if I do say so myself).

(yep, that’s me in the middle)

We were the Greenfield Girls, living on Greenfield Drive overlooking all of El Cajon, California – which, while not the most highbrow location on the coast (understatement), was awfully pretty when viewed from a distance. Like from our back windows and yard.

A brief Cliff’s note version of some of our escapades:

  • cornish game hens that took six hours to make (the guests arrived two hours before they were ready)
  • spaghetti sauce with waaaaaay too much pepper (finely ground packs a lot more punch than coarsely ground!)
  • pumpkin pie made with the larger size can rather than the 15oz, making pies even starving boys wouldn’t eat (literally)
  • too dry pot roast, recycled into chili
  • packaged macaroni and cheese disaster (how do you mess that up, you ask? believe me, it’s possible)

Despite our various challenges, there were many lovely brunches, dinners, parties, showers… and I have a homemade cookbook to prove it (replete with pictures). Theresa and I decided to document it all when Michele got married, so recipes, stories and pictures were assembled together – just for the four of us.

A week or so ago this Italian lady I sometimes watch Saturday mornings on PBS was making palachinke, and it brought to memory a Greenfield Girl experience. Vanessa, the fourth Greenfield Girl, made these once – a little piece of her Yugoslavian heritage. Basically, I think, palachinke are crepes with a better name – thin, pancakey things you can slather with butter, sugar, jam, nutella, or your sweet of choice and then devour.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to cook something fun (that’s the Greenfield Girl way), these were our Father’s Day treat today. And, should you want an adventure, they can now be yours.

Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Blend all ingredients till there are no lumps.
  2. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Melt a pinch of Crisco (butter flavor is great) in the pan.
  5. Pour a thin coat of batter into the pan, and move the pan around so it coats the bottom.
  6. Flip once the edges get good and browned and there are bubbles coming through; cook a couple of minutes on the other side.
  7. Serve warm with your choice of topping (we used cinnamon sugar and blueberries).
Palachinke = pa-la-chin-kay :)

***And, because I simply can’t post this without it, here is the introduction Tee wrote for our cookbook:

As you venture into the cooking world, there are some important factors to remember. First, you survived a year of cooking in the Greenfield Drive kitchen. This means that you overcame missing ingredients, over-cooked and under-cooked food (but never dangerously so!), too many ingredients and not enough ingredients. You survived piles of dishes and improvising what dishes were to be used to carry all of the food. Remember: You are a survivor. Whatever disasters come your way, based upon your Greenfield Girl experience, you can rest assured that you will come through on the other side, and that you will be blessed with a true treasure: A MEMORY.

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0 thoughts on “palachinke

  1. >its the vanilla that makes it special…well and the fact you have this uniquely rad cookbook. and now i’m jealous i didn’t have a rad group of girls to entertain with. and craving crepes…

  2. >how fun!!! I have to say, palacinky (the ‘c’ here makes a ‘ch’ sound) is a very popular food in Prague too 🙂 Although I’ve been cooking WAY more here than i ever did in the States, I haven’t ventured into making my own yet! Way to go 🙂 Funny thing is that I just taught a girl to make french toast yesterday! French toast and american pancakes are fun and exotic treats! 🙂 Hugs to you Elle!

  3. >mendacious – Lidia use a lot of lemon rind in hers, and that didn’t sound so good. and you’re right – the vanilla makes it!sarah – what fun it must be to try new things (and show off old ones!)- I envy your adventures. I so hope Prague is treating you well – I wish I could give little Isaiah a squeeze!

  4. >Frances – please repost away! It’s funny, I’ve spent so much time wishing for a group of girlfriends – a la SATC, of course – and I think I’ve failed to recognize how many times I HAVE had that. Not perfectly, not exactly like it would be in the movies – but I have. These three women – though we don’t keep in touch as we’d like – are amazing, and it was a truly special moment in time that we shared. Thanks to all of you for giving me that perspective.

  5. >I grew up on my Hungarian grandma's palacsinta. And, yes, I must agree, the vanilla makes all the difference. Okay, now I'm hungry. My husband learned how to make palascinta from my mom — maybe he'll make some for supper tonight.

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