I have no idea who Hank Meadows is. I just have a vague mental image that sets him in the 1950’s as a roundish, middle-aged guy who secretly liked to cook. His popover recipe came from my grandma’s recipe box. She had about five popover recipes in that box. I have tried each of them and Hank’s recipe rules over them all. His calls for three eggs instead of two.

I like it that Hank’s name defines his popover recipe. Before I left I copied several of my grandma’s recipes onto my computer. Unlike my recipe collection, which is comprised mostly of an account on epicurious.com and a few digital entries on Yum, her collection provides a little snapshot of her personal life and world. I recognize some of the names on the cards as her friends from long ago as well as other family members. On one card I found the recipe for ‘Bootleg Mix’ from the country club where she worked for years. I brought that one with me, too, and will be trying it out whenever the Berlin summer weather decides to get into full swing.

When I flip through her recipe box, I can feel a bit of her life ‘out at the lake’ in the 1950’s and 60’s. This is interesting to me because where she was living at that time is where I grew up. But when she was young and raising a family and collecting these recipes, it was a much different place than what I know. It was kind of a small town, more separate from Minneapolis than it is now. But it is still possible to see a glimmer of it today tucked in between the gnarly new McMansions that cling greedily to every possible inch of lakeshore.

My popover pan just arrived in the mail on Friday. I have been curious to become better acquainted— if not friendly—with our petite, no-nonsense oven, which has the numbers 1-8 where I would expect the oven temperatures to be. I am up early this Sunday morning and since weekend mornings are good popover mornings, I decided that it would be a good time to welcome Hank Meadows to Germany. I am a little bit concerned about the odd oven numbers because popovers are temperature sensitive. But I’m semi-optimistic because instead of just guessing at the numbers (as I would be wont to do), I searched for and found what seemed to be a reasonable answer on Yahoo! Answers.

F | Gas Mark | C

225 1/4 110
250 1/2 120-130
275 1 140
300 2 150
325 3 160-170
350 4 180
375 5 190
400 6 200
425 7 220
450 8 230
475 9 240

And so far so good; as I’m writing this they are popping like champs and I just turned the oven from 7 to 3!

Hank Meadows’ Popovers

Preheat Oven: 425
Makes 6 Popovers

Ingredients:
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup flour

Method:
Beat eggs, add milk and butter
Add flour and salt
Beat until smooth (But don’t over beat! They don’t like that and won’t pop.)
Pour into popover tin (Which is like a muffin tin but bigger. If you don’t have one, a muffin tin works, too.)
Bake 20 minutes at 425
and then 15-20 at 325 or until golden brown

2 Comments

  • Fun to read this, think of how things are different but really not so different either. I plan to make the popovers today too – Father’s Day! We are going to make a little brunch and think of you as we gather! We miss you!!

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