Happy Birthday, Ina

Now Playing – “Just like heaven” – The Cure

Oh, crap. It’s currently 12:13 a.m., which means, February 2nd is officially over. Which really means, Ina Garten’s birthday is now officially over, at least in Chicago – so, there goes my whole idea of dedicating a post to Ina on her actual birthday. Damn! I really should have turned off the t.v. after Top Chef, but instead I switched it to the latest Harry Potter and was sucked in by the magical world of Hogwarts. Is there a spell to turn back time?

I figured it only necessary, since it was the Barefoot’s birthday, to pay my wishes towards my favorite bruney cook, in the kitchen. If you’ve read any previous posts on allanabytes, you’ll know Ina Garten is one of my favorites. Her food is classic, simple and so tasty! This morning, I thought I’d try a staple recipe of Ina’s – her popover recipe. Popovers, if you don’t know, are a hollow bread roll, that are light, flaky and so addictive. You can’t have just one. There are five ingredients and hardly five steps – they’re incredibly simple to make and in about forty minutes, you can have a plate full of massive, hollow, fluffy and light as air breakfast treats. They’re called popovers because in the oven, as they bake, the batter is supposed to rise up, over the muffin tins, so you’re left with a giant, hollow, eggy bread.

As I placed the popovers in the oven, I started work on my homemade strawberry butter that I was going to pair with the popovers. It was seemingly the perfect breakfast. After struggling with our food processor, I eventually blended together a cup of strawberries & a generous amount of butter and sugar that was whisked into utter heavenly perfection. I quietly applauded myself on finishing the butter just as the timer for the oven went off – my popovers were done! Now, in Ina’s recipe, she commands “do not peek at the popovers while they’re in the oven.” So, Ina, I did not take one, teeny glance.

The Un-Popovers

Those sure ain’t Ina’s popovers. They did NOT popover. Some of them even seemed to pop-in? I couldn’t dwell on my barefoot mistake, there wasn’t much I could do now, except eat. As sweet as that strawberry butter tasted by itself, it begged for some company.

And I complain about being single? I've found the perfect couple!

So, okay. My popovers were kind of the opposite of what a popover is supposed to be. They were not hollow, they did not pop up, and they were not light and flaky (at least on the inside). Things happen in the kitchen, especially in my kitchen, mistakes are often made. I don’t blame Ina’s recipe – I can’t possibly – it’s her birthday! I spent a few minutes re-thinking my steps, wondering what I could have done wrong. We’ve made popovers in the past and they were the epitome of a perfect popover. Light, hollow, fluffy, etc, etc, etc. No time to re-hash the past, I’ll just try again another day soon. Besides, Ina says to serve and eat the popovers when they’re hot. Of course, Ina, anything you say.

Oh, my life is a bit messy right now.

Popover Recipe (Courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, plus softened butter for greasing pans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. (*We used a 6 piece, giant muffin tin). Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.

What a bite!
  • Fresh Strawberry Butter (From Abby Mandel)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • Puree strawberries in food processor, add sugar & butter. Process until smooth, light & fluffy (about 2 minutes)

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Ina

  1. ah Ina, I used to watch her episodes again and again and again. My husband thought I was crazy (“the recipes aren’t changing”). She’s such a great host and her recipes are beautifully simple. I like these mega-popover/unders. Most kitchen mistakes work out, and even when they don’t, they give us a good laugh 🙂

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