My dad was the breakfast maker in my household. My dad is also 100% Polish. This means as children we were often fed placki (pronounced “plot-zik”) for breakfast…. and for dinner, because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and my dad is a breakfast man. I recently found out that these kind of Polish pancakes formally go by the name naleśniki, but in my family we referred to them as placki, which literally means pancake in Polish. My dad said that is what his grandmother (from Poland) called them and that is what I grew up calling them, so that is what I will still be calling them! They are very similar to French crepes, but the way we eat them is different. My family tradition is to eat them with sugar and bacon. If this sounds weird, just trust me, please trust me because it is good!

So, the thing about lots of recipes that have been passed down through generations is that no actual recipe exists. That is the case. My dad instructed- milk, flour, eggs. At first this seemed weird to me as the possibilities could be endless, but what I discovered is that you can start with a base and then add more of any of the ingredients if need be. The batter should be fairly runny and the resulting placki should be fairly thin. So, if it turns out too thick, add some more milk, to thin, more flour, and so on. For those of you who crave exactness, I wrote down exactly what worked for me for this post.

This weekend my Dad, Buggie (my baby), and I went to the 45th Annual Polish American Festival in Doylestown, PA. To get in a Polska frame of mind I finally made placki the morning before we went. The ingredients are very simple, but I felt a bit nervous. I had a lot to live up to. To me placki is an elusive and wonderful breakfast that can only be made correctly by my dad or his mother (Nanny).  My dad warned me that the first one rarely turns out right and it usually has to be tossed. He was right. After the first mishap though, they turned out quite good. I am happy to report they tasted as I remembered and had me feeling quite nostalgic of the days I got to wake up to my dad cooking breakfast for all of us.

The festival was held on the grounds of  the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Check out the pictures of the church. This place is so beautiful! The church inevitably reminded me of my grandmother, very much a Catholic Pole. My grandmother passed away almost exactly 4 years ago. Irene Mary Malinosky, or Nanny as we all lovingly called her was an outspoken, funny, caring, and sassy woman. She was also the epitome of all things grandmotherly- a huge heart, giver of endless hugs and kisses, the desire to stuff her grandchildren full of food, a habit of slipping twenty dollar bills in the hands of her grandchildren, yelling at everyone to wear their hats and mittens when the temperature dropped below 70 degrees… I could go on and on. Most importantly, when we were around Nanny we felt loved. Sigh, isn’t this the wonderful thing about food? This simple recipe has brought about so many good feelings and memories!

Placki- Polish Pancakes with Sugar and Bacon

Ingredients for One Serving (about 3 placki)

1 Egg
1 cup flour
1 ¾ Milk (I used rice milk)
½ tsp vanilla extract (not in the family recipe, but I added a splash)
Butter or bacon fat for frying (I used Earth Balance soy/dairy free spread)

Sugar and Bacon (veggie bacon in my case) for topping

Directions

*If you use a skillet/frying pan that is the same size you want your placki to be it makes things much easier! I used a smallish pan, about 5 or 6 inches in diameter and got 3 placki out of it, but use whatever size you would like.*

Get started on cooking your bacon or veggie bacon. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients together in a pitcher or bowl. I used a fork and it worked quite well, afterall this is a rustic recipe.

Melt butter or bacon fat over medium heat in frying pan. Note: placki need to be cooked at a heat a few notches higher than American breakfast pancakes. Once pan is hot pour enough batter in to coat the surface of the pan. When the edges of the placki look cooked and golden, flip the placki using a spatula. Cook for about a minute or two on the other side.

Serve topped with a generous sprinkling of sugar and (veggie) bacon.

Lastly, here is my little guy sporting the shirt he got at the Polish Festival 🙂

Baby-ski

"Ahgoo, what does my shirt say?"

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