Tag Archives: dutch folklore



  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 Tbls sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 Tbls vegetable oil
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar

Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add water, eggs, and oil. Stir until lumps are gone. Fry on a poffertjies pan or fry silver-dollar sized pancakes in a frying pan. To serve, spread with butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

CONTEXT: EC is a white graduate student at USC studying linguistics. Up until attending USC, she lived in Pasadena, California. That being said, her dad is from Iowa, and her mom is from Indiana.

The recipe itself was typed and printed on a piece of printer paper.

EC: I learned it from my dad. He makes poffertjies for us. We make it for Easter and Christmas brunch. It’s very much a brunch, a breakfast. It’s a Dutch recipe, you need a special pan to make it in: a round pan. All the ones I’ve seen are cast-iron, although I would imagine that you can make them in a non cast-iron, but it has little divots in them that are less than an inch in diameter, and there are about 15-20 of them. It’s like pouring batter into  a mold, and then you use a special two-tined fork to flip them and get them out, so it’s kind of a process. My dad probably learned it from… There’s a town in Iowa where he met my mom and he got married called Orange City Iowa, and it’s one of the most Dutch towns in America. They had a saying. I don’t know if this was a Dutch saying or the non-Dutch people that said it, my dad was mostly Swedish and Irish, and it’s: “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.” So I’m sure he learned it from living in that town. My dad typed out the recipe for Christmas: he gave my brother and I poffertjie pans for Christmas, and then he also gave us the recipe.

ANALYSIS: Wikipedia shows that the dish is frequently made with yeast and buckwheat, but this is not shown in EC’s recipe. Instead, it uses accessible ingredients: a nonspecific type of flour, vegetable oil, etc. It may simply be because yeast and buckwheat aren’t pantry staples in many American households—since the recipe was a gift to his children, EC’s father may have also wanted to ensure that they could actually make it. The gift of the recipe was almost a rite of passage, given to continue the poffertjie legacy in their family but only once they were old enough and living on their own. There are many nonspecific parts of the recipe. The amount of butter and powdered sugar, for instance, are completely vague. These are the portions of the recipe that don’t concern the actual making of the recipe: they’re additions at the end. That being said, EC would know the general amount that’s required from watching her dad make them over the years, taking down that potential barrier. Any people outside of their family who attempted to make them may struggle with that particular step, but the written recipe becomes more of a reminder than a guide for those who are already familiar.