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Greatness Ahead: Popovers and Jam

I rarely watch TV but every two years when the Olympics are on, I find myself glued to the screen for many more hours than I care to admit. In fact, as I write this post, I keep getting distracted by what’s happening over in London. The names of the superhuman athletes representing nearly every country in the world become immortalized. We watch these people who spend hundreds and thousands of hours practicing their sport, through injuries and pain, through failures and disappointments, and we see a glimmer of hope. The possibility of greatness for every single one of them.

You hear a lot of sentimental stories around the Olympics. How an athlete overcame tragedy and adversity. How he or she funded their entire career through bake sales and fundraisers. How their families gave up everything to help them follow their dreams. How they fell from greatness, only to continue their fight and rise back up to the top. For many of us, who are not professional athletes, or athletes at all, the individual sports may not matter so much. The thing that always amazes me about the people I see on the screen is that, unlike actors in movies and reality television stars, these people deserve to be famous because they accomplish super-human things, feats that every two years, are thought to be impossible. World records are broken at every Olympics. People overcome incredible hurdles (literally and figuratively) at every Olympics.

No matter how young or old I am, when I watch the Olympics, I am filled with hope. I visualize the things I can accomplish in this life. I think about my own challenges β€” both physical and mental β€” and compare myself to these individuals, who put aside everything to be the very best at one thing. Whether or not you’re as infatuated with the Olympics as I am, you have to admit that they offer a little magic.

The start of the Olympics represents the hopes of thousands (if not billions) of people who dare to dream. I remember reading some lovely words from Lisa about making Sundays count and I’ve been thinking about how it’s important to make mornings count, no matter what day of the week it is. To all of you out there who rush through the morning ritual. Who don’t sit down to breakfast with yourself, your significant other, or your children. Who scarf down food without thinking twice about what you’re eating. Think about every morning as holding a great opportunity for the day ahead. Visualize the greatness ahead, and then, go get it!

I understand that popovers aren’t a typical weekday treat, but they represent all things wonderful about mornings. There’s something special about popovers: how they puff and rise, how tender they are inside. And what great vehicles they are for a great fruit jam (INNA is one of our favorites).

Popovers with Jam
adapted from Elephantine

2 large eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour (I used a mix of all-purpose and spelt)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of canola oil
jam, for serving
powdered sugar, for serving

1. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk in the flour.
2. Melt the butter and let cool slightly before mixing it into the batter until incorporated. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a popover pan: grease each popover cup with the canola oil using a silicone brush. Place the pan into the oven as it warms.
4. Remove the popover pan from the oven (be sure to wear oven mitts!) and evenly divide the batter among popover cups until each is about 3/4 full. Quickly replace the pan in the oven and bake popovers for about 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 12-15 minutes (or until the popovers are golden). Try not to open the oven while popovers bake as the change in temperature could deflate them.
5. Slip popovers out of their cups and transfer to a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with jam.

Musical Pairings: Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE + Popovers and Jam

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Your popovers look so good! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I’m definitely feeling inspired by this post. The olympics seems to be on 24/7 at our house, and I’ve even been yelling at the tv- cheering, booing, really getting into it.

  • emmyk

    I wish we could watch some Olympics together! I’m such a captivated fan as well! And these popovers looks DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to make them!

  • This is exactly how I feel about the Olympics. I spend most of the time in tears because I get so caught up in what’s happening and the stories of the athletes and, even though I am far from being an athlete of any description, I find it so inspirational.

  • such true thoughts! i am a big olympic fan too. those people put their hearts and souls into those competitions. sometimes i feel sorta lazy sitting on my couch watching them, like i should be out running or something instead ;).

    also, you’ve inspired me to buy a popover pan. FINALLY.

  • It’s funny how I can be such a cynic about so many other things yet I drop that all when the Olympics start. And yes to popovers and INNA jam — no, it’s not a typical weekday breakfast but these ones look worth the effort!

  • Megan Gordon

    Yep, we just ordered Cable this morning just to watch the Olympics. I refuse to think how much it’ll actually cost (given initiation fees, modem fees etc.) I’m just really, really excited to watch! xx

  • WithStyleGrace

    I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I’ve never had popovers! Oh what I would do to sneak a bite of this – love the addition of the jam looks delicious!

  • Ohh, they are so much better than I thought they would be before I tried them! They almost remind me of a lighter, airier brioche. I’m a sucker for bready things with jam, and my popover pan is an inspiration!

  • Love! The Olympics always kind of sneak up on me, but once I get going, I am in ALL THE WAY. Enjoy!

  • I’m totally the same way. I think you can’t help but get sucked into all of the individual stories. Oh INNA – I absolutely adore her jams. I’m finishing off my last jar and already debating which flavor I’m getting next…

  • Love hearing how much folks out there love the Olympics as much as me! I think it’s only natural to feel lazy when you know how much those people train. Glad you’re inspired – my popover pan is so much fun – I use it to make mini cakes, too!

  • You are so cute. I can get pretty emotional, especially when no one is watching πŸ˜‰ I think that’s the beauty of the Olympics – you don’t actually need to be an athlete to care and it brings out this tremendous sense of patriotism that is usually pretty dormant in me!

  • Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?! I hope you’re enjoying them, and I’m sure you’re making lots of tasty treats to enjoy while you watch πŸ™‚

  • They’re so hard to turn off! I find myself watching sports I have never even heard of! Funny how you can be so entranced for 2 weeks and then, just like that, normal life returns.

  • sarah kieffer

    I love the Olympics. I feel the same way – there is something so magical, yet relate-able about it. My children are so excited about the games, too – it’s so fun to see them watch.

    I’ve never made popovers, but I love them! These look delicious.

  • Molly

    Ohmygoodness, I could have written the exact same post in regards to my television habits. We’re a radio house until the Olympics come along, then I have to force myself to turn it off so I can go to bed (and start over the next day.)

  • Jeanine

    these look delicious – I feel like I could mess this up, but your short ingredient list (not to mention your inspiring olympic story) gives me baking hope πŸ™‚

  • I bet it’s so fun to watch the Olympics with your kids! Popovers are so fun, and so easy!

  • I have been going to bed much later than I normally do and, just like you, I just can’t seem to peel myself away from the screen!

  • Thank you, Jeanine! I actually think that no matter what you do, you’ll end up with tasty, puffy dough πŸ™‚

  • Nealey @ Dixie Caviar

    Whoah buddy! I’ve only had popovers once (and they weren’t very good) but I’m telling you they looked NOTHING like yours. Beautiful photos! Gonna have to give ’em another try…

  • Hi. First I wanted to say thank you for the awe inspiring Olympics story. I also love watching them. Secondly, I can not wait to try to make these pop overs but I do not own a pop-over pan. Can I use a cupcake pan or mini bundt pans? Thanks

  • We’re olympics OBSESSED over here… it’s the first time we’ve ever had cable and we’ve spent night after night with our buns glued to the couch watching (me, crying). I’m endlessly inspired. And hey, yay for popovers! πŸ™‚

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