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Breakfast Recipes From Grandma and Grandpa

Updated on January 16, 2017
Apple Fritters
Apple Fritters | Source

Old Family Breakfast Recipes

These are somewhat unusual but delicious breakfasts that my grandparents made for me as a child.

One breakfast recipe is from the Italian side of the family; the other 3 breakfast recipes are from the German side of my family.

As I churn up more old breakfast recipe memories from grandma and grandpa, I will add them to this article.


Schmarnn  Eggs, Toast and Onions
Schmarnn Eggs, Toast and Onions | Source

The following recipe is what my German grandfather called "Schmarnn".

If you look up a recipe for Schmarnn it is an Austrian/German recipe for dessert that is altogether different than this.

The exact translation of the word "schmarnn" to English is "mishmash". So I guess grandpa was using the word loosely.


  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs - beaten
  • 2 slices of slightly stale or toasted bread sliced into cubes
  • 3 slices of onion
  • 3 Tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. In a heavy skillet, on medium heat melt the butter. When melted add onion slices. Stir and flip occasionally so they get uniformly clear and a little brown. As you stir separate the onions into rings and half rings.
  2. When the onions are tan, add bread cubes and stir so they absorb the butter.
  3. Pour beaten eggs over the bread and onions trying to coat them all. Stir until eggs are cooked. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Cast your vote for Grandpa's Schmarnn Recipe
Apple Fritters
Apple Fritters | Source

Apple Fritters - The Way My Grandma Made Them

My grandparents had about 8 large old apple trees.

They never sprayed them with insecticide, as it was too expensive. At that time, organic wasn't really part of the common food vocabulary.

We would take the apples and cut away the worm holes. Now, I appreciate the fact that their veggies and apples were all organic.

Often we would use the apples for fritters. We always cut them in rings and I still do that today. I believe it makes it easier to grab a fairly equal portion of apple for each person. Some people prefer to slice them. It's up to you.

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: 2 people with 3 fritters each

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large apple (peeled and either sliced or cut in rings). Use a firm apple. I used Honey Crisp for the fritters below and it worked out well. Golden Delicious is a little too soft.
  • pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil
  • confectioners sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. We always use the "egg in the well" method for batter. It's an easy way to ensure the batter stays smooth.
  2. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Make a depression in the flour in the middle and put the "eggs in the well". Mix the eggs and flour together until most of the egg is absorbed. Then, gradually add the milk stirring constantly. The batter should be slightly thicker than heavy cream -- if not, add more flour or milk as needed.
  3. Add apples.
  4. Put about an inch of oil in a sturdy pan and heat until sizzling. Carefully, with a large long handled cooking spoon, drop a large spoonful of batter with apples in it into the oil. Repeat, adding as many fritter as fit in the pan.
  5. Cook until underside is golden brown (about a minute). Then turn over and cook the other side to gold brown. Remove from oil and drain on a rack or paper towels.
  6. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.
Grandma Pancake - Pfannkuchen
Grandma Pancake - Pfannkuchen | Source

Grandma Pancake - Pfannkuchen (German for Pancake)

It's no mistake that I didn't call these Grandma's Pancakes. As children we called them Grandma Pancakes to indicate we wanted these instead of the griddle cake stack.

My German grandmother would prepare these for us.


  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 2 -- 2 pancakes each

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • butter or margarine for frying pan

Instructions

  1. See the photo gallery below for step by step visuals.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and eggs.
  3. Gradually add the milk until the mixture is about the consistency of heavy cream, add more milk if necessary.
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into a hot buttered frying pan and turn and rotate the pan until the batter is evenly distributed.
  5. Lift a corner and check, when underside is golden brown, flip and brown the other side.
  6. Remove to plate and fill with your choice of filling and roll the pancake like a crepe.
  7. Filling suggestions: applesauce, jelly, fruit pie filling, fresh fruit, whipped cream or whatever you like.

A Visual of the Pancake Recipe

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Flour and salt with two eggs added.Mix the egg and flour mixtureAdd a little of the milk to the mix and stir in.   Add the rest of the milk gradually.Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.   If not, add a little more milk.Put a 1/4 cup of batter in a hot buttered pan and rotate the pan until the batter is evenly distributed.When the underside is golden brown, flip.   Cook the other side until golden brown.Remove pancake from pan and put filling in.   I used applesauce hereStart rolling from the filled end.The finished product.
Flour and salt with two eggs added.
Flour and salt with two eggs added. | Source
Mix the egg and flour mixture
Mix the egg and flour mixture | Source
Add a little of the milk to the mix and stir in.   Add the rest of the milk gradually.
Add a little of the milk to the mix and stir in. Add the rest of the milk gradually. | Source
Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.   If not, add a little more milk.
Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. If not, add a little more milk. | Source
Put a 1/4 cup of batter in a hot buttered pan and rotate the pan until the batter is evenly distributed.
Put a 1/4 cup of batter in a hot buttered pan and rotate the pan until the batter is evenly distributed. | Source
When the underside is golden brown, flip.   Cook the other side until golden brown.
When the underside is golden brown, flip. Cook the other side until golden brown. | Source
Remove pancake from pan and put filling in.   I used applesauce here
Remove pancake from pan and put filling in. I used applesauce here | Source
Start rolling from the filled end.
Start rolling from the filled end. | Source
The finished product.
The finished product. | Source

A Little Family Story About Pancakes

I little naughty -- but that's why we like it.

When my grandmother and her sister were young girls in Germany, they had an extremely nosey neighbor. Anytime she would see them or their other 7 siblings, she questioned them about everything that went on in their house.

One day when the two little girls were 8 and 6 years old, they were stopped by their neighbor. She wanted to know what their mother made for breakfast. "Pfannkuchen", replied the girls. Not content to just know what they had, the nosey neighbor wanted to know how big the pancakes were.

"so groà wie mein arsch", replied the little one and they ran home as fast as they could.

(As big as my ass).

Mozzarella Sandwich
Mozzarella Sandwich | Source

Inside Out Mozzarella Sandwich? - Inside Out Mozzarella en Carrozza?

This recipe is from the Italian side of my family.

I have question marks on the above titles as I don't really know what this breakfast sandwich is called. A similar Italian sandwich is mozzarella en carrozza. It means "mozzarella in a carriage" -- the bread being the carriage. But in mozarella en carrozza the cheese is on the inside. My family always made this with the cheese on the outside.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 1

Ingredients

  • Cooking oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Mozzarella cheese (not shredded)
  • Flour
  • Confectioner's sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove the crust from a slice of bread. (See photo gallery below)
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg.
  3. Slice the mozzarella into 3/8 inch thick slices. Cut enough slices to cover both sides of the bread you choose. (Whole wheat is pictured here). It's a little tricky, but usually if you press the mozzarella into the bread it sticks.
  4. Place the mozzarella bread mozzeralla stack on a pancake turner or spatula and slide it into the beaten egg. Use the pancake turner to turn it over and do the other side. Make sure the whole sandwich is covered. If needed, spoon some of the egg over the sandwich.
  5. Place some flour on a plate and put the egg covered sandwich in the flour and let the flour adhere to it; turn it over and do the other side.
  6. Heat the oil to sizzling.
  7. Take a long handled pancake turner (so you don't burn yourself, and put the sandwich into the hot oil. Let it brown on the underside -- about 2 minutes and flip (carefully so as not to splash oil). Cook until this underside is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oil and drain on a rack or paper towels.
  9. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.
  10. Recipe may be doubled. For tripling, you only need 2 eggs for 3 sandwiches.

Inside Out Mozzarella Sandwich Photos - Step by Step photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1. Bread with crusts removed and bowl with beaten egg.2. Stack of mozzarella bread mozzarella3. Cover mozzarella bread stack with beaten egg4. Dredge in a plate of flour
1. Bread with crusts removed and bowl with beaten egg.
1. Bread with crusts removed and bowl with beaten egg. | Source
2. Stack of mozzarella bread mozzarella
2. Stack of mozzarella bread mozzarella | Source
3. Cover mozzarella bread stack with beaten egg
3. Cover mozzarella bread stack with beaten egg | Source
4. Dredge in a plate of flour
4. Dredge in a plate of flour | Source

Ounce to Gram Conversion Tool

Ounce to Gram Conversion

1 cup = 8 ounces

Which Breakfast Recipe Sounds the Best to You?

I have described 4 breakfasts -- relatively easy to make. Trust me, they are all yummy.

Which recipe would you be most likely to try?

See results


Breakfast Recipes From Grandma and Grandpa by Ellen L Gregory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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© 2011 Ellen Gregory

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    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      Great recipes, easy to follow procedures. Nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • rockingretro2 profile image

      rockingretro2 4 years ago

      I love the naughty story!

    • dumpstergourmet profile image

      dumpstergourmet 4 years ago

      We made the Schmarmn recently and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for the great recipes, sure I'll be back for more!

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 4 years ago from Ozun

      how much i love your recipes...not really fit with my latest diet, but now i have to make those fritters.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 5 years ago from Washington KS

      My Grandma made Schmarmm in several variations. Her mother was from Germany and made it for their large family breakfast. Grandpa's favorite had diced potatoes instead of bread, and sausage, plus the onion and egg. Good stuff!!

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      @LiteraryMind: I can do the butter, it's not an everyday thing. You know I might just try this schmarnn thing, not tomorrow, maybe the weekend. I'll let you know.

    • LiteraryMind profile image
      Author

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @JohnTannahill: You could use butter substitute, but on the German side of the family my grandmother lived to 96 and her sister to 108 years old. So maybe we should all crank out some schmarnn.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      My grannie used to give me a smoked haddie (haddock) with a poached egg on top. We could have swapped grandparents and had a great time. I want Schmarnn tomorrow! All that butter - not good :-)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I love your traditional family breakfast recipes and the tales that you have to tell along with them. I am definitely trying your apple fritter recipe. It looks so very easy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have to say 'All of the above' in the polls! They all look a treat to the eyes and the only part that is complaining is my stomach!

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      I may have to make breakfast for dinner tonight! I love apple fritters. Congrats on a great lens!

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      You succeeded in making me super hungry! :) The apple fritters sound amazing!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      It is time for breakfast right now.. so yay, pancakes here I come! THUMBS UP

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Nice lens - thanks for sharing them with us and a bit of your childhood delicious recipes, as well.