fat sparrows {crap no. 8}

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

Happy New Year! Let’s get 2014 started with some Crap I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You About, 8th Edition.

2.0 and I are exhausted. The holidays have meant staying up way past our bedtime every night. We are not coping well. Also, the weather/driving here has been atrocious. I have at least 20 new grey hairs as a result. To sum: I’ve aged nine years in just under two weeks.

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

The Frenchies came to Canada for the holidays. It was awesome. My wee nieces, Pumpkin and Turnip, taught me some important new life skills. For example, I learned that if you don’t want to do something, you just say, “no,” in an adorable French accent, cross your arms upon your chest, and then stare through the person making the request as if they do not exist. You must stare through the person for guaranteed efficacy. As far as I can tell, it has about an 87% success rate – mostly because the Dead Eyes are so damn terrifying.

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

My sister came home for Christmas as well, and stayed here at the Cat Farm. We have some mutual friends who came for a visit one evening, and the night was spent laughing harder than I have in a long time. One of our friends told us all about a new addition to her weekly routine – the application of oil to an 86 year old’s body. Here’s a visual: it involves the lifting of body parts. {shudder}

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

Hoboken! I went to the United States of America in December. I met my brother there, and when he was working during the days, I took the PATH over to Manhattan and spent most of my time moving from bakery to bakery. Like, a lot of bakeries. (If you follow me on Instagram, you know this to be true.) I walked about 10 kilometres a day, and by day five, could hardly move from the waist down. It was fantastic.

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

When I returned from the United States of America, 2.0 picked me up at the airport. I was pretty tired from having all the fun. On our way home (in the car), he told me that ebony-the-cat had been quite ill, and then I passed out. I guess I made some pretty kooky sounds when I was in my short-term coma, because 2.0 had a really weird expression on his face when I came to. The next day, he re-created the sounds for me. They were a cross between a snore and the sound Ricky Gervais makes around the 1:22 mark in this video. When I asked how many times I made the sound, he said, “FOR ABOUT TWO MILES.”

fat sparrows | movita beaucoup

If you’ve been making strange sounds in front of your loved ones, you might want to consider making them a delectable breakfast. It’ll take their mind off those sounds and make ’em love you again. I’d suggest making some Fat Sparrows. We used to eat them when we were kids, and they’re still one of my favourites. Fat Sparrows are similar to pancakes in taste, but a touch lighter. They run smaller in diameter than pancakes (2-3 inches), but rise up higher and are a little floofier. They are soft on the inside, with an ever-so-lightly crisped exterior. They are best served in a pool of maple syrup (the real stuff, people), and are a perfectly awesome way to start the day.

Happy 2014, friends!

. . .

Fat Sparrows

recipe: adapted slightly from Food That Really Schmecks, Edna Staebler

print and make

Yields about 8-12 2-3 inch sparrows, depending on the size of dollops.

  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • canola oil for frying

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe. Measure out all of your ingredients. Preheat your skillet as you prep the batter.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat as you mix the batter. Just before frying add enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 1/4 centimeter deep.

Lightly beat the egg in a medium sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix. Add the sour cream, and mix well to combine. Sprinkle in the baking soda and then add the flour, mixing until just combined. The batter will be relatively thick.

Drop by large spoonfuls into hot canola oil. Each sparrow should have 2-3 tablespoons of batter. Cook in small batches to allow room for flipping – I cook 3-4 at a time. Fry until golden brown on the bottom and then flip and fry until the second side is golden brown. The sides of the sparrows can be cooked by using tongs or two spatulas to tip sides into the oil (I do this if batter has been seeping out of the sides and seems undercooked.) Pat oil off before plating.

Serve immediately in a pool of maple syrup.


  1. Food,Photography & France on January 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Wonderful post that had me glued to the screen…lovely writing. Happy New Year…I have to make those fat sparrows…just for the name:)

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 9:23 am

      Happy New Year to you as well! I can’t take credit for the name – I believe it’s a Mennonite thing. Which means Mennonites are AWESOME.

  2. Leslie on January 3, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Movita … I’ve missed you! But so glad you had good holidays. Mise en place is one of my New Year’s Revolutions … I’ve been baking for more years than I care to admit and now, thanks to your recipes, am training myself to mise en place. I have gotten to “add the buttermilk” only to discover I had none one too many times. Thanks for the reminder every.single.time!
    Now if I can just make that “Click and Bake” button work.
    Happy sounds ahead.

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Yay for mise en place!! Yay for Leslie mise en placing!! I do it all of the time – it really does make things so much easier. Also, I love buttermilk. Not really related, but still. I love it.

  3. Willow @ Will Cook For Friends on January 3, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Seriously laughed out loud about the sounds you make in your sleep. T-Hubs has a habit of blurting out the most terrifying noises in his sleep, like the spookiest scream you’ve ever heard. He once startled me so much I woke him up and asked him what he was dreaming about, and he said “I was telling you I love you.” Um… whatever you say, dear. I could’ve sworn it was a shriek of terror, but what do I know. 😛

    In other news, walking around Manhattan from one bakery to the next sounds fantastic. I feel like I should scratch “backpack across Europe” off my bucket list and replace it with “bum around NY”. Also, “Fat Sparrows” is the best name for a breakfast food ever. I’ve never heard of them before, but they sound incredible. Sour cream is going on my shopping list so I can make them this weekend!

    • movita beaucoup on January 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Just to be clear Willow: I don’t make those sounds in my sleep. EVER. Only when I pass out. (Apparently.) I don’t remember making the sounds – I just recall saying, “I’m going to pass out,” and then slumping back in my seat. And I kinda recall my mouth being open. Like, really open.

      When asleep, however, I’m like an angel. A beautiful, quiet angel.

      • Willow @ Will Cook For Friends on January 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        Haha, I didn’t mean to imply you make the noises normally. We all know how quiet and angelic you are. 😉

        • Willow @ Will Cook For Friends on January 4, 2014 at 11:02 am

          Okay, I just made these for breakfast this morning, and they didn’t even make it to the table. We just stood in the kitchen eating them as they came out of the pan. They are so good! Super fluffy, and I love the crispy browned outside. Will definitely make them again!

          • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 8:44 pm

            Yay! So glad you liked them! Aaaaaand now I want some more…

  4. Lynne Knowlton on January 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Is it wrong that I want to swim in that plate of maple syrup? I can taste it from here.

    PS. You are right, REAL maple syrup is the cats pyjamas. D’best.


    • movita beaucoup on January 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      If lovin’ maple syrup like that is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

  5. Lan | morestomach on January 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

    happy 2014!
    immediately after i got my colonoscopy (TMI Friday…) in 2012, i’m coming out of the haze and the nurse told me that i would have the need to pass wind for awhile cus they pumped me with so much air and said for me to let ‘er rip. even in my drugged out haze i refused, cus DW was with me. he encouraged me to go for it and i started crying and said “if i do that, i don’t want the magic to go away!” i can’t do strange noises in front of him, sober or while drugged out.

    • movita beaucoup on January 3, 2014 at 11:53 am

      The best part of this comment was your need to bold the last two lines.

  6. Bonnie on January 3, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I thought I was going to read about birds in this post. 🙂 Should have known that it would not be that simple. Fat Sparrows sound delicious. hj made your scones, which we had on our visit. They were delicious. I could live on scones. If we ever get past this snow thing, have a great year. Right now we’re just waiting to be able to get out of our driveway. All the best to the Cat Farm.

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

      We have three feet of snow in our driveway this morning.

      We can’t go anywhere until 2015.

  7. elizabeth on January 3, 2014 at 11:37 am

    These look absolutely lovely–and I could totally go for a plate on this very windy and snowy morning.

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 10:18 am

      We’ve had so much ice and snow here that I’ve started to wonder if we’ll ever dig out. Good thing Fat Sparrows fix everything…

  8. natalie @ wee eats on January 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Sounds like an exciting holiday! We too have been staying up way past our regular bedtimes, which isn’t a huge deal for Aaron since he has been off work all this week too, but it makes it super difficult for me to get up before the sun and go to work. stupid work.

    I lived vicariously through your IG while you were in NY. When my friend and I went a few years back I LITERALLY had like blood-soaked socks after the first day. When I googled our rout we learned that we had walked approximately 13 miles in that day. So much walking. We ate a bajillion things and I think I still came home a few pounds lighter than when I had left….

    I want to make these, or more accurately, I want to eat these. I’ve been trying to convince Aaron to be a good house-husband during his vacation and do things like make me breakfast, cook dinner, and do the laundry but so far none of that has panned out, although he did order take-out once (which is his version of “making dinner”).

    Now that the holidays are over, let’s rejoice with ALL THE SLEEPS

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Yes, we will rejoice with ALL THE SLEEPS.

      Also, I’m going to try the house-husband thing on 2.0. Ten bucks says he bites me during training…

  9. Stacy on January 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I love the name Fat Sparrows. I want to make them just so I can say it. And also because they look delicious.

    I am concerned about the passing out thing. Have you been to a doctor? Two miles is a long time to be unconscious, never mind making weird noises!

    • movita beaucoup on January 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Stacy, I don’t want you to worry. I’m a fainter. Usually when visiting people in the hospital, thinking about visiting people in the hospital, looking at anyone/anything that could possibly be ill, thinking about anyone/anything that could possibly be ill… I’m pretty legendary in these here parts.

      • Stacy on January 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        I am relieved to hear that. Good thing you decided to pursue a career in ballet and baking instead of nursing. 🙂

  10. Jennifer on January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    These sound fabulous!! Never heard of them before. I love your description of the dead eyed stare. I will have to work on mine so it doesn’t resemble a “lights on but nobody is home” stare.

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

      There IS a fine line between scary and stunned…

  11. Melissa@EyesBiggers on January 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I am going to start trying that “saying no” thing with the french accent and the crossed arms/dead eye stare thing. it sounds like it might be more successful than my current routine of saying “hmmm… well… I don’t know… I don’t think I can… but maybe if I move this here and do this on Friday instead…”

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Yes, Melissa. You must be confident, firm and somewhat adorable. I got that stare so many times that I actually started to question my existence…

  12. cici on January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Brought a smile to my face … thank you!

  13. Brianne on January 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Your description of these little delights makes me want to make them for breakfast tomorrow! One time, my husband was driving us home from the airport late at night, and I fell asleep against his will. (He needed me to keep him awake!) I then told him an elaborate story of this whiskey called “Early Times” aging in a ceramic crock deep underground. I don’t remember telling him the story, but I had a very vivid dream on the subject. Turns out there really is a whiskey called Early Times. Freaky!

    Also: What is schmeck? (Maybe I’m dumb? Or lazy? I could just Google it…)

    • movita beaucoup on January 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Um… I’m not sure what schmeck is. The book was published in the late 1960’s and is all about Mennonite cooking. (YUM.) Let’s assume schmeck has something to do with either food or awesomeness.

  14. Jennie @themessybakerblog on January 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I’m going to have to try staring down my opponents from now on. Hmm, if you’re making fat sparrows for your spouse because of sounds, maybe I could talk mine into doing that for me since he’s awful noisy at night. Eh, it’s worth a try. These look delicious. I want to take a forkful and sop up that sticky syrup.

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Sometimes 2.0 will get up in the middle of the night, clatter around in the kitchen, eat a banana covered with peanut butter and then crawl back into bed as if nothing has happened. I’M NOT HARD OF SMELLING. I don’t really have a point here…

  15. Renee on January 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Happy New Year Movita!!!! All good things to you and 2.0 this year.

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Thanks, Renee! Happy New Year to you!

  16. gottagetbaked on January 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Happy New Year, Movita! I love your “crap you need to tell us” posts. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas holiday. The dead eye technique is one we all need to learn. I use it in court when I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. It makes me look sharp and strategic as opposed to a total dumb ass. Walking from bakery to bakery until you’re simply pulling yourself by the arms to the next building full of butter ‘n sugar sounds like my idea of the perfect vacay. I’m loving these fat sparrows (can’t wait to get home and make them) and I also can’t wait to see what 2014 brings to you and 2.0!

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:40 am

      I think we could develop the Dead Eye stare into something really big for your court appearances. Maybe some subtle choreography or something. Like: you’re walking away, you stop, you slowly turn to reveal the Dead Eyes. (Sharp AND haunting.) Alternatively, pair the Dead Eyes with one of those slow scans – you know, when you look at someone, then slowly pan down their body, and then slowly pan back up? MONEY.

  17. Dana Staves on January 4, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Those Fat Sparrows look amazing! It sounds like you had a busy and happy holiday season – I hope the kitty is okay! Happy New Year!

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:42 am

      The kitty is okay – she’s getting very old, and we’ve got a wonderful vet who is helping us to keep her happy and comfortable. We’re thrilled that we were able to get her back on her feet for the holidays – there was a lot of snuggling and time spent in sunny patches. What more can you ask for?

      • Dana Staves on January 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

        You’re right. I’m glad she’s okay for now, and I’m happy you were able to get lots of snuggling in (and naps in the sun) over the holidays. Those are the best things.

  18. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on January 4, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Fat Sparrows? They could be made of belly button fuzz and I’d still want them because I love the name! LOL Next time, could 2.0 please record the sounds so we can all share?

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Maureen, 2.0 has some crazy weird photos and videos of me. I’m pretty worried that his iPad will get hacked and so much will be revealed…

  19. Averie @ Averie Cooks on January 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Happy new year and sounds like you had quite a event-filled and fun holiday season! Fat Sparrows…NEVER heard of these! the fact that they’re lighter and a little smaller than pancakes makes them adorable and definitely a want-to-make recipe! pinned

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Smaller sizes mean you can consume more. Like, lots more…

  20. tworedbowls on January 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Hahaha Movita, love your writing. Laughed so many times. And, pancakes but lighter (!) and floofier? And called Fat Sparrows? I need to make these like five minutes ago.

    Happy new year!!

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Happy 2014 to you as well! Can’t wait to see what you get up to this year…

  21. Stephbo on January 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    So many things to comment on!! Firstly, IS EBONY THE CAT OK?!?!? You kinda left us hanging there. Secondly, my guess is that “schmeck” is a variant of the German “schmect” meaning tastes. As in “that tastes good.” And lastly, the fat sparrows seem wonderful. I love that they get crispy. We have some cinnamon-infused maple syrup which I’m betting would be super tasty with it. Oh, and one more thing– thanks to you, I actually did mise en place for all of my holiday cooking and baking, and it totally changed my life. It’s brilliant!

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 8:03 am

      ebony is okay! She’s getting very old, is deaf, and has some new eye problems and kidney disease. We have a lovely vet who is taking wonderful care of us, and ebony is feeling a little better these days. Our main goal is to keep her happy and comfortable for as long as we have her – so far so good! Thanks for asking…

      Also, I’m so glad you’re mise en placing the crap outta your baking. Doesn’t it make things easier?

  22. jessieharrold on January 5, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    These look delicious! A little bit like crumpets? I tried to make crumpets once – bought the little crumpet forms and everything. FAIL. Like, so much abject failure that I never had the heart to try again. Thankfully, my hubby doesn’t mind eating vaguely circular lumps with runny batter interior and scorched exterior. Way to go, me. Also, I love Food that Really Schmecks. Did you see the recipe for angels on horseback? Why don’t we name shit like this anymore?

    • movita beaucoup on January 6, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Let’s start using better names! I’m so sad that I didn’t think of Angels of Horseback…

      Also, I really want to make crumpets now.

  23. alicia @bakeaholic on January 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    These sounds delicious! Super jealous of your trip to NY – I have only been to catch a cruise ship so I never got to really check it out. Hoboken always reminds me of cake boss – and their bakery!

    • movita beaucoup on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

      I went to Carlo’s Bakery on a snowy morning. The usual multi-hour long lineups were non-existent – there were only about five people there. It was nice to check out (though it wasn’t my most favourite bakery)!

  24. Liz Berg on January 6, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    You are a hoot! I need to get over here more often for some giggles and yummy stuff like your fat sparrows. Happy New Year!!!

    • movita beaucoup on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Liz, come and have the fun whenever you want!

  25. shannon on January 8, 2014 at 9:12 am

    i *fully* intend to make these; there’s no question about that.
    I wonder if the Wee One is related to your Pumpkin and Turnip, because she can do the Dead Eyes like nobody’s business. Also she knows some french words (mostly due to my weird tendency to say “ouuuuiii” and drag it out as my french teacher used to do), so i bet they’d all get along great.
    you made me so envious on instagram this year: truly, though, you should have closed out that visual journey by having 2.0 do a short Instagram film of your coma sounds. Because, art.

    • movita beaucoup on January 9, 2014 at 6:54 am

      I have a couple of photos that could make ANYONE feel better about ANYTHING thanks to 2.0. One day, I will share. Or, should he get really angry with me: one day, he will share.

  26. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories on January 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that Ebony is okay =) This was such a fun true story. I did print the recipe as instructed.

  27. Anonymous on January 13, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Hi there! I tried this recipe out but the result was… super dry! I am not sure what I might have done wrong! Thanks for sharing it, anyway.

    • movita beaucoup on January 13, 2014 at 7:05 am

      So sorry to hear this! Sometimes dry pancakes/fat sparrows occur if the batter has been over-mixed (the gluten in the flour gets over-worked and toughens the sparrow). Also, if the temperature of the skillet too low, it can make dry sparrows. (The longer it takes to cook things like pancakes, the drier they will be.) These are just suggestions, of course. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment – and for giving the recipe a try!

  28. emma on January 14, 2014 at 8:35 am

    This blog really schmecks.

    • movita beaucoup on January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

      I think YOU really schmeck.

  29. wendy@chezchloe on January 15, 2014 at 1:11 am

    It may be after 9pm but I’d like to go whip these up real quick. don’t tell. Carbs after 9… shhhhh xx Happy New Year.

  30. Amy @ Elephant Eats on January 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Is it the weather that’s causing these gray hairs? Because I have literally noticed 10 new ones sprout up in the last two months. It’s majorly depressing me.
    So glad you got to come to nyc (a bit sad i didn’t get to see you though…) and thrilled that you took full advantage of the bakeries here! I’ve never heard of a fat sparrow but I’m so glad you’ve introduced me as I’m a fan of all things floofy. Happy New Year, Movita!!!!

  31. chef mimi on January 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I used to follow you, and then I lost you! So glad to reconnect! Love love this post. Your photos are really beautiful!

    • movita beaucoup on January 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks! So glad to have been found again!

  32. Shikha la mode on January 21, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Next time you come to the US, visit San Francisco! I can show you all the good patisseries here. I love that these are called Fat Sparrows – I can definitely imagine turning into a fat sparrow eating these, and I’m okay with that!!

  33. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen on January 21, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    You’ve done it again, ma’ dear! Had me on the floor laughing and then hit me sideways with a recipe that looks too tempting to ever resist!! Btw.. I feel a bit like a “fat sparrow” these days and the temptations on your blog are partly to blame.. ok, maybe it’s my own fault, but I’d be a contented Fat Sparrow if I could have a few of these. Here in Cowtown, these’d be called Silver Dollars:D

  34. whatalysoneats on January 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I’m a newbie (somewhat reluctant) food blogger, but I love to cook, bake and EAT! I have celiac so everything I cook, bake and eat has to be gluten free (waa waaa…) I love the challenge of making gluten-FULL recipes – gluten free, and have found I am pretty good at it. I stumbled upon your Fat Sparrows post, then spent some time perusing your blog, and am now a BIG FAN! I tried to make the fat sparrows (gluten free of course) this morning, and they were FANTASTIC – light and puffy and delicious! BUT – mine did not spread out in the oil as they cooked. I ended up having to spread them out with the spatula in order to get them to look more like a small pancake. If I left them alone – they turned out more like beignets in size and look (I coated those in powdered sugar and some in cinnamon and sugar!). I know baking is a science so I’m assuming maybe the gluten free flour had something to do with my issue…? Perhaps I should use a little less next time? If you have any idea, I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Thanks so much for the foodspiration!

    Alyson (whatalysoneats.com)

    • movita beaucoup on January 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Fat Sparrows ARE thicker and fluffier than pancakes, but it sounds like yours were extra lively! I’m not gluten-free, and really couldn’t tell you what happened as I’ve only tested the recipe as written. I suspect you’re absolutely right – the gluten substitute(s) must have been the culprit. As you know, once you tinker with a recipe, the results will vary – sometimes in big, floofy ways! That said, it sounds like your version tasted very good, so I wouldn’t even worry if you’ve got something different than I do. That’s the beauty of changing things up – you’ve created something new! Best of luck in your gluten free baking – I know it can be very challenging. (It was one of my favourite stations at baking school!)

  35. movita beaucoup on December 28, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in January 2014. Thanks for stopping by!