I love weekend mornings. This morning is Saturday so I got up and made myself pancakes. I’m not sure why this is a special weekend treat. It doesn’t take any longer than the toast and fruit or eggs that I make on weekdays. But it is something special I do for myself on days off.
After the normal morning clean-up routine, I put socks on feet and headed into the kitchen. I pulled out the bisquick, the measuring cup, the almond milk, an egg and a spoon and I got to work. It only took about two minutes to get the batter mixed. It’s really warming up the pan that was, as always, my greatest challenge. You see, I like my pancakes almost burnt. I know that sounds weird; evening looking at it written on this page is unappetizing, but I have always liked my pancakes that way. And there is a fine line between inedibly burnt pancakes and darkly-browned delicious pancakes.
I don’t know if it’s somehow the combined flavors of the almost charred pancake flour, butter and syrup that makes this breakfast so delicious to me. Or is it the nostalgia? When I was younger I spent summers in the Florida Keys with my grandparents. My grandmother cooked us breakfast every morning and when she made pancakes, they were always really dark, with two pats of butter and pancake syrup. Sometimes she made a stack of big pancakes, but more often for me, she’d make silver dollar pancakes. It really didn’t matter because they were always delicious.
Even now, in my 40s, whenever I’m home she makes pancakes for me. On my last trip she made pancakes in the shape of my name. She’s blind now so the e’s were backward, but I learned that you’re never too old to enjoy shaped pancakes made by your grandmother.
So, is it actually the flavor that inspires me to make them every weekend, or is the opportunity to be transported back to a time when someone cooked breakfast for me with love, and my biggest worries were using enough sunscreen and wondering what kind of creature my brother and I would find in the canal that day?
I haven’t perfected the dark brown pancake, but I’m getting closer. This morning, as with most pancake mornings, my first was a throw-away. I suspect the pan wasn’t warm enough – I’m impatient – and the pancake came out light with a bland, floury taste. The second pancake came out light in places, but with two dark rings. Ok, I’ll be honest, it was burnt around those two rings. But they were thin rings, and they gave the pancake some flavor, so it was a keeper. But I did turn the temperature down, as I’m sure this is part of my failure… I can’t quite figure out the right temperature for the pancake making. Anyway, the third and last was pretty good – starting to brown, although not as dark as I like, but also not burnt.
I slathered fake vegetarian butter (I’m trying to be healthier now that I’m older) on all of them and once the fake butter melted, I poured real maple syrup on them. I left the mess in the kitchen and sat down to enjoy my morning treat.