Monday, December 29, 2008

A PANCAKE PRIMER, PART 1

AND BOY SCOUT EGGS

Some folks call 'em Griddlecakes.
Then you got your Hotcakes, Hoecakes, Johnnycakes, Crepes.
You got your Dropscones, Latkes, Buckwhweat Blini, and Dutch Babies.
Some are the size of Silver Dollars, others as big as a skating rink.
I could write a book about Pancakes, I'll try not to here.

Dad called 'em Flapjacks. I remember standing on the Hico three step ladder when I was a boy as Dad showed me how to flip 'em. Thats the best part of making them, you know, when you flip 'em over, and you get to see what a beautiful golden brown creation you have made. Its one of the most highly anticipated things in the world, the first appearance of the first side cooked.

It may seem a small thing, but it is not.
Ask any child if they would like Pancakes for Breakfast. Watch their eyes sparkle, see how quickly they get dressed. Tell them that they can help cook the pancakes and you have them won over for life. The only thing better than eating a pancake is making a pancake, any 6 year old knows this. They know what most adults have yet to realize....

PANCAKES ARE LIKE SNOWFLAKES!
THERE ARE NO TWO EXACTLY THE SAME!
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LITTLE PERSONALITY.

When I was 11 and in Boy Scouts, we went on Campouts and we had to cook for ourselves on Saturday Mornings.
The menu was usually Bacon and Eggs.
We generally fared pretty badly, with the bacon either burned or undercooked, the eggs too runny or out of the pan entirely, spilled into the fire.
And even on the off chance that our meal appeared edible you would find bits of earth (or something) had fouled the bacon with a gritty crunch and there were leaves and Bark and other organics stirred in with the eggs.

I wish I had a dollar for every Bug, Cockle burr and/or tuft of hair I pulled out of Boy Scout Eggs.
They are like their own food group.

This is why we kept a box of cereal in the Chuck Box. If we had remembered to ice the milk and it had not spoiled overnight, then we could have Lucky Charms or Apple Jacks and would not starve before it was time to fuck-up lunch.

But on Sunday morning, Chan, the Scoutmaster, would fire up his huge griddles.
Chan had seemed like a hard ass, with his requisite that we obey all orders, any orders on the spot and without fail. In charge of 60 boys in tents, with knives, axes and fires everywhere, will make a man a hard ass I suppose, and cause him too go to great measures to insure obedience, like "Chan-hikes" at 3 A.M. where he pulls all the boys out of their tents and takes you on a 5 mile jog through the woods in order to wear you out so you (and he) can sleep.

And on Sunday morning Chan would fire up his huge griddles.We would line up for all the pancakes we could eat, flushed down with ice cold milk. It could be cold, or raining, or both, but every boy had a smile on his sticky little syrup face, eating the best breakfast there could ever be.


To be continued...

10 comments:

Barbara said...

I used to impress my daughter's friends by making pancakes in the shape of their initials. Always made them from scratch, no Bisquick here!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

A very entertaining and tasty post about pancakes, Es! Just so happened to have them this morning topped with strawberries and whipped cream.
Now there's whole wheat or 8-grain
pancakes which I'm not crazy about.
Give me those old-fashioned, butter
pancakes anytime! :))

banquet manager said...

My kids love the "smiley-face" pancakes from IHOP, with LOTS of butter (me too). Happy New Year!

Kellyann Brown said...

My favorite scene of one of my favorite movies (Uncle Buck) is when he makes the huge pancake for the boy's birthday breakfast... and the pancake is SO huge, he has to turn it with a snow shovel!

laughingattheslut said...

When I was growing up, it seems like my dad only knew how to cook three things. One of them was pancakes, and the other thing was made of hotdogs with cheese and bacon. It seems like there was a third thing, but I can't remember what it was.

So my dad made pancakes almost every Saturday. And I was quite sure that the dog knew the days of the week, cause on Saturday he got this huge pancake made of whatever pancake batter was left.

bulletholes said...

i just have to think that pancakes are always associated with good memories!
Kelly-Anne- a snowshovel spatula? Wow, thats my kind of pancake!

dmarks said...

"I wish I had a dollar for every Bug, Cockle burr and/or tuft of hair I pulled out of Boy Scout Eggs."

Boy scout eggs? I did wonder how they reproduced.

I used to like a restaurant chain called Flap Jack Shack. It was all over Michigan, but then it imploded and there is just one left. Happy Chef also had pigs-in-a-blanket. Anyone remember those?

Anonymous said...

I can not tell ya how good this made me feel!!!!

leslie said...

I think the line, "Pancakes are like Snowflakes. There are no two exactly the same", is the most profound of sentences.
You truly understand pancakes.
I am in awe. Pass the syrup.

GrizzBabe said...

I LOVE pancakes! LOVE. THEM. Saturday morning was pancake day in our house. If I ever have kids, I'll continue the tradition. And despite my penchant for perfection, I will let them help.