Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pancakes as Big as Your Head!

Placeholders only work if you return to the place that you were holding.
I am not going to do something so ridiculous as to promise to never, ever do this again, because we all know that just . . . won't . . . happen.
It's amazing how in life that you never actually cease to have retrospection, to reflect on things. But life can get so busy that it only comes in flashes. Which, I have to tell you all, over the last two weeks I've been having a great dialog with you and the blog. The problem is you don't know about it because I've been doing all of it in my head; so, it seemed like it might be time for an update of everything.

Memorial Day weekend, Baby Girl had a couple of firsts. Her very first pancake (see Flickr for more pancake-y fun), her very first taste of rhubarb and her very first tornado siren.

It is a weekend tradition at our house--and I say tradition meaning when we aren't too busy to do it--that Jason makes pancakes. Now, a lot of families have their special weekend breakfast on Sunday morning. Well, as you can imagine, we are just a tad bit busy on Sunday morning and Saturday mornings tend to be busy also.
But on Fridays, Fridays are ours. Jason has strict instructions from me that he is only allowed to do hospital visitations, funerals, and the occasional wedding rehearsal on Fridays: Fridays are our time, the church doesn't get him.
So it is very common that on my way home from work on Thursday night I pick up sausages if I am feeling in a really frivolous mood, otherwise I'll make sure there is either buttermilk of vanilla yogurt in the fridge because Jason makes pancakes.
Now, if you have never had my husband's pancakes, you are perhaps needing to come to our house for a visit because Jason's pancakes, first and foremost, are perfect. I am not a pancake person; in fact, growing up I hated pancakes (even the really good, from-scratch kind made by our neighbor who, incidentally, would have approved of Jason). I would never touch a bite of pancake, no matter how perfect, no matter how much it fulfilled the platonic idea of pancakes, they were not for me.
Well, I got married and Jason makes pancakes. Jason loves pancakes. Over the course of time I have come to realize that when my husband makes pancakes, they are near to the best thing in the world. He puts oil in the griddle, he has yogurt or buttermilk in the batter for a bit of tang against the sweetness, he doesn't mix the batter smooth so that they'll get big and fluffy, and sometimes we have blueberries. When they have blueberries in them, he knows to put the pancake on my plate blueberry side up so that I can fill the little crevices around the blueberries with butter and syrup so that you get pockets of unbearable sweetness amidst this fluffy, epicurean delight.
As you can tell, I'm a big fan of Jason's pancakes.
This is our Friday mornings. Occasionally I let him sleep in, but more often than not, I tell him he has to make me pancakes.
So we're at the table and Baby Girl has already eaten, but she's piecing. She likes the experience of getting to sit at the table (if everyone else is eating, she thinks she needs to eat, too). So we're all sitting and I have a pancake in front of me, and she's finished her cheerios and doesn't want more, and keeps eying what I am doing so I pull off a bit of pancake without syrup, put it on her tray in little chunks and she has a good time with that. So my next one comes up, and I do a bit more for her and I discover that I am not eating, I am merely the pancake cutter for Baby Girl. So I wail mournfully to Jason to make her one so that I can eat, too.
He makes her a little pancake. Well, I say little because for Jason pancakes need to be the size of your head in order to be considered a pancake (thankfully, she has a small head). Once it's cool enough, I just put the whole thing on her tray, I didn't break it in to pieces and she reaches out and very daintily plucks a bite off of it with her fingers. Well, that goes pretty well and the next time she reaches out she gets a bit bigger of a bite and then that tastes so nice she grabs the whole thing, picks it up, and begins to chomp on it.

The tornado siren was (thankfully) uneventful on Saturday.

On Monday, we had gone over to the Fannings for a bit of a cookout, Norm had the fire pit going, and burgers on. I had retrieved a piece of luscious rhubarb pie from the kitchen. Jessie Alton (she is lovingly referred to as the General of the congregation) had made rhubarb pie with her beautiful, wonder, little arthritic hands, and I say little because she is somewhat diminutive in size, although not in formidability.
So there is the pie with its gorgeous, sugar crust, flaky, the rhubarb had been picked just a day or two before and had just started to turn to its full maturity so that the stalks were nice and dense, but not stringy, lots of sugar that had combined with the rhubarb to make a gooey, sugar-y filling, it was wonderful; I love rhubarb pie as you can probably tell. So I sit down with a pice and I am ver much of the opinion that rhubarb should not be overwhelmed by sweetness so, you only have a slice of rhubarb with ice cream--or with custard, although custard is always nice--if there wasn't enough sugar present, and this had been sugared perfectly.
So I sit down and Baby Girl is bound and determined that she should be in the middle of this: Mom is eating, why am I not eating?
So after a couple of thwarted swipes at my plate, during which I barely managed to salvage my rhubarb pie, I decided, ok, I'm going to nip this thing in the bud. So I poke around inside the filling and I find a little bit of rhubarb and I extricate it from the filling and the pulp of the chunk from the skin so I have just the pulp...the pulp that is really the tartest part. I knew that had soaked up a bit of sweetness from the sugar, but I knew it was tart and I stick it in her mouth. Surely she'll look at this and think I am crazy for wanting to eat this stuff.

I put it on the tip of her tongue, she crushes it up against the top of her mouth and sort of stops and her face screws up . . . and then she keeps chewing; and then she opens her mouth and wants more.
The kid likes rhubarb. I didn't manage to turn her off of anything. She wants more of it.
It would seem she has my predilection for things that are sour. I'm hiding the dill pickles.

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