My family is not one given to many traditions. Of the few we have, some are bitterly, bitterly contested. (You know who you are, Christmas Holiday Cracker. With your loud noise, your festive hat, your little toy, and oh-smug-riddle. Pick one thing and be it!) But there's one that stands out as memorable: Sunday is pancake day.
Granted, as the great Consequence family diaspora took hold, the tradition has fallen into disuse. And even at its height, it was a series of careful negotiations and opposing ideological stances. Substance. How much syrup is too much? Is it time we got a waffle iron? Is cheese whiz an acceptable condiment? Is peanut butter an acceptable alternative? And time. Do we have pancakes before Church, or after Church? Are we going to church? Do we have to go to church? I know there are pancake, but how do I know there is a God?
Theology and food. What more could a family ask for?
Second stream of thought: I have recently decided to add cooking to my skills. (Purely to attract women. Every improvement I have ever made in my life has been to this end. And if I ever tell you any differently, I'm lying.) I started with eggs (to align myself with previous conversations, I think the chickens that laid them were free range. Probably. The picture on the carton hinted as much. Look, I'm not trial here.). Results have been mixed. So far, I have "mastered" three types: scrambled, runny, and burnt. Rather than refine this effort in any way shape or form, I decided that my culinary difficulty stemmed from a lack of ambition. Thus, I invited my postcolonial class to come over to my place next Thursday to watch the movie version of our first novel--and to attend a pancake dinner. I also promised I make "a damn good pancake," which I assumed must be true. It's practically my family heritage. That, and squinting.
Ultimately, I decided not to leave everything up to fate. I called up my brother yesterday, and got the pancake recipe he used when I was last living with him. And I tried a trial run. And again--mixed results. See, I forgot that the recipe my brother used was for when he was living in a house with four early twenty male bachelors--and even then, the proportions were chosen so that there'd be plenty of leftovers. I live alone. Problem. To compound matters, I accidentally put in twice as much milk as was required into the batter. That meant the only way to save the batch was to double all my ingredients--and double the amount of pancakes I'd produce.
Good news: by the time next Thursday rolls around, I will be as good a pancake expert as I pretended to be.
Bad news: There is no time in the forseeable future in which I will not be eating pancakes. I have made a dozen so far, and barely made a dent in the total batter. It's a good thing pancakes are loaded with nostalgic value for me, 'cause I'm going to be dining on nostalgia for quite some time.
Cooking Rule of Thumb #1: If your recipe involves 8 eggs and you're cooking for one, there will be leftovers.