Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not So Magical Pancakes

In honor of my grandma and simply for the sake of nostalgia I attempted to get artistic in the kitchen this weekend.  My grandma used to make these magical breakfast creations.  She could create art with pancake batter like I can a pencil.  This particular comparison was the beginning of my downfall I discovered.  You see—I consider myself a reasonably artistic person.  I’ve enjoyed drawing since I was small child.  Although I don’t delve into the world of sketching much anymore it’s one of the things that come easily to me regardless of how long it’s been since my last artistic boost of inspiration.  It was this inspiration and need for nostalgia that led me to morning pancakes. 

I have fond memories of my grandma being in the kitchen every morning I'd wake up at her house during my childhood.  I would come down the stairs in my less than conscious state and she would smile at me and ask if I was ready for breakfast.  Generally the response was some barely audible mumbling she was somehow able to interpret.  She’d give me a little time to adjust to the morning and would then graciously ask what I’d like to eat.  Though my options were numerous, for the most part as a child, I asked for pancakes.  Then she’d ask me what I’d like on that particular day because my grandma didn’t make your standard and albeit average round pancake.  No, she made elephants, giraffes, Mickey Mouses, suns, horses, dogs, flowers, and whatever else my imagination could come up with she would attempt.  And more often than not she’d succeed and she’d do it freehand.  Not using those molds they have nowadays.  After they were finished she’d cover my creatures in butter and syrup.  Then her and I, and occasionally Mrs. Butterworth’s, would have a nice chat over pancakes.  That’s how I remember it anyway.

However, when I began my pancake making adventure first on Thursday and then again this morning I thought it’d be simple. I’m artsy.  I’ve been known to be creative.  I can make something great!  It wasn't that I needed all the pancakes to be masterpieces.  I thought just one magic pancake on top of the stack could take me back, if only for a short time.  Well, clearly I had misguided confidence in my artistic ability with batter or in the assumption that the magic she created was simple and could be performed by anyone.  I couldn’t even pull off a Mickey Mouse.  How hard is that?  It’s basically three circles.  I tried a couple more times that morning.  Then I made a feeble attempt this morning under the umbrella excuse that my batter was too thin when I tried it Thursday.  Nope.  Nothin’!  Clearly the magic my grandma created wasn’t small after all.  Or, maybe she had the aid of a child’s imagination and therefore the ability to see works of art in the smallest of things. 

Whatever the reason for my botched attempt it wasn’t quite the same as when I was a child.   My grandma wasn’t there to laugh and talk with and so I ate my deformed pancake and remembered fondly in silence.  While Mrs. Butterworth looked on quietly.


  1. Oh my goodness! I love this idea of trying to recreate grandma's pancake art. It's very sweet like that syrupy photo of Mrs. Butterworth's, and those pancake hearts. This is a relateable topic for me. I enjoy cooking and all but there are times when I'll compare my chicken adobo or my pancit to my mom's and then... I feel inadequate. Lol. But GIRL! It don't matter. ;) Food is where the heart is.

    HEY, and since you like pancake art--- you really need to check this guy's blog out (he makes pancakes for his daughter and he is a GenIUS)

  2. Oh my gosh, Grace! That guy is incredible!