Erma spontaneously decided that we should make pancakes together. I have no idea what made her think of pancakes (but I’m guessing TV, as all the greatest ideas come from TV, am I right?) or why she picked me to be her cohort. At the age of Almost 4, you would think she would stop asking me to cook with her.
I found some great recipes for pancakes on allrecipes.com but, upon discovering that we have a product called Pancake Mix in our pantry, nixed the made-from-scratch program and ripped open the made-to-not-screw-up box.
I put Erma to work whisking an egg with some oil whilst I heated the griddle and re-read the back of the box about 248 times. One cup of pancake mix. Half a cup of water. One cup of pancake mix. Half a cup of water. One cup of pancake mix, half a cup of water. One-cuppa-pancake-mix-halfa-cuppa-water. Oh, this is going down.
It is at this point that Erma announces, “Mom? I’m done cooking. I’m going to go play with Sigourney now. Okay?”
Okay. Now it’s just me and a bucket of goop. I stir in some chocolate chips. Then I stir in some more chocolate chips, for good measure. And then, maybe, just a few more chocolate chips. Just in case.
Time for the goop to meet its maker.
One minute on each side, that’s what the box said the 253 times I read it.
On the advice of counsel (husband), I used a spoon to slop some batter into the frying pan (I was planning to use the whisk — less dishes, I thought). I waited the full minute, even though it seemed like the underside might have been badly burnt in that time, possibly signaled by the smoke emanating from the pan. Then I flipped. Indeed, the pancake looked burnt. OR it just looked really, really chocolatey. I flipped it onto a plate and got more goop.
Pancake #2 I flipped right away. I waited like ten seconds and then shoved the spatula under that bad boy. That’s when things started falling apart. Pancake #2 would not flip. I started freaking out as I got closer and closer to the minute mark. FLIP, BUDDY, FLIP! (I may have been saying this aloud in my outside voice.) Did I get that buddy to flip? I did. And it flopped.
That was when I noticed that this pancake was even blacker than Pancake #1. And that is also when I noticed that my spatula seemed to have melted off. Into the pancake.
This is the time in the cooking process when I ordinarily break down in tears. Fortunately, counsel took over cooking project and I went off to play with Sigourney until breakfast was served.
The pancakes? They were very, very chocolatey.
They required an immediate post-breakfast bath for all parties.
As an addendum to this tale of woe, at the end of a long day of screw-ups (more blog posts to come), Erma says to me, “Mom? Can I sleep with you again? I like sleeping with you. It’s sooooo much fun.”
Personally, my dear, I would rather eat spatulacakes.