You Flip But They Flop

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 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.

"Mom, it's getting all stuck in the whisk. See?"

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.

"Mom, are the pancakes ruined? Mom? ... MOM?"

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.

If you have chocolate chip pancakes on your hands, what should you do? Answer: rub them on your head. That'll solve all your problems.

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.


19 responses to “You Flip But They Flop

  1. hahaha, oh honey. That sounds a lot like the last time I tried to make pancakes. Now I just go to iHop.

  2. sorry, I laughed out loud a couple times as I read this. It’s okay, pancakes are tricky at first, especially when you start throwing things in like choco chips or blueberries. Once the batter starts to bubble then you flip, and then they’re practically done. Glad you got something yummy out of it though!

  3. Sounds to me like they turned out great! Delicious and chocolatey! πŸ™‚

    My big question is how do you get captions on each of your pictures? When I try that, it only allows one picture to have captions. If I push it, the whole thing starts rebelling until wordpress just shuts down on me! 😦

  4. If it makes you feel any better, I am TERRIBLE at making pancakes. I will probably be able to post a similar story on Wednesday after our pancake day supper tomorrow.

  5. I’d “flip” for Spatulacakes! As long as there’s chocolate, I don’t care much about any of the other ingredients (edible or otherwise). It seems I reference Fargo a lot, but I have to do it again. A cousin and his wife and kids came to visit us in CT for the first (hmmmm, and last) time. I was determined to impress them with a yummy breakfast. FAIL. I made what we now call “The Albino Pancakes.” My cousin’s wife took pictures and put them in a scrapbook. Is that good or bad?

    • Haha, I am not a native Fargoan, but I would have to say…anything that goes into a scrapbook means that it was total and complete success. Or something that is once in a lifetime, such as Albino pancakes.

      I think I need the Albino pancake recipe!

      • Oh, success, you say. How delightful. I think this is the secret to Albino Pancakes: a griddle that hasn’t been properly heated. Shhhhhhh! I don’t remember if I already did this, so apologies for redundancy: Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. Next time–white chocolate chips. They taste great and don’t match your spatula, so you can tell what is melting. I once set off a smoke alarm in a group home making cupcakes in the middle of the night. I was a staffperson, not a resident. This triggered a full scale fire drill, a call to my bosses, an explanation to emergency services, and, once the burnt parts were trimmed off, some very tiny cupcakes.

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