My 15-year-old brother loves to cook, or shall I say concoct dishes. Hungry and frustrated by the fact that no one would let him “borrow” money to order a pizza, he decided to make pancakes – for the first time…
He starts off following the directions on the box, but I offer my assistance anyway.
“Does this look right,” he asks me.
He’s holding a bowl full of clump, explaining how he decided to cut the recipe in half. It’s his first time, and he’s already making adjustments. From the looks of it, it seems that he cut the amount of water in half, but not the amount of mixture. He says otherwise.
I tell him it’s a little too clumpy and to add some water. He agrees and adds more water. He takes out a skillet and continues to stir the batter.
A little later, I go to check on him. I’m just in time. A few more minutes and the pancake batter would have been submerged in vegetable cooking oil.
“The directions say to lightly grease the pan,” he says; adding, “I only poured a cap full.”
Now, I’m no “expert” when it comes to cooking; but I’ve made a few pancakes in my day and something was telling me that this was not going to work. So I poured out the excess oil, making sure the skillet wasn’t too greasy, and suggested using cooking spray or spreading a little butter around the pan next time.
He takes the skillet and starts to pour in the batter. I notice he has the burner on about 5 [the max is 6]. Either he’s really hungry and thinking the higher the fire the quicker the pancakes will be ready or he’s trying to burn the pancakes in record timing. I turn the fire down, explaining how the pancake has to cook on one side for a minute [at least until most of the bubbles go down is what I was taught] before flipping it and he doesn’t want it to burn.
He catches on to this quickly, and I can tell he’s being cautious not to let it burn on either side. He lifts the pancake slightly to make sure the other side is still golden brown. He flips it. I stay to watch him with the next one, and then I leave him to it.
“The pancakes are ready,” he announces a few minutes later.
I go to check out his first batch. They look edible, although they seem to have gotten smaller and browner [or blacker] as he reached the end of the batter. I take two pancakes.
“If they look a little soggy, it’s just the butter,” he says as I check to make sure they’re cooked completely. They look safe.
I drench the pancakes in syrup and say my grace [I may have taken a little longer than usual this time… I needed all the protection I could get]. I take a bite…
Delicious! “This is good,” I tell him.
He smiles. “Maybe I’ll get up early one morning and cook breakfast for everybody,” he says as he proceeds to fix himself scrambled eggs and bacon [his specialty now, although I have yet to taste them] with the pancakes.
“That would be nice,” I think to myself, taking another bite.
Pancakes, eggs, and bacon with my brother…
I’ll keep you posted!
*I didn’t think to write this post until afterwards, so I didn’t get a picture of the finished product… next time, I promise!
~ Ciara Walker