I make them for Rio about once a month. My father made them for me as a child, as did his father for him.
Of course, I’ve changed the recipe some, subbing Splenda for powdered sugar, and using sugar free syrup to lower the carb impact somewhat
Now, I can’t say for sure that grandpa made special shapes, but my Dad was a wizard when it came to artistic pancakes. Birds, flowers, rabbits. You name it. Once, as pancake master for a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast fund raiser, he was actually able to make a pancake that looked like the Kiwanis logo.
No small feat. I wish I had a picture of the pancake.
But apparently I didn’t get the wizard genes from my father, at least not so far as pancakes are concerned. I am a closet artist at heart, but my pancake-art rarely comes out looking like anything I had intended it to. This has required me to become fast on my feet with coming up with explanations for what I’ve created.
That’s what happened today.
I usually duck the bullet by saying, what does it look like to you, Rio? To which, he’ll consider the pancake seriously and declare that it is a mockup of nuclear fusion in the engine of a starship. Exactly so! I’ll reply, slightly crestfallen that my mongoose came out so unrecognizable.
But every now and again Rio can’t divine a shape in the clouds of the cooking batter.
“What’s this Daddy?” he asked, nose so close to the griddle to risk burning it.
I fell back on the old ruse. What’s it look like, baby?
Rio shrugged one shoulder, “I have no idea what-so-ever.” And then he turned to me with those big brown eyes of his mother’s. Expectantly. Waiting for an answer.
One heart beat.
Two heart beats.
Three heart beats.
Cellular mitosis, I said.
Rio considered for a moment, then he turned to his mother, “Momma, does that really exist?”
His mother said, “Ummmmm… I think I’ll let your father explain that one to you.”
So while his mother buttered, syruped, jellied, and rolled his pancake up like a burrito, I sat with pen and paper and drew a cartoon sketch of how a single celled organism divides, cloning itself.
After breakfast we went on line and found pictures:
And even microscope video of mitosis in action. Very cool.
So what do you think of cellular mitosis? I asked Rio at the end.
“It’s pretty amazing,” he replied, eyes still locked on the screen.
Don’t you think your pancake looked like this?
A long pause, then, “Well… It was close enough, Daddy. It was close enough.”
Further proof of my guiding principal. If you don’t learn something new each day, you should have stayed in bed.
I rarely have a day I should have stayed in bed.
And I’m determined to make sure Rio’s life plays out the same way.