Pancakes aren’t always cake

They’re called Hearty Pancakes (and they include golden raisins that are dropped on top during the process)

I love pancakes. A lot. A lot, lot, lot. When I launched my first real culinary attempts — back in our Chicago apartment like nine years ago — I took it for granted that pancakes would be, well, cake. They seemed simple enough. Mix up the batter, pour it onto the griddle, flip, and voila! But, for moi at least, there’s a bit more to it than all that.

Temperature, for one. It took me a while to find the best setting. And I’ve had to adjust it with each new stove I’ve encountered. Bubble detection is another skill that I didn’t master right away. The bubbles build up to the right point, but the pre-bubbles always threw me off. I’d often flip too soon, seeing a few of them pop through the surface, and I’d have a floppy pancake that would land folded in half. Argggh.

Patience is another thing. I’ve NEVER had that, so it figures that I’d struggle. You can’t put the batter onto the pan ’til it’s hot enough. And you can’t flip ’til the bubbles AND the dried-out edges are ready.

The fact that they seemed so simple to make, but weren’t simple for me, was quite upsetting. I frightened the living daylights out of my then boyfriend (now husband) one morning when I flipped the pancake and the pancake flopped. This was after a couple of other failed tries to make a yummy breakfast. I was raging on and on about “why can other people do this right and I can’t?” and “why do mine look all icky and the picture is so pretty?”

My batch of batter was obviously going to waste, so I angrily threw it into the trash can while tears burned the edges of my eyes. (Yes, I cried over spilled pancakes.) He, very nicely, offered to go get more flour for another batch. My ever-memorable response (we still bring it up from time to time)? “Go to f***ing hell!” Ha. You don’t wanna be in the kitchen with me when I’m ruining pancakes. Luckily I’ve gained some maturity and a smattering of patience. Even this batch had one floppo and I only ranted a bit about it. Well, maybe slightly more than a bit.