This post has sat for almost a year….tucked away in the pages of this blog.
Then the other day I was working on a project and I found it again.
And even though I know the story by heart.
Even though this story was not my finest hour.
Even though I have told this story at least 5,000 times to anyone who would listen…..
…..when I found it…..I read it to myself one more time.
And laughed until tears were streaming down my cheeks.
I hope you enjoy.
It started with an invitation.
I think that all really good stories do.
I asked my husband…..who was then my boyfriend over for lunch.
We were both home from college for the summer and I wanted to impress him with my culinary skills. Well….actually….I really didn’t have any culinary skills…..only a complete and utter belief in my ability to do anything I set my mind to.
I told him I would cook him anything he wanted for lunch and he told me that he wanted pancakes.
How about filet mignon and summer squash or braised pork chops with fresh garlic and onion or chicken stuffed with ricotta cheese?
He wanted pancakes.
So that day I searched my mom’s The Joy of Cooking until I found the best-looking pancake recipe I could.
I didn’t know about Bisquick.
Or generic pancake mixes.
All I knew was The Joy of Cooking had given this recipe the stamp of approval…..and that was good enough for me.
I followed the recipe to a tee.
First I added the milk and sugar and eggs and baking powder and salt and butter….and oh….
Now you have to understand…..at this point….my only cooking reference was chocolate chip cookies.
That’s what I made.
That’s what I was known for.
So when I added the ingredients together it just looked….well….it looked so….un-chocolate chip cookie like. As a matter of fact, it just looked runny.
How was I ever going to form this dough into balls to press into the pan to make pancakes (remember the chocolate chip cookie reference)?
Frantically I read the recipe again.
I must have done something wrong, I thought.
So I added some flour.
And some more flour.
And just a little more for good measure.
Until all of the runniness was gone and my pancake mix was a big ball of dough.
Staring at that big ball of dough…..I was feeling confident. I was feeling like Julia Child had nothing on me. And in that overly-confident moment……inspiration really struck.
Why just have plain pancakes……
……when you could have blueberry ones?
Now…..The Joy of Cooking didn’t really mention blueberry pancakes.
But remember…..I knew I could do anything…..a complete and utter belief in my cooking abilities.
A belief that extended to the executive decision to go to the freezer and take out frozen blueberries and add them to the dough.
And then a funny thing happened.
The frozen blueberries made the dough blue.
And now I realized……I had spent so much time setting a beautiful table with the most amazing fresh flower arrangement and silver and china and candles…..I was running out of time. Oh….and there was all that adding extra flour and whole frozen blueberries thing.
That’s when inspirational idea number two struck.
“Why have a bunch of little pancakes when you could just have one really big pancake?”
So I took that big blue ball of pancake dough.
And I pressed it quickly into the frying pan.
And when I was waiting for the top to cook.
The bottom burned.
Well….actually…..it burned on both sides.
So now my pancake was….big….and blue…..and….umm…..burned. And that’s when I got inspirational idea number three.
Add powdered sugar to cover the burned part.
So I styled the pancake on the plate with powdered sugar and a few remaining blueberries that were now thawed and set it on that beautiful table.
Just in time.
Just in time to see my future husband’s eyes light up.
Oh…..the meal that was waiting for him.
So there we sat.
Just the two of us.
I was the one having the cheese sandwich because (as I told him later) there simply wasn’t enough pancake for me.
And as his fork hovered with delight over the powdered sugared blueberry delicacy…..with great anticipation and gusto he cut into it.
And from the center…..from the center of that very under cooked…..yet oddly overcooked…..blueberry pancake….
….came rivers of blue goo that spilled onto his plate.
He looked at me.
And I looked at him…..about to burst into tears.
And like a man inspired…..he took a deep breath…..grabbed his fork…..and scooped up the blue goo with bits of blueberry and powdered sugar still attached…..
…..and took a big bite.
Chewed with kind of face like a contestant on Survivor when they have to eat a local delicacy to win fresh towels and shampoo.
That kind of face.
And then he finished his bite.
And he smiled.
And told me how delicious it was…..
…..and then asked me for the rest of my cheese sandwich.
And I gave it to him…..along with my heart