My 13-year-old son came home from school a couple of weeks ago and asked to do something he’s never asked to do before: make dinner.
“I want to make pancakes for you and Daisy,” he said. “From scratch.”
Wow. Even I have never made pancakes from scratch before.
“Why would you want to do that?” I asked, perplexed.
“It’s for school,” he said. “We have to do it for home ec. class, and then our parents have to mark us.” Ah, okay. Now that made sense.
Looking at the recipe provided I could see that it wasn’t just for pancakes but for syrup as well. Homemade syrup? Goodness. Obviously a trip to the grocery store would be necessary before the adventures could begin. I mean, really. Who has white corn syrup, cream of tartar and maple flavouring in their pantry? Well, maybe lots of people do. But not us.
After getting home from the store and putting out all the ingredients on the counter my son started to cook. And I, of course, started taking pictures.
“No, Mom,” he objected. “I don’t have a shirt on.”
“You never do,” I responded, since he never does when he’s at home. “Why don’t you wear this apron?”
He looked at it like I was a crazy person. “Why would I wear an apron?” he said. “Aren’t those for protecting clothes?”
He let me take a few pictures after I assured him I wouldn’t post them on the internet or sell them to the tabloids, and then I happily became his sous chef for the next messy hour.
His recipe called for a lot more ingredients than the Aunt Jemima pancake mix I’d normally use, so it took longer than either one of us expected, but we had fun. A lot of fun.
Since Dad was out, it was my job to taste the results. Not being a fan of this starchy breakfast meal since I was very young, I didn’t think I was the best to judge his creation. I took one bite of his blueberry, whole wheat pancakes with butter and homemade syrup and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. They were a little thick and I could taste the baking powder, but I could tell they were edible. I didn’t imagine Sam and Daisy would eat much more than I did. I was wrong. The entire stack of them were devoured in record time.
“Those were the best!” Sam said, proud to make such a delicious dinner for us. “I should do that for breakfast with chocolate chips instead of berries.”
Since our house usually becomes sleepover central on the weekends, and pancakes are a favourite with the kids, I thought that would be a much better plan than the decadent breakfast feast my husband made for everyone recently.
After getting a craving and going out early to buy the ingredients, Paul came home on a Saturday morning to surprise us with something more exciting than the typical scrambled eggs, French toast or pancakes the gang usually eats. He decided to make us eggs Benedict and asparagus.
Paul’s an excellent cook with a natural flair for creating tasty dishes and presenting them in a beautiful way like a nice restaurant would. His talents were lost on the children.
“It’s kind of disgusting,” Daisy said poking at the Hollandaise sauce and stabbing an asparagus spear with her fork. “No offence.”
The other kids weren’t quite that honest, and gave it a try with the tiniest bites imaginable, yet none of them could go the distance, and Aunt Jemima was called in to save the day. At least Sam will be able to do the saving now. I’d better get some chocolate chips.
Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at LoriWelbourne.com