Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm Going to Have to Fire My Sous Chef

I made pancakes for supper tonight.

I never make them for breakfast: too much work, too early in the morning. That's what you get when you make things from scratch...AND when you're not a morning person in the least. But every nine weeks in my menu plan, pancakes for Friday night supper pops up, so that's what we had tonight.

Tobin was "helping" me make them, and I was patting myself on the back for being so patient and loving with him, even when it was taking five times as long as it would have if I had been working alone, even when he kept dropping the measuring cup in the batter. Things were humming right along, and the batter was ready--ahead of schedule, too. I had plenty of time to fry the pancakes before Jeff got home.

And then I heard Shav crying upstairs, ready to be gotten out of bed after his second nap. I waltzed up the steps, retrieved him from his crib, and changed his dirty diaper. Then we glided down the stairs together, but...

As I looked into the kitchen, I noticed a pile of something on the counter beside the batter bowl, right in front of where Tobin was planted on a chair, wooden spoon in hand. Initially I assumed that it was batter that he had flung out of the bowl as he stirred it too vigorously, and I slumped a little as I wondered whether we would have enough pancakes to go around, since the amount on the counter was quite a lot.

Upon closer examination, however, I realized that it was a white, powdery substance; and then I saw the box. Baking soda. Uh-oh. Tobin had dumped a big pile of it onto the counter. Groan. And then I looked into the bowl of pancake batter and--lo and behold--there were some white sprinkles in there, too. But it wasn't so very much (of course, I didn't have any idea how much had already dissolved into the batter and vanished from view); and, being an optimist by nature, I assumed that it wouldn't really affect the pancakes too much, so I proceeded to pour some batter into the skillet and get busy frying them up.

Fortunately, I called Jeff at work and found out that Kevin the Painter was going to be here for supper, so I decided I'd better whip up another batch of batter in case we ran out of the first. And boy, am I glad I did! We all are, in fact; but I'm getting ahead of myself...

Suppertime arrived, the platter was piled high with pancakes, everyone gathered around the table, Jeff read a short devotional and prayed, pancakes were divvied out, blueberry sauce and orange sauce and maple syrup were passed around, bites were cut for little people, forks were lifted, and people started eating.

After a few moments, Kevin the Painter started questioning why the blueberry sauce was turning green on the pancakes. And then, someone (maybe him? maybe Josiah?) ventured a remark about how unusual the pancakes tasted. That broke the dam, and a whole slew of comments poured forth. As it turned out, the amount of baking soda that Tobin, my dear little sous chef, added to the batter was more than I had first realized; and the pancakes tasted horrible.

I had not eaten a single bite of pancakes yet. Between manning the frying pan (fortunately, I was into the second batch by now--the normal batch), feeding Shav, and tending to other needs, I hadn't had time to pop a bite into my mouth, so I had no idea how terrible the food I was feeding to my family--and a guest!--really was. Dad, who can eat anything, proved yet again that he really can eat anything, because he had already consumed two whole pancakes. David, bless his heart, had done likewise. Tobin refused to eat any. Jeff hadn't eaten any yet either because he was still munching on his nightly quota of chips and salsa (no exaggeration--he eats that every night). My mother was slowly chewing her bites of pancake and not complaining; but when we discovered the calamity and I offered to take away her bad pancake and give her a good one, she (who wastes NO food) didn't protest a bit.

Kevin said his first thought was, "Wow, the Tylenol I took a while ago sure has a strong taste." His next thought was, "They must be trying to poison me." And then he thought, "How can I slip these pancakes under the table and put them in my pocket without Davene seeing me and being offended???"

Three things I learned from this:
1. That particular pancake recipe is not improved a bit by adding extra baking soda.
2. Thank goodness we have chickens who will eat nasty pancakes.
3. Never leave Tobin unattended with pancake batter!



Tim and Michelle said...

I love your perspective/attitude that comes through in this post...willingness to just take things as they come- thanks for the humor tonight :)

Mike and Katie said...

"They must be trying to poison me." Oh, it was so hard to keep from laughing outloud at that one! Every one's sleeping though and I'm trying to keep it that way. But oh so funny!

I'm allergic to wheat so I can't sample the pancakes before serving them. I have to hope they are good. I like to make them at night too. I soak whole wheat flour in yogurt all day and then cook up the pan cakes at night. Then I freeze the extra's.

My leaving-the-toddler-unassisted moments have ended with two calls to Poison Control. Once when she got into the babies' Vit D drops and once when she was sucking on the tooth paste tube.

Elizabeth said...

I do believe that this must certainly be my fault! I jest, but lately, I have been wallowing in just a mite of pity about how things weren't "working out" exactly as I hoped. Your story for the day was just what I needed! Thanks for sharing. It got me laughing again...

bekahcubed said...

I love it! Extra baking soda in pancakes can definitely give them a bit of

One of the biggest "lessons" I have to teach the undergraduates in the "Scientific Principles of Food Preparation" class at our local university is the difference between baking powder and baking soda. Despite my reminding the students again and again, at least once per semester, we'll have one item that ends up being uber bitter and not raising right because the kids used soda instead of powder. I, of course, always urge the students to taste and try to figure out what went wrong!

Home Instead said...

At least you had a good excuse for my the pancakes were bad. When my food turns about bad I have no one to blame but my self. Oh well, eat at your own risk! :-) Claire says "hi" she wanted to leave a comment for you but didn't know how so I told her I would tell you she's thinking about you and wants you to give her a call when you get a chance. God Bless

First Things First said...

You made me (really) LOL!

Oh. my. word. This is FUNNY STUFF.

BTW, maybe Jeff and I are related...I eat chips and salsa almost every day too...I. really. wish. I. could. stop. I am sure I'd lose 10 pounds...(and I usually add...sour cream!).

Miriam said...

I was sure you were going to say that not only was the syrup turning green, but it was foaming, too (like vinegar and baking soda). LOL! This is funny, but I think it's also great how you were letting Tobin "help" you.

Nell-Marie and Gil said...

Just wanted to pop in and say "hi" and "we love you" to you and your family =) Great story about the pancakes--we got a good laugh about it tonight =)

Pam said...

Hey Davene, I wanted to pop in and say hello also. I loved your post, it cracked me up. Your boys are all so cute, and this story is one to pass down. It reminds me of a chapter in Anne of Green Gables. Your blog is lovely, and I enjoyed your devotional blog as well.
Many blessings,

Jolanthe said...

haha. :) a little baking soda goes a long way! I once accidentally used b soda instead of powder and YUCK!!!

Polly said...

Oh, how hilarious! I am just reading this for the first time--catching up on blogs. That is too funny!! My son likes adding salt to everything so I have to watch him like a HAWK!

At least the pancakes were....clean??? :)