Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pancake Day

Pancakes are probably Joaquim’s all-time favourite food. His record is six at breakfast. So imagine his delight when I informed him at the week-end that Tuesday was Pancake Day. We usually eat them on Sundays for breakfast, and consumption goes thus: first 2 for Joaquim, then 1 for dad, 1 for Joaquim, 1 for mum, 1 for Joaquim etc. (they come out one at a time). Sebastian hasn’t yet quite realised how great they are.

Yesterday morning Joaquim asked me if we were going to make pancakes. “At dinner,” I said, “because we have no flour” (I have not replenished our stocks since the great fairy-cake binge that was Christmas). Paulo picked the boys up from nursery at lunchtime. He called me: “You’d better get some flour for pancakes. The first thing Jaoquim said to me was “Are we going to make pancakes?” I told him it was your department.” I go out, buy flour and milk. We have eggs.

That evening when I get home from work, Joaquim asks me “Did you bring lots of flour for pancakes?”
“Let’s make them!”
We wash our hands. (Thank you “Big cook, Little cook” for making this an obligatory pre-cooking act.)
We crack eggs and mix them with flour. Joaquim adds a pinch of salt.
I pour milk and Joaquim mixes. Joaquim pours milk and I mix. A little effort with the whisk and most of the lumps disappear. It’s looking good. We’re ready.

The electricity goes off. This is not uncommon. It’s also pouring with rain (please remember my kitchen is outdoors, although covered.) Also not uncommon for this time of year.

I no longer own a handy head torch, and our solar lighting system has been relocated, perhaps somewhat prematurely, to the new house. It is pitch black. I convince Joaquim to go indoors, where dad is lighting candles and the boys’ very handy night-lights (thank you super-maman), to wait. I clamp my mobile between my teeth and use its paltry torch to illuminate the frying pan and begin to fry pancakes. As is traditional, the first one is a bit dodgy, but Joaquim wolfs it down. The second goes down too. Dad is allowed the next. My jaw starts to ache. Fortunately, Joaquim has had dinner and is not very hungry. After the third he’s had enough. Dad wants another, but as I start it an exhausted Sebastian comes and wraps himself around my legs, crying. I flip the pancake, serve it up, call it a day and dash, with Sebastian, 5 metres through the downpour to the house. Joaquim has a bath, falls asleep in the bath, is carried to bed. The electricity comes back on! Dad has had his dinner and is sleepily watching TV. He doesn’t understand why I get cross when he asks me to go and check whether water is coming into the new house. Sebastian insists on being carried on my back until he falls asleep (he’s used to being carried in a sarong and loves it). I have my dinner. No pancakes for me. I am beyond caring.

However, all is not lost. We have plenty of left-over batter for breakfast today, hooray! (I know, I know, that’s not the point, it’s Lent, but we’re not a very religious lot). I have the first. Joaquim has four.

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At 12:09 am, Blogger Marie said...

That made me laugh out loud. My favourite part was the bit about the phone.

At 12:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here :)



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