Gooood Evening, New Jersey! The Weathermom has forecasted tonight to be “Syrupy with A Chance of Pancakes.” Yes, pancakes for dinner! What better way to start a conversation? Come gather round the table and indulge in the ingredients that bring families together for some old-fashioned quality time.
The blender mixes milk, flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, salt, milk, and butter while Chef Mom stirs up the talk of the day. How was your day, she asks, heating up the griddle and taking an order for pancakes. Thing 4 looks a little blue and bites into his berry pancake. I didn’t do too well on my Math exam. The chef waves the spatula in the air. Just flip yourself over and try to get a better grade next time. Thing 3 slices bananas for her plate and talks about the bunches of homework that she still needs to peel away at. Once the skin is gone she will get at the fruit of every assignment with determined dedication. Thing 2 picks up a handful of nuts and sprinkles them over his food. I know I’m right, but the teacher says my answer is wrong—in science, English, European history…. Thing 5 opens the refrigerator door and grabs a can of whipped cream. He sprays the light, fluffy topping all over his pancake. What did you learn in school, the chef queries. I don’t know. I don’t remember. I forgot my book. I left my homework in school. The grade school baby of the family smiles, and there is sweetness in the air. Thing 1 pops a strawberry into his mouth and sits down to eat. How is the job search going? He responds with the usual answer–nowhere. I don’t have enough experience or there are no positions. The chef brings the bowl of strawberries to the table and comments. I know that a big, ripe, juicy offer is growing on-line and just waiting for you to pluck it off
Daddy’s home! The king strides in the back door from work with a cheery hello, and takes his place at the head of the table. Chef Mom hands him a plate of hot cakes. In between bites he steams up the room with shop talk. The trains to New York and New Jersey were delayed again. A trip to China is still being discussed at the office. A co-worker wanted this project done yesterday. By the way, how many activities are we running a marathon in tonight he asks, being a good sport.
All The Things chime in to answer. We are diving, not racing, into the night! As the sun sets we will be feasting on the smell of chlorine at the YMCA. Dad assumes the track start on the driveway block and pushes off. Treading water between the three back and forth relays of drop-off and pick-up he manages to keep himself afloat. After a well-done practice the boys take their mark on dry land and immerse themselves in homework. Dad digests this opportunity for the family to experience teamwork and finds it tastefully well rounded.
The satisfied chef leans against the kitchen counter. She has served up a hearty meal. Pancakes can bring families full circle to connect with each. And the secret in the batter is the melted chocolate chips that make parents and children stick with each other. Even if the Weathermom calls for “Cloudy with A Chance of Burnt Toast,” the crunchy grittiness of the same old every day routine can be cooked up, buttered, and served jellied with success. As long as no one talks with food in their mouths then anything shared with the ones you love is the BEST recipe for a warm family meal inside and out!