Wednesday night I attended a fund-raiser for the The History Center in Tompkins County called Encouraging Connections through Variations on Pancakes.The presenter, Paula Younger, gave us a glimpse into how one thing, pancakes, can spark a conversation across generations and cultures. The event itself was a kick off for the The History Centers Generation to Generation series.
At the center of the talk was what the presenter called a pancake moment. I don’t know how to define it except to say that it is a moment associated with a memory of pancakes in a historical/personal context that teaches you something, marks something, or leads to some type of transformation, even if just in your thinking. (Click on Ms. Younger’s site, pancakemoments TM to find out more information.)
Here is my pancake moment.
In October 1995, my now husband invited me over for breakfast with his twin boys. He routinely made the round trip to Syracuse every other weekend and bring them to their home here, the home that he wanted to be their forever home.
I had tasted some of my husband’s cooking but was not prepared for his specialty, blueberry pancakes. While the boys slept, he brought out the ingredients, mixed them finishing with a big handful of blueberries thrown into the batter. The pancakes on the griddle fluffed up to the best cakes I have ever tasted…not too high and airy, but high enough so that the pancake does not drop into your stomach like a round of lead.
Calling the fifteen year olds to breakfast, he prepared their plates and let them pour as much syrup as they wanted onto their pancakes.My husband then made sure they had a juice or something to drink, fussing over them as he does with people he holds dear…like a mother hen.
The boys gobbled up their pancakes as if it was the most routine thing in the world.
At that moment I could feel the love. The contented feeling of soul food like delicious blueberry pancakes set in a scene laced with its own brand of heart ache, transformed into that routine place that never leaves you…that place you carry in your heart forever, that place where you are unconditionally loved.
And I saw the soul of my husband, Radames: when life gives you cracked eggs put them in a rich mix and then throw in a lot of color and sweetness to make it whole and beautiful for yourself, and for those who must continue.
©claire anne perez