RULE# 18: Learn to make pancakes

RULE #18: Learn to make pancakes

I know what your thinking, Dad’s lost it on this one, putting learning to make pancakes as a top 20 rule but I need you to hear me out.

There are only a couple foods that are truly a social food. Pancakes are extremely easy to make, yet somehow special because they don’t just come out of a box.

I have never offered to make pancakes with someone and have them respond in a negative way. It sort of like asking young kids “who wants to go to Disney World ” or a teenager ” who wants to drive the car”. You only get positive reactions when you suggest them, and even if they are decline just the offer makes people happy.

I think the base connection is because it is the perfect comfort food. It’s warm, sweet with the syrup, and it quickly fills the tummy – it tells the you by eating it the world can be a safe and happy place. The fact that it has a homemade feel makes the person receiving the invitation feel loved, it’s sends the message that you care enough to make something special for them.

I remember as a 9 year old going to my Aunt Skeets’ home in Virgina and watching in compete joy my older cousin Cathy help my Aunt make these wonderful disks. They would let me pour my own pancake, any size I wanted from sliver dollar to full plate size… It was my choice. It’s been more than 40 yrs and this food is linked as a fresh happy memory forever in my heart.

My advice is when you spend the first night with your true love in your apartment there is no better way to show how special they are than to have them find you with a warm skillet, a bowl of pancake batter and a bottle of syrup at the ready. It’s very hard for a woman to leave feeling unloved after this, regardless if you progressed to actually saying it out loud. I can also tell you that you regardless of the relationship your reputation grows when she goes back to her friends and ends the story with….”and then he made me pancakes”. ( see rule 22 for reference “all men are pigs”)               

I have also found as a husband there is no distance that has been placed between Bobbi and I by kids actvities, work demands or life’s general BS that can not be lessened by a warm plate of  pancakes delivered pillow side. They have save my butt on more than a few mornings.

Whenever I felt the family was being stressed by our schedules or outside influences I used the magic words..”breakfast for dinner” and would watch the healing begin. I would have all that were interested in helping measure, stir, pour or flip participate. Once they figured out they could make any shape they desired even them most disconnected teenager would come around and take their turn as a short order cook.

I have a strong preference for Bisquick mix pancakes over the the other brands not only because they taste better but because they require the addition of melted butter (optional- but never optional in a Hill household) and eggs. There is just something homemade about simple addition of two steps, and it also sends a non-verbal message to the recipients that they are worth the extra effort. The whole process slows down life and makes you and your fellow pancake-eaters take a deep breath and wait for the bubbles and just the hint of brownness on the edge before flipping.

I rank this rule as very high #18, yet it can seem so unimportant. You will find that as you read these rules there is a direct correlation between simplicity and ranking. I have found few things as powerful of a tool to start a dialog, build a bridge or simply say “hey, I remember you, I love you” than the humble pancake.

In life the greatest truths are not hidden to us, they are right in front of us like a short stack of pancakes covered with butter and surup, we just need to open our eyes to them. Yum-mm

2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
  • Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear.)
  • Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle.
  • Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden.Note: If you like thin pancakes, use 1 1/2 cups milk (but we never like thin pancakes)
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