Saturday mornings I feed the boys breakfast. They all like bacon, and some of them like pancakes. Since there are no two foods they all like, this meal choice is the closest thing to a winner. A box of donuts has a greater chance of universal acceptance, but there are only about half of all Saturdays when I consider donuts a meal choice.
Bacon and pancakes are not difficult for a man to cook. They are a considerable challenge for a man and three overzealous helpers.
The electric griddle must be plugged in, and we’ve got a guy for that. Big Man, the self-appointed plugger inner and lighter upper of all things, will lodge a complaint with his union if anyone else attempts to push the cord into the griddle.
Bacon is first on the cooking surface, and everybody wants a part of that wonderment. Bacon is nothing less than a miracle. All the disciples need to be near it, nurturing it along its journey to delicious. None recall how it spit grease at them last time – how could something so precious do a thing so uncouth? Daddy knows bacon’s dark side; the helpers are moved to pancake duty.
Forget the fireworks next July 4th. We’re all going to enjoy the thrill of cracking eggs.
Everybody wants to pour the pancake mix, but nobody knows when to stop pouring. I make them stand down and pour the mix myself, explaining I don’t want the whole box dumped out. It turns out the box is almost empty so I end up pouring it all into the bowl. “I could have done that,” Big Brother mocks. He’s right, so I quell my impulse to hit him over the head with the empty box.
The egg is the most coveted part of the entire pancaking process. I’m a remedial egg cracker. My wife bought me a special device to help me gain confidence. It was cheaper than a copy of Egg Cracking for Dummies. Everybody yearns to operate the egg cracker. It’s Big Brother’s turn. He cracks the egg flawlessly, but balks at the task of removing the slimy shell from the device.
My egg cracker for the Specially Challenged, with Big Man’s best Kilroy impression in the background.
Buster adds the milk as I hawk over him, shouting, “Stop, stop, stop!” after every few trickles, in constant fear he will let it all flow out into our bowl of pancake soup.
When Buster gets the proper amount of milk in the mix, or close enough, Big Man mounts his kitchen stool and stirs. I should be monitoring the bacon, but I’m busy keeping the bowl from sliding off the countertop.
Buster chides me for letting the bacon cook too long. I don’t believe it’s overcooked, but Buster is not completely confident in my ability to help him cook bacon.
We cook plain pancakes first. Then Big Man and I add blueberries. Big Brother doesn’t like blueberries. Buster only likes blueberries when they’re in a muffin I’ve been saving for myself.
Despite too many cooks in the kitchen, breakfast happened, but everybody lost their lust for helping when it came time to clean up.
The vast potential for growth in this job means he’ll be able to see what he’s mixing one day.