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10 steps to making the perfect pancake for hungover parents

9:57:00 AM DC Daddy's Wine Time 0 Comments Category : , , , , , ,

The weekend is here, or maybe it’s just a random day of the week, and the kid is up early, which means you're, too. Physically, you’re barely a functioning zombie. Mentally, your brain can’t even begin to contemplate the concept of a zombie. 

This is where boxes of cereal, frozen waffles, instant oatmeal, etc. come in handy. You might not be up to the task but you’re better than pre-packaged breakfast. You can do better. 

You can do pancakes. Starting from scratch, you can knock these out in 10 simple steps.

First and foremost, it's extremely important to have a well-stocked seasoning cabinet. I shit you not. You're about to enter the heart of darkness, a battlefield even- whatever metaphorical analogy works for you. If you're a beginner like me and believe that putting strange, unknown spices into something creates masterpieces, then you need to be prepared, as the Scouts say. 

*Hint: Avoid unnecessary distractions before you start. Make sure the kid is properly glued to the TV screen so it doesn't come into the kitchen and ask 60 questions that aren't really questions but statements. 

Step 1: Turmeric

Speaking of strange, unknown spices, here’s a little known fact to the uninitiated: turmeric is not a use-all ingredient. I have to remind myself of that from time to time. Since you're cooking pancakes you won't need to go near that exotic sounding stuff.

Leave it alone. 

Step 2: Cleanliness is next godliness, which must be close to sanity

Cooking proper food can be stressful, so clean your workspace. Hopefully you cleaned it last night before drinking too much and falling asleep on the couch watching Netflix. Waking up in the morning to a cluttered prep area after a night of too many high-octane beers is not conducive to inner peace.

Since it's probably sometime before noon and you're not quite awake yet, use this time to clear your head and consider your game plan.

If the prep area is already clean, then Bob's your uncle, my friend! Get to work.

Step 3: Coffee should've been step 1 but this isn't a test and we're not being graded

Coffee has become a cult identity and a clichĂ©, but there it is. Unless you're a grounds teetotaler, then like everyone else in the world, you'll need it. 

However, you don't want to make it while cooking pancakes. Sure it doesn't take a lot of time to prep coffee, even whole bean, but the minute or so doing it could mean burned pancakes. Once those flapjacks are cooking, timing is key to not burning the fucking things (again).

Step 4: Smartphones are anathema to well-cooked meals and mental health

Put your phone in another room. You don't want to get everyone excited about pancakes just to burn them over likes, shares, retweets, or what from Joe Smith from your hometown said on Facebook. Just remember, social media doesn't just want your time, it wants your soul. 

Step 5: It's never too early too drink

Do yourself a favor and crack a beer. Chances are it's the weekend and weekend mornings usually have an uninvited but an inevitable headache knocking at your grey matter.

Beer can fix that.

Especially on Monday.

Step 6: Acetaminophen is self-explanatory

You might need some Advil or tylenol- go get some. Everyone will be patient. Besides, your wife in still in bed due to your sleep in trade-off policy, and the kid is plugged into Disney. 

*The sleep in trade-off policy is one where one parent gets to sleep in while the other one parents. If you choose to enact this policy, breakfast duty and nights out drinking should be planned around it. 

Step 7: Background noise

Your thoughts are garbage this early in the morning (if it is, indeed, the morning), so find something to listen to. It'll jog the brain awake. 

A bit of caution, though, politics and pancakes don't mix. Topics that could make you angry are detrimental to your concentration and the well-being of pancakes. This is no time to worry about the state of the world- your food deserves love and attentiveness to attain perfection. 

Instead, put on some music and love what you're doing, don't hate.

Step 8: The cooking medium

Choose your skillet, griddle, or microwavable plate wisely. Pancakes are temperamental and easily burned by getting the heating and timing wrong.

Make sure your cooking surface is hot (unless you're using a microwave for some strange reason), then pour your beautifully crafted batter and watch magic happen.

*Rule of thumb: too low of a heat creates albino pancakes, and while I personally harbor no ill will towards ghostly white pancakes, they are strange and inferior tasting to golden brown pancakes. At least I'm willing to admit my bias.

*Alternatives mediums: Microwaveable pancakes. Don't make pancakes in the microwave. Someone may have tried this but they probably weren't thinking clearly.

Step 9: You don't need to be Martha Stewart, just find your inner baker

Here's the big moment- the secret recipe!

Go to Google and type in "how to make pancakes". I guarantee that the top five search items won't steer you wrong.

Step 10: Remember, it's the weekend

Grab a second beer and pat yourself on the back for reaching this stage of the morning, or early afternoon- whatever the time is. You stayed up late and had to nap on the couch while the kid watched an hour and half of TV this morning, but you still got it done.

Bravo! Breakfast is made. Now, you can go nurse your hangover. 

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