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Kansas City MO 64131

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PANCAKE

Cindy Maddera

Three times a week, in order to get more protein in my diet, I've been eating cottage cheese for breakfast with some walnuts, chia seeds and a little honey drizzled on top. It is yummy, but it is cold and started to sound really unappealing as the weather turned cold. I came across a giant box of Kodiak Power Pancake mix at Costco last month. After reading all the ingredients and nutritional facts, I found that if I used milk and egg to make my mix, I'd be getting twenty something grams of protein at breakfast and most of the carbohydrates would come from fiber. Michael did some math and said that it was way cheaper for me to eat pancakes three times a week (we're working really hard at sticking to a budget). So now, I eat two Kodiak Power cakes sprinkled with chia seeds and walnuts and topped with a banana three times a week for breakfast. 

Some of you are probably wondering how I could possibly have time in the morning to make myself pancakes. I have some super time management skills between 6:00 and 7:00AM. One hour. I've got one hour a day of super time management skills in me. The rest of my day is only mildly time managed, just enough to be productive at work. When I'm done drying my hair, I go place a pan on the stove and turn on the burner. Then I go get dressed. By the time I'm dressed with shoes on and jewelry and everything, the skillet is hot. I make up the pancake batter on Sunday. All I have to do is pour, sprinkle with chia and walnuts and flip. Pancakes are easy. That's probably why my mother made them for breakfast for us all the time. One morning as I was pouring the batter into the skillet, my two pancakes merged into a globby snowman shape. I thought of fancy pancake shapes I'd seen videos of people making on the internet. Some of them are crazy elaborate with food coloring. I do not have time in the mornings to make pancake art.

I don't know how old I was. I was small. My parents had to leave us with our friends, the Elders for some reason. It might have been the time my parents went to Tijuana or maybe it was the time Dad went to the hospital for kidney stones. Any way, Karen and David kept me for the night. When I got up the next morning, Karen made me pancakes shaped like teddy bears. It was all I talked about when Mom came to get me. I talked about it for days. “Karen makes pancakes shaped like teddy bears! Mom, did you know she could do that?! Can you believe she makes pancakes shaped like teddy bears, Mom?! That’s so neat!” A morning very soon after teddy bear pancakes, Mom called me down for breakfast. Then she placed a pancake on my plate that was shaped like an elephant. It was the most perfect pancake elephant ever. I mean, like you could see darker shaded areas around the ears and wrinkles in the nose. It was so perfect, I almost couldn’t bring myself to eat it. 

At the time, I didn’t think much about it. Mom just felt like surprising me. Now, I can imagine Mom hearing me go on and on about teddy bear pancakes and thinking that there was no way she was going to be out mothered in the pancake arena. It’s like my Mom said “I see your teddy bear pancakes, Karen, but can you make her favorite animal? BOOM!” It makes me wonder how Mom would have handled Pinterest if it had been around then. Mom was/is pretty crafty. You could draw a picture of the costume you wanted for Halloween and she could turn it into a pattern and sew it up in no time. I wanted to be Lucy Little one year and the butter lid for a giant button was all Mom’s idea. Her rubber glove finger witch noses were stellar. My Mom came up with about half of those crafty party ideas you see on Pinterest, back in the day when Mom judging was limited to just the women in your community and not the whole internet world. I can’t imagine the stress I could have added to my Mom’s daily life if I’d had access to Pinterest as a child.

It would have been a childhood of pizzas shaped like hot air balloons and cupcake elephants.