What (else) is flat as a pancake?


It was during this Sunday’s early a.m., where I found my larder shy of several key pancake ingredients, feeling zero desire to mask-up for an impulse visit to my in-town, price gouging supermarket, YET, still hungering for the damned flapjacks! Oh, what to do?

Well, for starters, it didn’t take much effort to free-associate what else is flat as a pancake.

Hence, right after I finished cooking up / serving up my (daily) bowlful of oatmeal, I quickly rinsed the double boiler free of lingering goo, dried it and tossed in an experimental slice of cracked wheat bread.

By the time I had finished my cereal, this steamy, piping hot mock pancake was table ready. Upon plating it, pouring on the syrup and refilling my coffee cup, the moment of truth had arrived!

Not all that surprisingly, this substitute proved the best invention since (what else?) sliced bread; just as tasty as most other made-from-scratch pancakes. Then again, why would it not? Just read any loaf’s label. Obviously, bread and pancakes do boast many, in common ingredients.

“Department of Afterthought” commentary: Had I warmed the bread a tad longer, it could’ve even morphed into a crunchy mock waffle.

To transcend this morning’s “mmm” moment now comes my “hmm” summation…

While I’d never toss / recycle any of my cherished, handed down from generation-to-generation, pancake recipes (the cards still neatly filed in my late mother’s recipe box), I do know that, in a pandemic related pinch, an acceptable alternative can be found to sidestep nearly any non-problem; such as this one.

Beyond that, this morning’s experiment also proved to be a practical application of the proverb…

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”



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Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 5 / Denouement)

Here are the links to parts ONETWOTHREEFOUR

My conflicting emotions go to war on the battlefield of the mind, as I soldier onward, on my December 25th walk at dawn. One faction symbolizes fond memories of hometown Christmases past… the other cabal represents the unmemorable hometown of Christmas present.

In the scant hour, since this all began, the still unseen, rising sun has gradually, somewhat lightened up the blue / gray overcast… driven off a bit of the misty swirling fog.

My observations inspired, recurring question:

“What the hell good is change within a community when there’s no apparent, appreciable betterment of society?

This brings to mind the recent bulldozing of, yet, another Elementary school. That I had never set foot within it, is really not the issue. What is, is what eventually got built in its bulldozer leveled footprint… how the city fathers and mothers had thumbs upped a crass, subdivision developer’s master plan / plot to construct dozens of butt ugly, gargantuan, too cookie cutter and closely spaced, boxy, monstrosity “mansions”.

They remind me of Star Trekian Borg Cubes with tacked on aluminum siding. True, that’s an exaggeration… the siding is not aluminum.

I’m now free associating Malvina Reynolds’ song, Little Boxes, and suspect this will become an all walk long… maybe even all Christmas Day long earworm.

• Why couldn’t the locally empowered have opted, instead, for more affordable and aesthetically pleasing housing?

• How could they justify the negative impact of too damned much, rich, arable soil getting paved over… how that can only worsen world hunger and global warming… the one-two punch that threatens the very extinction of humanity!

Far be it from me to fault folks who are successful beyond their wildest dreams. However, their dreams become our nightmares when high elective office morphs them into the high and mighty. This, for the most part, is what draws the new town vs. old town battle-lines.

And what’ll be next? Gated communities with posted signs warning the commoners to KEEP OUT? Will the mayor wind up in his UnWelcome Wagon’s driver’s seat? Hanging his head out the window to blast over a bullhorn, his bullcrap, “GET OUT” message to the masses? Will he be presenting the key to the city to some vigilante (such as George Zimmerman)?

If any town buys into “of, by and ONLY for the wealthiest of the wealthy”, then commoners, such as I, become class war casualties.

And what then would become of my Chrismases, yet to come? Might one of those walks… uh… the final one… find me outward bound from the main drag’s City Limits sign… unjustly banished… forever run out of town by well-heeled heels?

Well… at least for the time being… my Christmas walk now sends me seeking out the comfort of hearth and home… the house I had inherited from my folks. I’ll soon be scaring up some comfort food, too. Instantly coming to mind is a stack of mouth watering, made from scratch, fresh off the griddle pancakes… all doused with maple syrup and washed down with fragrant, freshly brewed coffee.

All the more reason to pick up my pace. And an even better reason… to leave the new town reality behind me.

No truer words were ever committed to paper than lyricist Kim Gannon’s “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams” and author Thomas Wolfe’s adage, “You can’t go home again.”

The poignancy of it all can easily well up tears in the eyes.