Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pancake Social

For some reason, people who meet me sometimes assume that I'm into healthy food, or possibly a vegetarian. I am really not sure why. Maybe because I'm so pale they think I'm probably anemic from a lack of red meat. But I really have no idea how I got the healthy-eater reputation, since for the most part, my eating habits are not the greatest.

My mother has a notoriously unhealthy approach to eating, but as far as meals went, they were always solid and square. However, she often just ate nosh for dinner herself, almost always skipped breakfast, and was known throughout the land for giving my brothers and me the best (junky) snacks in our school lunches. Ring Dings were typical. I guess you pick up more by example than anything else.

The real supper in our house was often something in the meat/chicken family, but as I got older and more vocal about my finicky-ness, I often just toasted a Lenders bagel with some melted cheese on it and called it a night. My poor mother.

When I first married RaggedyDad, I had little to no knowledge of cooking. My mother never asked us kids for cooking help, and it was never "my night to prepare supper" growing up. I think she was mainly concerned that we'd make a mess. When RD and I got married, he and my mother tried to show me the ropes, and I caught on for the most part (with a little help from my cookbook bible, Spice and Spirit), but I personally would be happy to eat macaroni and cheese for supper.

One of RaggedyDad's first jobs was at a small financial company where one of the bosses also owned a popular kosher (fast food) restaurant in NYC. In an attempt to keep employees in work mode without a break, there was basically an unlimited policy on ordering food from this guy's restaurant, and later other restaurants. So if RaggedyDad got a big, free fleishig meal every day at work (don't worry, he brought home plenty of leftovers for me!), he certainly was not going to be eating a big dinner at home. Thus, my proclivity towards scant, lame suppers managed to live on.

Once Ann got old enough to need real food, I got back into supper mode, and shortly after that, RaggedyDad started a new job, minus the food. Little Andy and his famous appetite have also ensured that I keep cooking something, even if it's just reheating leftovers.

I do manage to get away with making pancakes for supper on a fairly regular basis. Pancakes are one of my favorite foods ever. Road trips as a kid often meant stopping at Denny's where they had several flavors of syrup and ridiculously high stacks of pancakes. Don't even get me started on IHOP. Yum. RaggedyDad's nonkosher memories are a little more interesting, but for the most part, my own family dabbled into the world of treif in more minor ways. While his former faves were bacon and liver-and-cream-cheese (ugh) sandwiches, all I really want is to be able to be in the middle of nowhere and go have some pancakes.

Being Russian, RaggedyDad and his mother taught me that pancakes don't always have to be fluffy and high with syrup (and I'll admit to adding a pat of butter on top). They showed me how to also make pancakes that are more like crepes, topped with sour cream and brown sugar and then rolled up.

Thanks for indulging me and my eating habits, RD, and for your eagerness to eat pancakes (both ways) for supper now and then!


pobody's nerfect. said...

we totally had pancakes for dinner when i was a kid. and i had no clue it was strange til i got a little older.... but G-d willing when i'm a mom, i'll give my kids the best pancake suppers!

LittleBirdies said...

We had pancakes and homemade waffles (pancakes in a waffle maker) for supper all the time. We all loved it. I wish I could do it now, but both my boys are off eggs and milk. If you know of a way to do it without those items--I'm game

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Wow I never realized you grew up non-frum. Thanks for the interesting post about the history of your cooking:). Enjoy your fluffy or non fluffy pancakes lol.

Hila said...

mmm pancakes...and mmmm ihop. i live in a college town and we have an awesome 24 hour ihop...oh the temptation! can't say that i didn't grow up cooking, though. i was in the kitchen way before i could reach the countertop. i always wanted to know what my grandmother or mom were making, and i loved playing "helper." by about 5th grade i was making dinner on my own on occasion, and i was baking pies for every holiday occasion. now when i'm home at my parents' for breaks, my mom pretty much expects that i will cook for the family --and i love it!

does rd do the dishes, though? :-)

LT said...

Panckes are awesome, and crepes are awesomer. =)

orieyenta said...

Yum - your pancakes look delish!

I don't come from a cooking home so my pancakes always end up like some charred burnt black circles. Not too pretty.

Baleboosteh said...

The pancakes look great but, I thought your favourite food was bon-bons RaggedyMom?! ;P

RaggedyMom said...

PN - There are lots of things we ate growing up that I thought were normal and sort of aren't. Macaroni with cottage cheese and ketchup, for one. I'm sure you'll make some great pancake suppers!

LB - That sounds like a major challenge. One of my close friends can't eat gluten, but there are pancake mixes without it. Not sure of anything similar for eggs and milk :(

SWFM - Glad you liked reading about how utterly unprepared I was for cooking! Growing up, we were very traditional, and went to yeshiva, but at home a lot of things were inconsistent with our education. It was interesting. RaggedyDad, on the other hand, is a classic Russian BT with no Jewish background.

Hila - It's great that you were so comfortable in the kitchen from a young age! My kids are usually right next to me for the non-heat parts of my cooking, so I hope they grow up like that too!

We don't have a dishwasher (I put a small washing machine in that spot instead - much more useful with kids!) so I affectionately call RD my "dishwasher," although if he's not going to be home for a while, I usually wash them myself before things get stuck on. Yuck!

LT - Totally! Though after a while of the crepes, I like to go back to my good ol' American fluffy stack.

Oriyenta - I like envisioning the charred black circles! Make sure that LO doesn't advertise your lack of cooking prowess to any potential suitors!

Baleboosteh - I'll bring the bon bons if you bring that chocolate mousse you posted about the other week! :)

SephardiLady said...

We've had pancakes for dinner, rarely for breakfast. Early in the morning, I'm not in the cooking mood.

Jack's Shack said...

A good pancake can do a lot.

JT said...

hmmmm, you just made me really hungry...