He places his empty mug in the dishwasher, puts his breakfast scraps in the compost bin, and starts to walk away.
You shiver with the anger of wanting to be anywhere but here.
It's not the kind you dream about. You know, the whipping-you-around-and-throwing-you-against-the-kitchen-wall kind. This one is like an aside.
You feel one hand on your shoulder and another on your lower back as he leans in to kiss you on the curve of the neck where the hair sometimes stands up. It is so unexpectedly gentle that some sort of warmth spreads along your spine until you feel all wrapped up in this casual kiss. And you start to cry from relief because you no longer want to throw a plate at his head or tell him to move the fuck out. You just settle. Into the dishes. Into your cooking clogs. Into the mess that you've made. The chaos that you've chosen. And hard as you try, you can't even remember why you were mad in the first place.
You make him some pancakes. And you tell him that you need more of those kisses. Please. More.
CRÈME FRAÎCHE PANCAKES
Makes lots and lots of pancakes.
(This is adapted from a recipe that comes from my parents. They got it from a babysitter who lived in the apartment above ours in San Francisco in the '70s.)
Best to make the batter the night before. Keep it in the fridge. They are thin, delicate and crêpe-like. You can replace the crème fraîche with sour cream or yoghurt. Don't get all crazy and add whole grain anything because I swear they won't be as tasty.
1 cup cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups crème fraîche
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in the blender. Blend for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Blend for about 15 more seconds. Pour into a pitcher. Use right away if you want. Or (even better) place it in the fridge overnight. It separates a bit when it sits in the fridge. The color can also look a little funky and green. Don't worry. Just mix it well right before use and all will be well.
Crank a griddle to high heat. Add some butter. Carefully pour batter to desired size (it will spatter a bit). They cook very fast (about 30 seconds per side). You'll need to keep regulating the heat between batches. Best to eat them right away. They don't hold up for long. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.