Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CONTINUING

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. 

ingredients:
7 eggs
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

directions:
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. 

24 comments:

  1. Mmm. The world could use more of this kind of talk about Valentine's Day. And less of the rest of it. xx

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  2. Lump in my throat.
    Hole in my tummy.
    Beautiful on all fronts.

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  3. Beautifully written post, one of the best I've read today! The pancakes look wonderful too - can't wait to give this recipe a try!

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  4. You touch my soul so deeply and I don't even like to cook. My husband does, though, and I'm forever standing at the sink cleaning up the mess. I know the chaos you speak of and long for those same kisses on the back of my neck. The pancakes will have to suffice. That he can do.

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  5. Holy Crap! That's not pancakes, its eggs with built-in toast. I've got a batch chilling as I write... Thanks. -C.

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  6. Wonderful story. And pancake recipe. Thanks.

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  7. OMG. The amount of times I've felt this way. And how often afterwards I feel guilty and don't understand what the fuck I was so enraged about in the first place. Pancakes and kisses make everything better!!. Cooking makes everything better.

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  8. Beautiful - the words and those pancakes.

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  9. Crème fraîche and make up kisses....oh my.
    The sweet and healing power of food.

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  10. Yum...... AND would LOVE to know where did you get your plates???

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    1. it's my favorite plate. i got it at a store called tortoise on abbot kinney in venice, ca. but last time i was there i didn't see anymore.

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  11. (Like many, I love your blog. So much.)

    So... you say lots and lots of pancakes. Will this feed three adults, a teenager, two ten-year-olds, and a toddler? Inquiring minds are planning an out-of-town visit with homemade creme fraiche in tow.

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    1. vika. thank you! and i would say double the recipe just to be safe. but you might need to do it in two batches. it wouldn't fit in my blender. it lasts for 5 days in the fridge so don't worry about extra.

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  12. The babysitter's apartment in North Beach was downstairs from yours. You guys were on the top floor!

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    1. i love it! who is this? i just looked again at my mom's cookbook and it says a recipe from michelle who was our babysitter upstairs on jones street. i was a baby. i don't remember! maybe she lived on the roof?

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  13. Michelle lived downstairs, the middle floor. You lived on the top floor AND had use of the roof, where your father set up a sandbox for you, and your mother had beautiful pots of flowers. I was your other babysitter, the one from across the street. You were great fun and terribly cute. I used to take you and Caleb to the Cannery for cocoa.

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  14. Katarina. Your parents may remember me as Catherine... or Cathy. I can't remember which. They were the most awesome people, as you've probably experienced, and I attribute a large portion of my understanding of American culture to them (and my love of medieval music - I still know the entire Play of Daniel by heart). Give them my best when you speak with them, and tell them I have 3 daughters and 3 grandsons and that 2/3 of my brood are living in Croatia.

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  15. I'm sure you're busy and all, and have much higher priorities, but would you please take a moment and think of us, your readers, and write more often than once a month because reading your blog makes me feel like I just ate a big, warm, yummy bowl of comfort. Really, your kids wold understand. ;)

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