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A Story of Breakfast

By LalainaPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
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Photo by Jaqueline Pelzer on Unsplash

I do not enjoy breakfast food, much less in the morning. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and waffles are best served at night, for dinner. Leftovers are best for breakfast, such as steak from the night before or a slice of pizza with cheese that melts in your mouth when the pizza is reheated. However, I have, by some cruel twist of fate, become an expert in cooking breakfast food. I can cook dinner, particularly Italian fare, and many Mexican-style dishes, though most of the job is left to my mom and dad, the latter which honestly cooks better than any man has a right to, particularly a non-feminist conservative. However, there is an aspect of food neither of my parents has ever conquered: American breakfast.

I wanted to learn how to make pancakes (from scratch) and omelets since I was a child playing a Mickey Mouse CD-ROM. The game was set in a kitchen, where you cooked for Mickey and friends. I mixed virtual pancake ingredients and watched the batter bubble on the pans before flipping them over, wanting to win the game. Unfortunately, there was not much of an opportunity to learn how to make pancakes in real life. My aunt should have taught me once, but she never did. I think she wanted to feel special as well, to know how to make something no one else did.

Without a better alternative, I took to the internet once I was old enough to understand it had more than fanfiction and barbie.com. I tried omelets first, observing people in the dining hall of my university, watching the ways they kept from turning them into utter disasters. I googled recipes before managing to create something that did not fall apart or burn. However, the real challenge came when I decided to make pancakes. I had no one to watch then and I wanted to do more than throw batter from a mix into a pan.

I learned that pancakes, once you had patience and the ingredients, were surprisingly simply. I got better and it brought a source of communion to our household; when I came back from my failed attempt at a Psychology Masters, I was back at home for a full year and a half. It was the first time I had lived in the house, aside from the semester before graduate school. Every weekend, I began to make pancakes, customizing the recipe to fit my family. No sugar, because my dad ws worried about developing diabetes. Sugar free syrup as well. They preferred simple buttermilk and sugar free chocolate was a waste of food. Fruit had to be on top instead of inside the batter. I bought my dad sugar free butter pecan syrup for Christmas, which led to a very happy few months for him.

I would be on the stove the entire meal, not eating until the last pancake was done, but it was wonderful watching my family eat something I created. My dad would ask me to make pancakes every weekend; he insists I still make them whenever I go home to visit, pouting if I leave them until the last day. It is not something her or my mom have ever created. It is something of my own, something I can give to the group of people that has given me the most in the world.

My brother-in-law and I once got into a discussion about how my family has no recipes to pass down, no special way to cook any particular dish, the recipes of my ancestors lost to me somewhere between colonization and crossing the border. But I have a recipe for pancakes and a way to make omelets. Maybe that is enough to pass a new tradition. At the very least, I will always have my family’s smiles engraved in my memory.

valuesliteratureimmediate familyhumanity
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About the Creator

Lalaina

She/Her. Writing Center Coordinator & Professor. Novelist. 30+. Proud Latina.

I'm obsessed with my cat and fantasy fiction.

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