Pancake Angst
Aug 11th, 2005 by aBhantiarna Solas

So … I first wrote the post below a little over a month ago. I never posted it because I was too proud and didn’t want to admit how vain I am in this public forum. But I’ve lost some of my patina now. AND … my brother has caved. He’s wimped out. And not even to my face. He called my mother and whined that it’s just too hard to make pancakes for 14 people anymore, so he’ll take care of breakfast on Sunday. Loser!

So … read on and you’ll understand …

For the second time my pancake formula has failed! This is the second time in a row. I know that might not mean much to you … and at any other time of the year I might just shrug it off. But at this time of the year … with the impending annual pancake cookoff with my brother at our camp in Vermont … the timing is … well … rather critical. It’s causing knots in my stomach. I might just lose this year. That’s never happened before. Mostly because even tho my brother uses buttermilk, he also cheats and uses Aunt Jemima mix … pooh. Who needs a mix?! Not I … said the purist. Especially the purist who would rather use her limited brain cells for memorizing pancake recipes than for (ohhh … say) the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. After all what’s more important??

Here’s a deeply held secret that most of my friends don’t know. My family knows this, but most of my friends do not. I’m ferociously competitive. It’s why I don’t play games (like Monopoly or Scrabble) … because I’m not a good loser or a good winner either. I’m mean. I play to win and only to win or … I get bored and start distracting everyone with silly stories. But in either case it’s no fun for anyone if I’m at the table during a game. In fact, our little family almost didn’t happen because of a vicious fight during a game of Trivial Pursuit way back in the beginning of time. But LightHusband is gracious and forgiving.

All of that is to say that I take this annual pancake cookoff fairly seriously. My brother does not. He knows how to play for fun. He does things like put peaches in his pancakes. Who would do something that risky during a cook off?? The LightBrother/Uncle looks around the kitchen and goes with his bliss … not me. I go for straight up pancakes … or at best … Blueberry pancakes.

I don’t mess around. And … the completely unbiased judges have thus far awarded first place to me each and every year. The judges just happen to be LightGirl and LightBoy … but don’t tell anyone. The Camp Queen (mother to my brother and I) likes my pancakes better too, but she’s not allowed to say so because she took that vow of maternal impartiality back before the beginning of time. My father just likes pancakes … he doesn’t discriminate. He can’t be relied upon for accurate information. He eats too many, too fast, and uses too much syrup – but you didn’t hear that from me. Our other brother likewise does not discriminate but it’s different with him. I’m not sure how. He likes both of us … he’s the youngest and he wants to be in both of our good graces or something like that. The Outlaws (the spouses of all of us) wisely do not participate in the judging and my brother’s children are too young to judge yet. My guess is that when they become old enough, we will griddle to a draw. Maybe by then I’ll be old enough to find the fun in all of it, let go of the competitive edge and put peaches in my pancakes for a change. Or how about strawberries?

Picture of the Day
Aug 11th, 2005 by aBhantiarna Solas

Runner Up Pictures
Aug 11th, 2005 by aBhantiarna Solas

This is a series …

Aug 11th, 2005 by aBhantiarna Solas

The boats are all askance this morning. There is no wind. You can tell which direction the wind is blowing because the boats in the cove line up behind it like soldiers. Except when there is no wind. Then they fall out and hang around talking with each other.

Poetry Thursday – Laux
Aug 11th, 2005 by aBhantiarna Solas

Dorianne Laux

We put the puzzle together piece
by piece, loving how one curved
notch fits so sweetly with another.
A yellow smudge becomes
the brush of a broom, and two blue arms
fill in the last of the sky.
We patch together porch swings and autumn
trees, matching gold to gold. We hold
the eyes of deer in our palms, a pair
of brown shoes. We do this as the child
circles her room, impatient
with her blossoming, tired
of the neat house, the made bed,
the good food. We let her brood
as we shuffle through the pieces,
setting each one into place with a satisfied
tap, our backs turned for a few hours
to a world that is crumbling, a sky
that is falling, the pieces
we are required to return to.

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