My daughter put out something on social media that one of my grandson’s did that I thought was pretty funny. She made them pancakes for breakfast and he took peanut butter and bananas, put them on the pancakes and declared that he had just made an “Elvis Taco.” First off, that’s pretty creative and funny. Second, I’m amazed he knows that much about Elvis!
This also reminded me of when all my kids were younger and the budget was pretty tight. I learned to be pretty creative myself when it came to feeding the kids. As typical kids, they could eat double their weight in a single sitting. Every time I would go food shopping, food preparing, and food serving, I could hear the laughter of my parents in my head as they exacted their parental payback for what I was like as a kid. I ate. I ate a lot.
Anyway, I had to come up with meals that wouldn’t prevent us from making the car payment, yet stifled the cries of, “I’m STARVING!” So we ate a lot of pasta (cheap, yet flexible with variety), cereal (for those nights where cooking just wasn’t going to happen), frozen containers of sloppy joes and creamed chicken from my mom (thank God), and pancakes. Lots of pancakes. I mean, a WHOLE lot of pancakes!
“But Mr. Dazeodrew?” you ask. “Aren’t you failing as a parent nutritionally for your children?”
Really? You have the nerve to judge my parenting based on a lot of, ok, a WHOLE lot of pancakes? You have to justify your judgment nutritionally? Really? Like you’re some kind of nutrition expert or something? Are you aware that the popularity of the pancake exceeds international approval? Why there’s even an international house just for pancakes! If that’s not justification for the value of pancakes, I don’t know what is. So kindly take your five food groups and move along. I SAID, MOVE ALONG!
Anyway, those of us who have eaten a lot of pancakes know that it gets old after a while. There comes a point where you just can’t eat another plain pancake. That’s where the creativity comes in. The kids and I decided to experiment with our pancakes. Each week…yes, we had pancakes once a week…each week we would…I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO MOVE ALONG! Anyway, each week I would let one of the kids pick a variation of pancake to try. We came up with things like butterscotch pudding pancakes (very filling), green jello pancakes (kind of burned to the pan because of the sugar, but interesting), the usual fruit pancakes (banana, apple, berries, etc.), and the complete failure of fruit cocktail (from a can) pancakes. Well, the fruit cocktail wasn’t a complete failure, but unless you cut up the fruit into smaller pieces, you get some pretty lumpy pancakes with uncooked batter in various spots.
All in all, we probably came up with a hundred variations of the pancake before settling on our favorites. Of course, one kid HAD to pick the fruit cocktail…the same kid who observed that everything from grandma went on a bun. I told him, after years of feeding me and my brothers, grandma was tired of cooking. Once a month, she would cook up a WHOLE lot of sloppy joes and freeze it in small containers so they could just thaw a container in the morning and eat it that night…the sloppy joes, not the container. She did the same with the creamed chicken. The rest of the time, they went to the buffet. All you can eat and a senior discount made this a good choice for them.
That same kid, however, had some reservations when we were invited to Thanksgiving at the grandparents. While we were driving there, I finally asked him what was up? In a serious tone, he responded, “I’m just trying to picture a bun big enough to hold the turkey.” Good question. A good parent would have reassured him that it would be fine, but…
“Who said grandma didn’t cut up and cream the turkey so we can eat it on little buns?” Could’ve happened, but didn’t…thank God.