The Pancake analogy

[Sorry for lack of picture – but imagine Pancake picture here]

It has been a while, and there are several reasons for that. I guess you would have figured out by now that if the Wales shoot had all been tickety boo (= satisfactory) I would have written about right after it finished.

In stead, I write about – the Pancake Analogy.

I made pancakes last Tuesday. I do that once in a while, after all we Dutch people like our pancakes.

I bought one of those handy bottles with pancake flour. Just add milk, shake for a couple of minutes and off you go.

I added the milk, put on the lid and started shaking. It didn’t take me long to find out that I had not put the lid on properly. The pancake mix was flying through my kitchen, I had it in my hair and on my clothes. A big cock up. But nobody is perfect, people make mistakes, and I certainly make loads of them.

My first reaction was, OK sod it, no pancakes then.

But the bottle was still more than half full so I got my act together and started baking.

The first pancake I tried to bake was a disaster. It looked pathetically much unlike a pancake I would like to eat, it was burn on the outside, it sticked to the pan, it was still rare on the inside. Basically – it was a disaster.

Add this to the bottle shake incident that happened just before, and I was done with pancakes. I was never ever going to bake them again, I would, from now on just buy them ready made in the supermarket. Easy. You can just throw them in the microwave and heat them up and eat them.

I thought about this for a while. Just give it all up, I was not made to make pancakes that was clear.
But I tasted the microwave ones, and to be honest, they are eatable, but they are not great.

The thoughts that I have been struggling with the last couple of days are the following:
1. Would I like to settle for “eatable but not great” for the rest of my life or would I give it another try and try and learn from my mistakes?
2. Will I ever be able to learn to bake a proper crispy delicious non-burned non-rare-in-the-middle pancake myself?
3. After how many tries do you face the facts and decide that you might never be a proper pancake baker?
4. What the hell am I going to do when it turns out that I have no pancake talent at all?

It has taken me days to be able to reflect on all this, but I understood that challenge I was facing when I was baking pancakes on Tuesday.

After swearing that I would never ever come anywhere near a pancake again (yes it went that wrong, and yes it was that big of a disappointment, and yes it has hit me quite hard and there are several reasons why I can’t give you the complete story but you get the idea) I did go an another tiny pancake task yesterday. I didn’t touch anything, I just watched and tried to learn how to make a poffertje(that’s a very tiny pancake). Small steps remember.

Update: After reading this post through one more time (to remove some typos) I realised that there is one more lesson to be learned for me, the bottle pancake would never work as there are no shortcuts in life. You have to do things properly which often means: the hard way.

7 thoughts to “The Pancake analogy”

  1. Yes, I know these shakers. They suck.
    The best thing you can do is make the batter from scratch.
    For 8 ‘pannenkoeken’ take 200 grams of wheat flour, 2 eggs, ½ litre of milk (NOT low fat milk) and a pinch of salt.
    Take the dry ingredients and add 200ml of the milk. Mix it. Add the rest of the milk and mix again. Then let it rest for half an hour.
    Put a little butter in a non-stick frying pan. Take 1 ladle of the mix and put it in the pan. Put the heat on half high and bake the ‘pannenkoek’ slightly brown on each side.
    Remember: the first ‘pannenkoek’ is always a failure. There’s nothing you can do.
    Then serve with strawberry jam or syrup or sugar or…

  2. I will not offer you any advise baking pancakes. I offer you my sympathy. Reading certain books helped me understand that women do not complain in order to get the “expert” how-to-do-it story.
    btw. did you ever publish the Xmas cards you recieved?

  3. Sorry your analgous (sp?) pancakes were inedible but I know you will keep making them ’til they come right;)
    (Would have loved a photo of the mix in the hair etc though!;))

  4. I love this post !!! So I hope you get on with your ‘pancakes’ too ;o))

    We actually call our oldest child our first pannenkoek. We practice on him and the other two turn out better lol…

  5. Oké ,I Learn you to make good apple-pancakes when you come with eastern.
    It`s sooo easy really ;o-))
    Loved your story about it.

  6. It’s funny that in my experience the first pancake always goes wrong. I guess it’s a reminder that we need to keep trying and always provides those people who are watching something to laugh at

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