Rescheduling Christmas

This morning, My Pirate made me the very best pancakes that I’ve ever eaten in my life.  They were fluffy and lacy and crispy on the edges and smelled like vanilla and butter.  I’ve made the recipe for these pancakes for the past 15 years, but today they were magnifique. Context with food is everything.

Grief is a strange companion that visits in waves.  One minute I’m dancing in the kitchen to Video Killed the Radio Star while doing the dishes and the next I’m crying. My dogs are looking concerned and they are completely sick of 80’s music.  

This past Monday, the day before Christmas, I woke up at 4 am and started crying over all the good memories that I shared with my Grandpa.  A montage of our time together set to him singing You Are My Sunshine.  He was my favorite person in the world until I turned 19 when Grandpa’s spat with my Mom over her driving caused a two-year rift of silence.  He simply wouldn’t talk to me until my Mom fixed things with him.  But prior to that, I saw him almost every single day of my life. 

To cheer me up, My Pirate took me out for breakfast at 5 in the morning.  And we started off a wonderful day together.  We picked up the final ingredients for our Christmas dinner, pre ordered our Christmas day tickets to see Les Miserables at Cinetopia, and then we went to see the movie The Life of Pi in 3D, a fantastic movie, and bumped into Colleen, a fellow band booster, in the theater. If you haven’t visited her blog yet, you really need to check it out.

Once we were home, we started making the beef stock for the French Onion Soup and Thomas Keller’s Braised Oxtail and Mushroom Tartine.  And while the beef stock burbled on the stove top, I began projectile vomiting.  I clung to the toilet seat puking and cursing over the timing.  Not now.  Not Christmas Eve.

So, My Pirate rescheduled Christmas.  I’m pounding Gatorade and smiling towards a Christmas Day spent with my two guys when I’m feeling better.  It’s nice to know that Christmas can come more than once a year. 

P.S.  I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas.  And if you didn’t, go ahead and reschedule a new one. 

From Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer

Preheat electric griddle to 375 degrees with a slick coating of vegetable oil on it.

Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar—I use vanilla sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Whisk the wet ingredients together:
1 ½ cups milk—I use whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla

Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients together with a whisk until it barely combines.  At this point you can fold in fun ingredients like blueberries or bacon, but I never do.

Spoon batter onto the griddle.  Cook on one side until some bubbles pop open and then flip.  Cook until the underside is lightly browned and then serve.

Update:  Colleen's blog is called Colleen's Kitchen.  Just follow the link to discover her healthy gourmet recipes that she created to help herself lose over 100 pounds!  She's an inspiration.