The Ruined Breakfast

Because I am just that talented, I messed up pancakes from a mix this morning. Today was grocery day so we were down to our last two eggs. There was no whipping up a new batch. What happened was I confused the amount of water as the amount of oil in the recipe. Which meant I added about a cup of oil into the pancake mix before my brain caught up. I stared in disbelief as the oil pooled like a lake, encompassing the egg whites and gleaming ominously. I must have made some noise or swore, because my chirpy little 8-year-old immediately asked, “What’s wrong, Mom?”

“Oh, I’ve ruined breakfast.” I said, still trying to figure out how to undo my mistake.

“What’s wrong?” My husband overheard from upstairs, and realized he may have to sweep in and save me from my folly.

On any given day, how I would react to this kind of catastrophe would be to kick myself for being stupid, rage against the waste of food, and then lean on my husband who would rescue me from my spiral.

This time, though, I just grabbed a spoon and gently scooped out the oil. I managed to retrieve a pretty good portion of it. My cup of oil was almost back to full again as I ladled the excess away. What was left was still more than the recipe called for, but it was considerably less than what I added. I had no way to judge except my measuring cup filled with retrieved oil.

I added the water and stirred, and the batter seemed okay. It seemed normal, for all that I knew better. I decided rather than simply toss out the mix, that I would cook a pancake and taste it to see how the flavor and texture survived my error.

My husband made it down the stairs in time to give me cooking tips for the batter. My son seemed skeptical, because I said I’d ruined the pancakes. I assured him that I would eat the first one.

It was perfect. Fluffy, hot, light textured – I couldn’t have done it better if I’d done it on purpose.

My son’s reaction when he tasted his test bite was classic. “Mom, you should write down the recipe!”

We made a lot of jokes about what happened and tried to turn it into an object lesson for my son. We laughed about it and had a lot of fun.

I also have my son’s permission to ruin breakfast any time I want to.

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