Antje Aemlie Wilsch

  1970 -
  City of Birth:
München "Die Weltstadt mit Herz" oder "München mag dich"
 
 

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Antje's Story > Categories > My Father

"Sundays and Pancakes" 

 

Date Range: 01/01/1970 To 12/31/1975   Comments: 7   Views: 31,079
Attachments: No
 

Sundays were family day in my house. No matter where - in Germany, in the UK, or in the United States, if everyone was around, we had Daddy's Pancakes on Sundays. These are not ordinary pancakes no siree! My father never did anything too ordinary - maybe a fear of being boring that always led him to try new things in life - but pancakes were his Sunday specialty.

The day would start with him getting up bright and early. Neither of my parents are very early risers, and Sundays are otherwise quite lazy. But he'd get up early, put the coffee on, and spend time in his "nook" reading the Sunday paper. Always the World Affairs section first, to "get it out of the way" (he was a diplomat), and then onto Business "it's what keeps the world turning," and then onto everything else. His favourite stories were the human interest stories. He'd always make comments like "Imagine that! All the way from Zimbabwe," or more often, "They never learn do they?"

My father would get the wheat ground locally (when we were in Germany, if in the US he'd buy from local market and grind or at worse, a place like Whole Foods), and mix other dry ingredients and set them aside. The secret, he'd tell us with his finger over his lips inviting us into this world, was to put an extra pinch of love in EACH bowl. One for me,one for my sister, one for my mother.

Then he'd mix the wet ingredients - buttermilk (never regular milk!), brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, fine salt and baking soda. Once they were whisked, he'd gently add in, heaping spoon by spoon, the dry mixture and stir "just until moistened." He'd allow us to do it sometimes with our spindly little arms, and caution against over-mixing or the dough would be "tough like bark." Ewww who wants to eat bark??? We'd giggle, imagining our Daddy gnawing on trees.

We'd have to let the batter sit in the fridge for a few hours to let it "blend." This was critical!

When ready, we'd turn on the stove and let him work his magic. He'd burn some butter in the pan, just to the point of being yucky, then wipe it out. This was the "coating" on the pan. Then he'd melt some more creamy butter and pour the batter. He preferred big, thinner flapjacks as opposed to little stacked ones (my mother's method). These you could almost roll.

He, as often as he could, got fresh butter from the farms to put on top, just a little - chilled and little dabs like lillypads on a pond. We'd pour the syrup in little rivulets around the butter pats, watching the streams rush off like waterfalls.

The syrup was always there in two bottles: blueberry syrup and maple syrup from Canada. It had to be from Canada, not Vermont or other maple-syrup proud states. He said the Canadians were the only ones who knew how to properly store it (I can't say I noticed much difference between Vermont and Canadian syrup! Lines on the Canadian-Vermont border map are arbitrary anyway but he was adamant about the method having to be perfect).

However, you NEVER had blueberry syrup with blueberry pancakes. They "cancelled each other out" he'd say. And it'd be important to taste the ingredients. He'd ask "Do my girls taste this fine Bavarian/ Irish/ Kansas wheat in there?" And we'd nod eagerly, just wanting to dig in. We didn't taste much difference when we were young, they just tasted like pancakes. Sometimes we'd pour fresh fruit from the farms all over- rasberries, strawberries, rhubarb (yuck).

I never told my dad that I don't really like pancakes. I loved the ritual though, so watching watch us eating pancakes and nodding in agreement, mouths stuffed, when he asked us to declare whether they were "masterpieces" and his smile was what made Sundays my favourite day of the week.



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Member Since
Jan 2008
Suzan Kilner said:
posted on Apr 07, 2008
Those little rituals

are really meaningful, especially after the person isn't there any more like your father. You should start your own rituals now...


Member Since
Oct 2008
Samantha Wilson said:
posted on Oct 31, 2008
This is terribly sweet.

I too love this little ritual of your father's - his precious time with his little girls. What a wonderful memory to have.


Member Since
Feb 2009
MaryHelen Cuellar said:
posted on Apr 04, 2009
Families are the same the world over

Aren't they, Antje?   You write so descriptively that it is easy to compare my family to yours with the anecdotes; I especially loved, "You don't eat blueberry with blueberries"; sounds like my grandmother.  Thanks for your kind comments on my story.


Member Since
Aug 2007
Kristen Kuhns said:
posted on Apr 13, 2009
You must

You have to join the FTX gang now, the french toast mafia.... you and Ilinia!


Member Since
Aug 2007
Antje Wilsch said:
posted on Apr 13, 2009
I'm not stone cold steve austin though

I don't think they'd have me... maybe the pancake mafia will!

http://www.storyofmylife.com/User/user_suzy_story_view.aspx?storyId=3524&CategoryId=1905&UserId=154023 


Member Since
May 2010
Harold McNeill said:
posted on May 07, 2010
Pancakes

Such a favorite with our family also ... that is until we started making waffles .. now it takes two waffle makers to keep up when all the kids are home.   Full table, maple syrup, orange juice (with a little champagne on special occasions!)...... ah, the memories, eh Antje .....  


Member Since
Aug 2007
Antje Wilsch said:
posted on May 08, 2010
Harold

Indeed~ Invite us all over for brunch with mimosas ;)

You should write these stories down too you know....