| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Antje's Story > Categories > My Father
| Date Range: 01/01/1970 To 12/31/1975 ||
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| | 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.