While procrastinating on real work, I read a blog post on the storyline blog (http://storylineblog.com/2012/09/19/bread-crumbs/) last week, and it got me to thinking about what my Edenic memory is.
Blog author Al Andrews put it best when he described those memories as “moments of beauty and of innocence” that are so sweet, but at the same time acutely painful because we can never return to that specific place or time ever again. They’re golden and untouched, where we felt most in tune with the world around us, when we were as close to true contentment as we think we are ever likely to be.
For me, Eden smells like pancakes.
Pancakes for Sunday breakfast and Nate the Great books. Have you ever read the Nate the Great series? You should, even if you’re not 5 years old. I picked one up at a bookstore a few years back and it reads as well now as it ever did when I was a kid who went to the library every week with my mom to get Nate the Great and Amelia Bedelia books.
I remember sitting with a stack of library books behind the big red chair that used to be in the living room of my parents’ house and reading about Nate the Great chowing down on an enormous stack of pancakes. All the while, I could smell Sunday breakfast cooking: pancakes, eggs, and bacon. The universe was in alignment; I wanted for nothing, feared nothing, and if I had to pick one moment to re-live for all eternity, it would be that moment.
There are other memories that stand out in my mind, but that one hits most forcefully at the moment, and it has been the memory that comes to mind most often when I try to remember what it’s like to be a kid.
I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but these whiffs of Eden are probably childhood memories—at least they are for me and for Andrews—and it’s no mystery why.
Adults cast childhood in a beautiful, carefree, stressless glow probably as much as children look at adulthood and long for the freedom to do what they want and go where they want and eat cookies for dinner every day. Admittedly, that part of adulthood really is cool; I’ve definitely eaten cookies for dinner—it’s awesome.
Buttermilk Pancakes (adapted from Ladies’ Home Journal, April 2000 issue)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 2/3 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium-high heat. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined and very lumpy.
Pour spoonfuls of batter onto prepared griddle; cook until bubbles form on top (2 or 3 minutes),
flip and cook an additional 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve and eat immediately. I mean, right now. Do it!
I served it up with Zhi tea’s Austin Breakfast tea. Check it out.