An Open Letter to Pancake Molds


Dear Pancake Mold(s):

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of your work, or at least the concept of it. However, your arrival on the griddle brings an added pressure capable of turning Sunday morning chefs, in this case me, into profaners and wasters of once promising pancake batter. I’ve got enough problems, and breakfast shapes shouldn’t be one of them.

First, some backstory: In these parts Sunday morning starts a little later than the rest of the week. I blame it on lazy roosters and the long lure of Saturday night. Sunday wakes up with sunshine toasted warm and dogs at the door ready for walks and reasons for wagging. Then the morning breaks upon sounds like jazz, laughter, and the grinding of coffee beans. Sunday mornings smell of memories and holiday, and as the man behind the curtain I try to grant every wish that I can—all it takes is the courage to ask. Also, ruby slippers.

Enter the pancake molds.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with pancake molds, let me clarify that I am not referring to the building blocks of penicillin, because a) I am allergic to it, and b) what kind of breakfast would that be? Rather, I am talking about an actual mold, usually made of metal or some other baking-approved material, that you pour pancake batter into in order for said pancake to form in the shape of said mold. Our pancake molds are shaped like spaceships from Star Wars, because, duh, Star Wars pancakes are awesome.

Or they will be, eventually.

To be clear, this isn’t a knock on the product. The molds are sturdy, and I am sure they work fine when used correctly. This is a knock on the fact that despite being a relatively intelligent person I am unable to properly work a pancake mold. It’s embarrassing really. My X-wing Starfighter looks like a mutilated reindeer and my Millennium Falcon looks like a pancake that a falcon has gnawed at for a millennium. Top with strawberries, and voilà! breakfast with a side of imagination—and next week needs to top it or the critics, both of them, will curse my name like so many Perry the Platypuses.

When I was a kid we ate our pancakes round and we liked it. Round was funny. Round was a ball or a happy face. It was a bouncing breakfast and the best pitch of the game. Round was all we had, and we were lucky to have it. Also, lots of syrup. We walked uphill both ways for that kind of breakfast.

My kids walk about five feet on smooth, cool tile, and request battle scenes.

“I believe,” they say, “that breakfast today should tell the tale of Hoth—and Han Solo’s daring rescue of Luke Skywalker. And a glass of (blue) milk. Please.”

Thankfully, Hoth is round.

My point, Pancake Mold, is slow your roll. Please. I can handle a Mickey Mouse head or a Death Star crêpe, but with these intricate shapes and designs you have upped your game in ways that the breakfast world has never seen, and making flapjacks has now taken on all the ease of a Sudoku jigsaw puzzle.

But there is coffee, laughter, and memory making, all of which linger longer than lumpy batter on an ungreased TIE Fighter, and for that I thank you, Pancake Mold. I thank you sincerely.

See you on Sunday.

star wars, pancakes, molds

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