I don’t believe in a God, but I do believe in pancakes.
Growing up in a small town on the eastern coast of Canada God was omnipresent. To say I grew up in a time warp would be an understatement. We were still expected to recite The Lords Prayer along with the National anthem every morning in school… I refused to do either, four years old and already suspect of both god and country.
In the 4th grade a friend took me as a ‘guest’ to their bible study day camp and when asked what church I belonged to I replied without shame or apprehension that I was in fact an unbaptised bastard and that ‘my parents raised me without religion because they want me to find one that is right for me when I was old enough to understand what religion means’. I still remember the look of horror on the Sunday school teachers face and the astounded whispers of the other children sat campfire style in a circle as the teacher hurried from the room. I was awarded CAMPER OF THE DAY before I left, they took my picture with a polaroid camera, taped it to a xerox award certificate and handed me a bag of skittles. They tried to convert me with skittles and at the tender of age of 8 years old I remember climbing into my moms car at the end of the day and cackling with her about how ridiculous it was that they thought they could buy my soul with candy.
There was a picture of beautiful white Jesus in my middle school, which in the 7th grade I circulated a petition to have removed, positing that it excluded and othered those students who did not in fact believe in white Jesus… or any Jesus for that matter. My petition failed and I’d bet you a dollar if I went back to SMJH it was still hanging in the stairwell even more sun bleached and irrelevant as it was 18 years ago.
I went to a high school attached to a convent, where at the age of 16 we tried to summon satan with a copy of the Necronomicon found at a local used book store. Not only did we fail, but not a single Sister came shrieking down the hallway nun-senses tingling.
God was always present in my childhood, like a friends weird uncle, always lingering at the fringes of the party with candies in his pockets. All the other kids love to sit on his lap and be fed candy… but my gut always told me NO! RUN!
Every single year, every school I attended, from the age of 4 until I was 17 celebrated Shrove Tuesday by cooking a massive pancake feast. It wasn’t until I was in highschool(attached to the convent) that I actually realised that PANCAKE DAY was in fact a religious holiday! I had been duped! I had, in naivety and dreams for a secular school system, thought it was just a regular part of ‘Winter Carnival’, which was celebrated at the same time each year. Carnival included events like ‘Pyjama Day’ and trips to the local ice rink for an afternoon of skating, so pancakes didn’t seem out of place. When I finally did discover the truth I felt betrayed and swore off pancakes for a time.
I have since come to terms with this great deception and have accepted Pancakes once again into my heart, Maple Syrup as my Lord and Saviour.
The problem now is that my partner and I disagree on what is and is not a PANCAKE. They would have us eating crêpes today! BLASPHEMY! Pancake day is for PANCAKES not crêpes.
I’ve included my favourite Pancake recipe, may your pancakes be fluffy and your Maple Syrup be Grade A Dark from Nova Scotia(the best)!
1 3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together in a bowl.
In another bowl sift flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
Make a well in the centre. Add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined. Don’t over whisk! You’re pancakes will come out chewy.
Let stand for 2-3 minutes, this is a step most people miss but it is so important! This resting gives the baking soda time to work its magic and make lovely bubbles in your batter and will mean your pancakes and extra fluffy!
Using a ladle or small measuring cup GENTLY(you don’t want to lose those lovely bubbles!) scoop batter into a medium-hot greased pan.
When you start to see bubbles rising and popping on your pancakes it’s time to flip them! Remember to be gentle as you don’t want to lose those bubbles!
Serve with Nova Scotian Maple Syrup for best results.