Flash Fiction – Ode to the Pancake
Food is fuel: fact.
But it can also fire something other than your digestive system. Whether it’s your Nan’s Sunday roast, or a last-minute post-work beach barbeque with mates, food transcends function and becomes memory.
So, my favourite food isn’t the most glamorous of dishes, nor even the tastiest – it’s just the food that forges those synaptic links back to a beige-and-brown kitchenette circa 1989.
Dad is wearing a shell-suit, it’s likely I am too. His is turquoise and I’m afraid mine may be pink. And yellow.
He’s in position by the – brown – gas stove. Brother 1 is pogoing behind him – it’s his turn next. Brother 2 is strapped into his high chair bashing things with his spoon.
Dad turns, brandishing the frying pan like a fencer with his foil. The dollop of batter it holds is that perfect shade of yum. And it’s ready to be flipped.
There are a lot of theories about the perfect pancake toss: wrist action, core strength, celestial alignment. I am not afraid: Dad is a man who can take the pressure.
With pan held firm, he quiets the crowd and begins the countdown, “Three, Two, PANCAKE!”
The disc’s arc is true – up, up, up – an elegant pirouette, then a perfect landing. A ten!
Brother 1 sets to feasting with his usual bestial elegance: lemon, sugar, chocolate spread.
I forget, now, what I had on mine, but I remember that day on this day, every year.
That’s why pancakes are flipping brilliant.