Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dad's Day & Animal Pancakes

The Festivity: Dad’s Night, Louisiana ~1993
This story takes place at a pre-school function when I was three years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday — and sadly it is 100% true

I remember sitting silent and still at the circular pre-school activity table. The kids around me were all coloring furiously. I, however, was stricken. For the first time in my rule abiding three years, I could not complete the assignment. The other kids were drawing their Dads.

No, this is not a sob story. I have a great father, the kind that coached softball, tells the best jokes, finds my mom's keys daily and makes awesome animal pancakes. My problem was that I had no idea what a Dad was …

All these other kids had a Dad and were bringing him to Dad’s Night. All I could think was I’m just bringing my lame Daddy. And, what the hell was a Dad? Who was this third parent that all other kids had but me? Or was it more of an uncle or cousin-type situation? Whatever the case, we were supposed to be drawing this male (I think it’s a male) family member and give it to him as a gift. I just copied the kid next to me — a blond haired and blue-eyed dad, why not?

It’s after school and my brown-haired daddy is driving me to the event. My mind was racing, Oh-my-god, I-am-going-to-be-the-only-one-there-without-a-Dad. But, honestly, I got distracted because my mom let me put on my sister’s rainbow lip gloss.

We walked into the pre-school and my teacher approached us, shaking my Daddy’s hand. “Caroline,” she said in a sweet, caregiver voice,“This must be your Dad.”

I cringed and thought, no this is just my Daddy. But, to my surprise, he said “Yes.”

Holy Heck. Dads and Daddys are the same guys.

In the end, the night was amazing, I met grandpas, step-dads and dads of all my classmates. I showed my Dad my spot at the table and the hook where I put my coat. And a guy with a giant camera took my picture. It ended up in the local newspaper.

My Dad and Me in the Times-Picayune circa 1993. Overall, Dad's night was a big success.

The Breakfast: AnimalPancakes

On Father’s Day, I would like to thank Dad for the delicious animal-shaped pancakes. That’s right, he’s not only smart and tough (like Don Fey or Red Forman), but he is also the best pancake-maker in the land. Imagine Clint Eastwood flipping flap jacks shaped like bunnies. You want dinosaurs? He’ll make you three different types and they’ll have laid crispy eggs — He makes egg-laying hens in the same vein. Whales? No problem. He can also whip up dogs and pretty much any other quadruped, you name it.

T-Rex and Sideways Chicken

Two Hens

Whale, Turtle and Duck, an aquatic theme if you will.

And the best part is, you are never too old for animal pancakes. He makes them for all thespecial occasions, or just the weekends when my sister and I are home together— which is getting more and more special and sparse as the years pass.

But we aren't all artists. I would make a huge batter mess if I attempted to make a zoo breakfast free-hand. My cousin Stephanie gave me an adorable book for Christmas with instructions for making animal pancakes. Extreme Pancakes also came with an "easy batter squeeze bottle" to help create better batter shapes. But for those of you who don't have the dough to buy a pancake book, an idea on pinterest showed a good substitute for the squeeze bottle ...

Use an old ketchup bottle to pour pancakes

If you use this batter bottle, or the one from Extreme Pancakes, it is very easy to make animals with just circles. I used the book to create the monkey below.

This little guy is mostly circles.

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