She’d had a rough morning, I’d had a rough afternoon, and breakfast-for-dinner seemed the only way to go. She replied to my iMessage asking what she’d like:
Ooh! Pancakes? Plain, topped with peanut butter and butter?
I agreed. It was, in fact, what I was hoping she’d choose.
Meanwhile, knowing that comfort food was on the horizon, I posted jokingly to Facebook that I was having pancakes, and wondered
…what’s an appropriate wine to pair with them. Or perhaps the best hard spirits. Or both.
My friends enthusiastically rose to the challenge. Suggestions included hard cider (apple or pear), moonshine, beer, various German wines and a couple of sparkling wines, blueberry schnapps, and “honey-infused rye whiskey.” This bunch clearly takes their pancakes-and-drinking seriously. Or maybe they were just ready to help a friend in need.
The comment stream amused her as much as it had done for me, but that “infused” comment made her sit up and take notice: “We could just pour bourbon over the pancakes.”
All of a sudden I was in the act, too. “Wait–what if we made some simple syrup…”
“…and added bourbon!”
Now, neither of us is really a drinker. I can mix a Manhattan, split it into two glasses, and there’ll be some left in each glass at the end of the evening. But, as with the one-spoon-sundae that has become a favorite dessert, sometimes just a little taste is enough.
There was no bourbon in the cupboard after all, so she flavored the syrup with rye and a splash of scotch. I mixed batter and heated the griddle. One pancake got the last of a batch of homemade maraschino cherries (the kind where real cherries have been infused with maraschino liqueur, not the candied-and-dyed fakes). We cooked some sausage, deglazed its pan with a little more rye and thickened it with a bit of butter, and drizzled that sauce over the sausage. All the while, she sang Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
“…drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry,
and good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye…”
Nobody got over-served. We each had just a bit of the sort-of-cocktail syrup over very fluffy pancakes. Even so, neither of us was driving anywhere. The miserable parts of our days faded away in the giddiness of doing something silly in the kitchen, and in its unusual and tasty result.
“Who needs ‘American Pie,'” she asked, “when you’ve got cake!”
There’s quite a lot of the syrup left, but we’ll probably save it until we’ve both had a really good day at work.