We ate a lot of pancakes before we started dating. We’ve eaten quite a few since, too, but in the years when we were just friends, frequently meeting for theatre dates (or non-dates, to be more precise), we often grabbed a bite to eat at a diner before the show. Whatever else a diner may be good at, pancakes are usually a safe bet.
I like variety: fruit, nuts, what have you. Offering a flight of syrups? Let’s try them all in turn. Chocolate chips are most decidedly not ruined by their being tucked into batter, nor the other way around. Additional flavors can cover a multitude of sins. Usually, she’s a pancake purist: no add-ins; maybe a little peanut butter on top, but usually only butter.
She got up early this morning and started puttering in the office. I rose a little later and joined her for a vigorous round of putting-things-in-their-proper-place. I brewed coffee and tea, and remembered that bacon had been a mid-week special at the market. I set some to roast in the oven while the tidying continued. Eventually the timer chimed and I announced that it was time for breakfast. We decided on pancakes to accompany the bacon.
She saw me segmenting an orange next to the griddle where banana-filled pancakes cooked beside her unadulterated ones. She looked at me quizzically. “The orange is for both of us. Vitamin C.” (She’s been fighting a cold, and I’m trying to stay ahead of it.) “Bananas in the pancakes, maybe a little applesauce on top. And, yes, maybe a little syrup.” She raised an eyebrow. “Hey, at least I’m not putting strawberries in, too.”
We sat to eat. The bacon was a little crisper than I’d meant it to be, but she didn’t mind; it wasn’t burned. “Maybe next time you should put the bacon in the pancakes,” she said.
I thought about that for a moment. She did, too, apparently. “Chocolate chip, banana, and bacon pancakes?”
“There’s more batter,” I said.
She put aside a strip of bacon. I did, too, and returned to the kitchen. I sliced a banana and chopped some bits off a block of good dark chocolate. The griddle was still hot.
She took a bite. Her eyes softened. I took a bite and nodded. She was right.
Ever willing to experiment, I tried a bite with maple syrup. It didn’t improve anything. “One thing too many?” she said, then she tried a bite with peanut butter. “Same with peanut butter.”
All those years, all those plates of pancakes, yet we hadn’t encountered this combination until today.
“Apparently chocolate chip, banana, and bacon pancakes are a thing.”
They are now. Maybe not an everyday thing, but very much a thing.