Yesterday, my kids were super excited. Apparently, it was NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY, and if you went to a certain "Pancake Restaurant", you could get a free stack of pancakes. Each.
No way, no how. Ain't nobody got time for that. (If you have no idea why I just said this, check out this video. Seriously – it's my go to whenever I'm feeling down.)
Ahem. Excuse me while I have a small dance break over here.
We tried to do the free pancake thing last year, and it was a disaster. The lines were out the door, service was shoddy, and free pancakes are the only things that are free. Which means that a free dinner out ends up costing me $30. For $30, I could make pancakes at home.
And far yummier ones. Witness example A, Buttermilk Pancakes with homemade caramel syrup. This syrup is straight up stupid good. We don't buy maple syrup anymore - I just make this every couple of weeks and it hangs out in the fridge until it's pancake or waffle time. (Pancakes: 1 1/4 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. Baking soda, pinch of salt, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 c. buttermilk 2 Tbsp. melted butter 1/4 c. sugar. Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder,and salt. Mix the eggs with the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture, stirring only until smooth. Add the melted butter and sugar. Fry on a greased griddle.)
And example B - Beer – braised bacon:
I don't even like bacon, and this stuff is so ridiculously delicious that I could eat it forever. Something about mixing beer and brown sugar, and then coating the bacon in it, changes the flavor up just enough.
For one brief shining moment, I was a rock star to my kids. We had the pancakes. We had the homemade syrup. We had the bacon. There were no lines, no waiting, and although the waitstaff wasn't entirely un-grumpy, it was better than last year.And sometimes, that's the best you can hope for.