Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Apples & Thyme - Dad, Pancakes and Me

I stumbled across probably one of the most nostalgic and sweet blogging events I've ever found the other day over at Vanielje Kitchen. Apples & Thyme is a celebration of time spent in the kitchen with our family and what they did or did not pass on to us that influenced how we cook and eat today. Entering simply involves sharing a person and a dish that celebrates your relationship with them! The closing date is 10th November, with the roundup being posted on 15th November, which is the first monthly Apples & Thyme Day. Check with either Jeni (The Passionate Palate) or Vanielje (Vanielje Kitchen) for the rules!

Whenever I think of spending time in the kitchen with my dad, the same dish invariably jumps to mind: pancakes. I don't know why, but even though the ones we made were out of a box, my dad's pancakes were the best! It was always a great treat (especially when we were on our sailboat on Georgian Bay) to have my dad whip up a batch and serve them to us while we were all in our PJs. They were always the perfect start to a summer morning when the dew hadn't burned off the boat's deck yet and most people were just starting to wake up. The smell of the mooring area we always stayed at on Beausoleil Island was enough to convert any city folk - frying bacon or sausage, toast, instant coffee or hot chocolate (each with a shot of Baileys - for everyone on out boat, even us kids!) and of course, the pancakes. Later on the smells around our boat would change to Kraft Dinner, barbequed hot dogs or even pizza pockets, which were wrapped in tin foil and thrown on the propane grill attached to the stern.

While I was growing up, my dad (leftmost in the photo, posing with my uncles!) wasn't the main influence on my cooking and baking life: my mom was my main teacher in that area. However, my dad taught me the importance of experimentation in the kitchen, bravery when it came to new foods and honesty when it came to giving an opinion on the dish. He always believed (and still does) that it wasn't what was on the table that formed the focus but rather who was at the table. He's taught me the importance of hard work and comprimise in all areas of my life, and he's shown me how to have fun and let go of everything once in a while, just because you can.

I wanted to take this moment and just thank him for everything he still does for me... I know I haven't been the easiest person to deal with lately and that we've grown apart over the years, but I still think of you every day and love every second I spend around you. Whether it's going to a movie or Air Farce taping, picking apples, going to Picton, a couple games of golf or bowling or even just being around each other, it means a lot to me that we do have those moments. Hopefully I will be able to make you as proud of me as I am of you. Thanks dad.

This recipe isn't really a recipe at all, and I don't have the secret to my dad's pancakes, but this is all we did, I swear! For everyone out there lucky enough to still have their loved ones within reach, give them a call today, stop by if you can, just say "hi, I'm thinking of you"... anything. Life is too short to leave anyone behind even for a moment.

Makes enough for 3-4 people
1 cup Buttermilk Pancake Mix (not complete)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
  1. Heat a griddle, frypan or electric skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl, taking care not to beat completely smooth.
  3. Grease pan lightly.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and cook evenly on both sides.
  5. Serve hot.


  1. Wonderful post. Very touching :)

  2. This is such a great post, and I'm sure your dad is very proud of you. You have some special memories and your dad has obvioulsy taught you to be a strong and loving person. Well done Dad! thank you for sharing this with us and entering Apples & Thyme. Pancakes look scrummy too.

  3. What a nice story. That's what family is about. Ivy (from group recipes)

  4. Your dad sounds great. I am glad to read about a dad's influence in the kitchen!
    Thanks for participating,

  5. This is a really sweet post. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm sure your dad is very proud of you :)

  6. What a lovely read this was!

  7. You dad sounds like a great guy -- bravery is one of the most important things to have in a kitchen. And someone who will actually give an honest opinion is a godsend. Thank you for posting this. I bet your dad loved it too!

  8. I think even if the dishes we presented have no secret recipes behind them, it is the moments we shared with our loved ones that makes them special.

  9. Your dad had the right idea - it is good company that makes any meal a feast. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a cool post! It's been great, reading all the mom and grandmom posts, but the dad post was a nice change. I'm glad he was such a positive influence in your life. My dad was always the breakfast guy, too. Maybe he'll make pancakes when I visit for Thanksgiving.


Thanks for the feedback!