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Updated: Mar 7

Odd shaped, blackened with deep parts of brown and burnt with an overwhelming scent of charcoal, smoke filled the pan and swirled into the hood fan as the motor whirred sucking, as hot oil sizzled and popped.

I stared at the pancake, grabbed the spatula from the side of the stove and pushed the handle, leveraging it from its stuck position in the frying pan. Opening the garbage lid, I flipped it right where it belonged straight to the bottom. I scraped the blackened bits from the pan, the only remnants left from last pancake’s unfortunate fate.

I looked to the plate piled high on the counter where I had made others (in my opinion) beautiful pancakes, and thought to myself, it's just one burnt pancake, deep breath.

I had used a mix, the big bagged one from Costco. Its quick and easy and I didn’t have put any effort into it. If I measured everything perfectly, 3 cups of dry mix, 2 cups of water, stirred but not for too long, I couldn’t screw it up.

I’d read that over-mixing lead to excess gluten development, resulting in pancakes that were tough, chewy, and flat. If cooked on a high heat with too much or too little oil or If I walked away to find my coffee (usually cold at this point) I knew the chance I took equaled burnt pancakes.

However I weighed the odds, I took the chance. Coffee was a necessity.

Prior to, I stood in the kitchen as that pancake incinerated lost in a memory of a day before having kids.

The original recipe, the one I made the pancake batter from scratch. The one I used to make from the recipe card given to me at my bridal shower where I drank mimosas and laughed about how I couldn't wait to have massive pancake breakfasts for my then nonexistent family.

There was so much life in between that memory, and this burnt pancake. Did the burnt pancake really matter?

I had a pile of really good pancakes, beautiful in fact. That is all that mattered.

I called the family downstairs for breakfast.

I stood in the kitchen, now cold coffee in hand and was greeted by my middle child bouncing down the stairs asking, “Did you burn the pancakes?”

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise Indicated, all blog content copyright Natasha Bruce

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