People tell me I’m in a rut. Actually, a series of ruts. At most of the places where I eat lunch, they can place my order when I come in the door.
But I think there’s something to be said for ruts. The reason they are ruts is because I’m usually doing something I enjoy or eating something I like.
Knowing my fondness for eating, you probably know where this is headed.
Anyhow, one of my favorite ruts is getting up and making a big breakfast for Jenny and Joe on Sunday.
Most times the menu is the same: tomato and orange juice, eggs, bacon, toast and milk. What makes the eggs special is scrambling them with lots of Philadelphia cream cheese and a few chopped chives.
I’ve been making the same Sunday breakfast for more than 40 years, so I guess that definitely qualifies as a rut. Well, not quite the same breakfast. Until a few years ago, I would have thrown in a skillet full of nice greasy hash browns, too. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cut down – a little.
Every couple of months, I make my “special” breakfast — Belgian waffles and fried sausage patties. We really like waffles at our house, but we tend to eat too many and then wonder why we’re in a malaise the rest of the day.
It’s “special” because I only like one kind of Belgian waffle mix (another rut?) and we haven’t been able to find it around here. We usually buy several boxes when we visit Jenny’s parents in northern Kentucky.
But I’ve gotten off topic. Last Sunday morning, I was ready to make my usual big family breakfast when Jenny suggested that we have pancakes instead.
OK, I thought, getting out the electric griddle and a box of pancake mix. Just add water and mix.
What could be easier?
I put in the amount of water listed on the box and mixed. The batter was really thick. I added more water and mixed again. The batter seemed too thin. More mix.
By the time I got it right, I had a lot of pancake batter.
Finally, I got the pancakes on the griddle. The batter didn’t seem to rise much and the finished pancakes were about the thickness of a tortilla.
I checked the expiration date on the pancake mix box.
“Uh, oh. It says use by September 2011,” I said.
“It’ll be fine,” Jenny said.
“Did you know you bought sugar-free syrup?” Joe asked, holding up the bottle of Log Cabin.
“It probably tastes the same,” Jenny said, as she looked for another bottle.
Joe poured the thin liquid on his pancakes. It resembled the consistency and color of New Albany water on a bad day.
“It doesn’t,” Joe said.
We all managed to eat a pancake or two – with lots of bacon.
“You don’t want me to save all these leftovers, do you?” Jenny asked.
It must have been a rhetorical question.
Next Sunday we’ll be having eggs with lots of Philadelphia cream cheese.
There’s something to be said for ruts.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.