Wake Up Call:
A story about alarm clocks and a breakfast worth getting out of bed for.
The irony is kind of funny. Both Adam and I have had our alarm clocks for ages. I bought mine at a garage sale, brand new and still in its box, for a dollar when I was in high school. Can you believe that? I don’t use it anymore, except to tell time, since a furrier version wakes me up now most mornings. It fell and broke in two a few weeks ago, so now I have to push the top down a little to distinguish if it’s an 8 or a 9 on the display, but I think it still has a little life in it.
But my husband’s? Well, let’s just say last Thursday was a sad, sad day for him. After some thirty odd years of faithful service, the one and only electronic rooster that he had owned since college, died. The one he called My Alarm Clock, the only one that he trusted to get him up on time for so many years. Yes, folks, he loved it like it was his “precious,” some sort of security blanket. I hated it. This ancient, clunky relic was obnoxious and vile. And, to make matters worse, since My Alarm Clock’s owner likes to hit the snooze button repeatedly, it was like being chased by the French police every ten minutes for an hour at dawn. (Hey, I know! How ‘bout you set it for later and just get up? Just sayin’.)Anyway, one morning, he accidentally knocked it off his small bedside table and My Alarm Clock crashed loudly to the floor in pieces. “Can I get a bigger table here, please?” Adam snapped as he picked up the pieces of his beloved clock. Not if you want to be able to get out of the room, I mused. Told you he loved that thing.
The next day, the crippled alarm whined painfully and distortedly when it went off. I rolled over, gently rubbed his arm and whispered, “Honey, you have to let it go. You’re gonna have to get a new one.” I didn’t push, but he knew I was right. It was time. After breakfast, he announced that before we went to the market, we would stop by Radio Shack to get new phones. “Phones?” I asked. “Yes. I need to replace my office phones. And,” he hesitated as he looked out his window and quietly added, “a new alarm clock, I suppose.” That was the good news. The bad news was just hitting me. We were going to Radio Shack. Women do not get excited about going to Radio Shack. First of all, we don’t care about electronics, flat screens, miscellaneous cords or overpriced batteries sold by creepy-looking men with high-fastening pants. However, the compulsion to shop is so innately strong that we force ourselves, with pursed lips, to find something of interest while we wait. This, of course, leads to our buying something completely unnecessary and ridiculous, like that “As Seen on T.V.!” stop barking device. Well, it showed potential. The box read: Humane! High-pitch frequency inaudible to humans! Great for training! Trust me, don’t buy it. The “inaudible” pierce sounded like one of the mice from Cinderella on steroids when activated and my dogs just stared at it. Barking the whole time. Maybe I, nine dollars and ninety-five cents before tax poorer, should tell that company to bark off.
Then, there’s the new alarm clock. I looked at the empty box on our bar and my eyes flew open wide. You know what it’s called? Atomic Alarm Clock. A-t-o-m-i-c! This did not bode well. I don’t like or need huge, thunderous noises to wake me up in the a.m. and certainly don’t think it’s necessary to elicit a nuclear explosion to get me out of bed. What was this new bedside devilry going to sound like? I was scared.
But, surprisingly (and mercifully), it’s a gentle, quiet sound. The following morning, it awakened me with a series of mild, non-irritating beeps and I threw back the covers and got out of bed. I yawned sleepily as I padded upstairs but stopped in my tracks when I saw something on the floor. There, tucked behind Adam’s bedside table, was his old alarm clock and it was still plugged in! I got back into bed, scooted over to my sleeping husband and softly said in his ear, “Um, honey?” I was searching for the right words. “I thought you got rid of that damn thing.” He harrumphed over, motioning me to flip the other way, heavily put his arm around me and pulled me close. With a grumbly voice that was half-awake and half-asleep, he said, “I’ve had it for too long. I can’t get rid of it yet. What if I got rid of you if you stopped servicing me?” Let it go, Cheryl. It’s the grief talking. Then, he added, “Give me a couple of days.” I couldn’t believe it! This six foot-three man who can bench press 230 pounds was having a “wake” for the thing that used to help him get awake! This one ranks up there with his favorite “happy” shirt – the black paisley short-sleeved button-down that he wore to death until it was merely vapor with two strings holding it together. Thank God he stopped wearing it in public. He actually wanted to have a going away party for the thing. I’m telling you, when he loves something, he loves it. And that includes me – so, I figured I’d do what I do best. I’d go and cook him a really great breakfast to help heal his little broken heart. Well, the poor guy needed a food hug!
A stack of fluffy, flavorful pancakes with lots of butter and syrup. A side of savory sausage. Adam had seconds. And thirds. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth spicy flapjacks blanketed in buttery goodness and served with meat candy (equally fabulous dipped in syrup)? Now, that’s a deliciously soothing breakfast worth waking up for!
- 2 cups all-purpose baking mix (preferably organic or homemade – see link below)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more for serving)
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a wire rack in a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the baking mix, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, butter and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Place a nonstick griddle over medium-high heat to get hot. For each pancake, pour about ¼ cup batter onto the hot griddle and cook until bubbles break on the surface, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer cooked pancakes to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve the pancakes hot.
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:
Planning: Make it easy on yourself! The night before, whisk together your dry ingredients and store in a zip-top bag to save time.
Product Purity: No homemade baking mix? Substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Presentation: Serve your pancakes with real maple syrup and unsalted butter – gently heat in the microwave before serving.