OK, pretentious range, let’s make these pancakes

It’s Sunday morning and I’m cooking. I’m not very good at this, so Marie helps me organize everything I’ll need: eggs, milk, a mixing bowl, fire extinguisher, Band-Aids, etc.

The problem with cooking breakfast is that you usually have to cook more than one item. I mean, with supper you can focus on one dish, say, hamburgers, then throw a bag of potato chips at your guests and call it good.

Breakfast usually involves multiple, complicated sides — like bacon — which is about the greatest thing ever invented, and here I am including the polio vaccine.

My theory on food is that the more difficult it is to cook, the better the taste. A batch of Enstrom’s toffee involves multiple highly-trained cooks engaged in a meticulous, time-consuming process, whereas you can find asparagus in a ditch off 22 Road.

So I have the pancake recipe out, along with the package of bacon and a bundle of questions: Do you cook the bacon before the pancakes? How long do you fry the bacon? And what’s the best way to treat second-degree burns?

I know I can’t cook bacon at the same time as the pancakes, because for one, there are only so many brain cells in my mind, and all of them are currently busy, huddled around, trying to help me decide when to flip the pancakes. And two, if you cook all the bacon first, you will eat all of it before the pancakes are done.

Back to the pancake recipe, which reads: “Flip when light brown.” I think they mean when the bottom part is light brown. But how can you tell? This is when I need “Pan Man,” the Marvel Comics superhero who was born with the ability to see through the bottom of a metal pan.

There are some people out there who are naturals when it comes to cooking — the Dixie Burmeisters of the world who can come over to your house and take, say, a bottle of Sprite, a can of refried beans, one leaf of lettuce and some frozen chicken nuggets and turn it a delicious gourmet feast. I hate these people.

I’m still not completely sure as to the difference between “bake” and “broil.” In fact, I really don’t understand the whole range/oven thing. It’s sort of the diva of the kitchen, starting with its elitist title: “freestanding range.” Like it’s too good to associate with the other appliances.

It even has its own little overhead light, similar to the spotlight shone upon a Hollywood star. And it has a fan, because unlike the rest of us, it doesn’t feel it has to put up with odors.

The range/oven has its own vents, handles, knobs, clocks, timers and buzzers. At the bottom, they even have their own drawers, as if the oven is saying, “MY stuff goes here.”

Flat top ranges even stay red after you turn them off. This is its way of saying, “You STILL better not mess with me.”

With the dishwasher, you just throw stuff in and turn it on. Not with the oven. You have to first “pre-heat” it. It’s the only kitchen appliance that demands foreplay.

You don’t do that if you have to freeze something. You don’t “pre-cool” the freezer. I don’t have to prepare the garbage disposal ahead of time. “Hello, disposal. How are you doing? I’m about to put some food down there. Get ready!”

The snotty range/oven doesn’t even trust you to clean it. It insists on being “self-cleaning.” And what is “self-cleaning” anyway? Doesn’t it mean it just gets just extra hot? I think anything is self-cleaning at 800 degrees.

Yet as profound as this subject it, I have no time to ponder it, as the pancakes are finally done. They look to be edible. Then again, so are iPhones when smothered in enough syrup. Time for the first bite….

Mmm. Not bad.

Pass the bacon, please. And the Band-Aids.

Reach Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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