The sole piece of culinary expertise passed through the generations from my grandfather was how to make proper potato pancakes. My father taught us. I will teach Oliver.
Unfortunately Catherine dismisses all potato pancakes as merely “potatoes, salt and fat,” and refuses to even consider enjoying them, which is going to interfere with the evolutionary pass-down scheme.
What’s worse, you can’t really make good potato pancakes without an electric frying pan (at least in our tradition), and having lacked an electric frying pan for at least a decade, there’s been a significant turn-down in my potato pancake consumption recently.
So today, what with it being the heart of the holiday season and the taste of Rukavina family potato pancakes of yore dancing in my head, I took Oliver up to Smitty’s to have their version thereof.
Unfortunately, like everything else on the menu at Smitty’s, they were bland, dry, and tasteless except for the salt (sometimes I think a giant tanker pulls up to the back door at Smitty’s once a year and drops off a load of generic “breakfast food glop” from which they then concoct all of their food, simply varying the amount of salt and food colouring to approximate each dish).
So rather than sizzling into my body with a rush of holiday glee, the Smitty’s pancakes hit me lit a ton of, well, breakfast food glop.
I may have no choice but to arrange for Catherine to go on some extended errand, and to then secretly bring a proper electric frying pan into the house, along with a sausage grinder (the other required apparatus, used to properly grind the potatoes), and cook up a bunch for Oliver and I.
Merry Christmas, Papa Dan, wherever you are.