For our prompt of “Breakfast” today, I chose to make a little sketch of the fun breakfast that Philippe and I have on Sunday mornings. Each week, we have pancakes and blueberries and watch cartoons in the morning, just like when we were puppies. Of course, it’s not a huge stack like this one, but that’s always how pancakes are depicted. It’s that classic look of pure decadence. Though I only get two pancakes these days, I don’t remember ever having a stack this large even when I was a child. This is likely because my mother knew that I was indeed a child and not a small bear. But every photo one finds of pancakes seems to be a competition focused on who can stack them the highest. And though Philippe makes his own pancake batter, I always had Bisquick pancakes when I was growing up. This is one of those mixes where simply adding milk and eggs makes one feel like they are actually still cooking something from scratch. The side effect, of course, is that I grew up only knowing how to make things that came in a box.

It’s funny to think about how popular these convenience foods were during a time when we didn’t even have the Internet to distract us and make us feel so incredibly busy. But everything in our house came mostly made from canned meats to drink mixes. Just add one or two more things, like water, milk, eggs, or simply a bit of heat and it was mealtime. And though I don’t eat these types of foods today, every single time I see them in the grocery store my heart does little backflips. Suddenly that image of a Bisquick biscuit on the cover of the box sends me racing back in time to a winter family gathering or enjoying biscuits and gravy. The gravy, of course, came in a pouch. Just add water. But none of this love of boxed mixes came from any sort of laziness. It was simply a genius innovation that always seemed a bit magical. And was equally really helpful for a family on a budget like ours. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, we didn’t even need lemons to make lemonade! It was incredible!

And today, things have changed quite a bit for me. My refrigerator is now filled with fresh food and not simply diary products waiting for their next mix to become useful. But, I loved those early days of my youth. It’s a reminder of simpler times made even simpler. The little bit of time we saved as a family wasn’t to hop online and watch videos on our own, but to spend time doing things together. We’d watch shows that everyone else was watching and talk about them the next day. And though I realize that we live in the time of the niche and such shared nostalgia is so last century, I have to admit I really do miss those days. Those conversations that came so easily and with an assumptive certainty that we most definitely shared whatever we were discussing in common. Perhaps even eating the same boxed food back then created even more commonality. It was like we all shared a treasured recipe from the same grandmother. And though times keep changing, I’ll never forget those glorious moments, back in those early days of pancakes and blueberries.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
Beagle Dog Looking Up At Pancakes On Table Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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29 thoughts on “Pancakes And Blueberries

  1. Ah, those days of optimism, when science was going to create a better world. Canned food would last forever, frozen food would free our time for more important things and war was a thing of the past. I’m certain the 50’s will be considered a golden age in histories to come, because we certainly thought it was.

  2. Our convenience foods are why America got chubby. We went from farm fresh foods to convenience in a can/box. Granted, they’re still good, but the additives are bad. You made me laugh when you said that your mom knew you were a kid and not a small bear. haha I like how you refer to yourself and Philippe as puppies. Hey, age is just a number, said the girl who is about to turn 51. haha
    Those pancakes look good, though. Cute puppy! The actual puppy. 😁😁 haha haha

  3. I think I’m remembering correctly when I say we had Bisquick pancakes too. I do know for sure that my mom used Bisquick to make fluffy dumplings. I loved those things. We had them with Pork hocks and sourkraut. I adored that meal and would still make it if Joe liked it. He didn’t grow up with the German foods like I did, so he isn’t as fond of them as I am.

  4. Every Sunday after Church, as soon as we hit the front door, all the finery got tossed on the bed and we screamed into the kitchen where, my Dad!, was making perfect Bisquick pancakes, with margarine and supermarket “maple” syrup! We didn’t know better, or care! It was the most delicious meal of the week! (Don’t tell my mom! She slaved over the 20 other meals of the week and made sure we were healthy!) We visited my dad’s home state of Maine in 2000 and I ate my first real blueberry pancake with real maple syrup, and although there is no comparison, my dad’s pancakes remain my favorite!

  5. I bet that puppy at all of them! So cute! Not only do I enjoy your doodles every day, I enjoy your ramblings of the past. It brings back memories I had forgotten about. Pre-packaged food/drink ramblings always take me back to Kool-Aid, which takes me back to living in Wisconsin as a child, which takes me to our house we lived in, to playing school in the basement with my leftover schools supplies at the end of the school year, which reminds me of my box of Prang crayons and watercolors, which loops me back to today……I must go paint! 😛

  6. I have to laugh with the change in perspective. The dog is saying, “What are you doing up there, I am coming up to get you.” And the chick is saying, “uh-oh, here he comes.”

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