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.
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!