Daniel was the cook. I was the watcher. Daniel would cook and I would watch.
Daniel was the cook and he liked to bake too and he cooked two things on Saturday mornings before cartoons - pancakes or waffles. Those were the choices. Panckakes were cooked on the griddle topped with butter and syrup Vermont maple syrup kept in the fridge so it had to be heated in the microwave before you put it on the pancake.
Footnote: mom didn’t know how to work a microwave when we first got it and put hamburgers in there to cook but for too long, for the length you would in the oven; she cooked them for 10 minutes in the microwave, and well, that’s too long.
So that was pancakes. Waffles were different, heart shaped waffle iron, syrup and butter on top. We reminded ourselves that this is how they made the first Nike shoes.
Daniel was just learning how to read these sorts of things; measurements and cups when he started cooking on saturday morning so that mom and dad didn’t have to get up so early for cartoons, and so mom drew all the bowls and cups and spoons on the recipe so he’d know which was which. This was sacred – an index card kept in a wooden box of index cards with old family recipes, wisdom passed down and all that. Later, though, mom said she didn’t have any recipes from her mom and the box of index cards were just a few things she had collected over the years, nothing special she said. Nothing special.
The recipe: First you mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, in big red bowl. The white bowl was smaller and that’s where you mixed the wet ingredients, and then together with a whisk. The batter dripped off the whisk and was bitter to the taste. Seemed like it would taste like cookie batter but didn’t.
And I never learned how to cook these various things that he went on to cook; the famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, key-lime pie, the chocolate cake, the scones, the chocolate tort, biscotti.
I was the watcher. Daniel would cook and I would watch.