A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

The Pancake Problem

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

It was a warm, sunny evening. The temperature was probably in the 70s. This day came after a day of endless rain and before a day of frigid temperatures. In Georgia, frigid temperatures means it dropped to the low 60s.

My husband spent this warm, gorgeous day out in the yard – planting flowers and mowing the lawn. I was inside with the kids and wanted to do something fun for dinner. So, I pulled out the griddle and announced that I was going to make chocolate chip pancakes for dinner.

The kids were super-excited to hear that.



Here’s the thing about the griddle, Ellen. This was my first time using it. Normally my husband is the one who uses the griddle. I didn’t grow up with griddles. I grew up with nonstick frying pans. This was back in the day when television sets didn’t have remote controls so my parents had my sister and I change the channel and adjust the volume. It was very traumatizing. We didn’t have Alexas or tablets that could adjust the volume. We had to walk across the room and manually turn the knobs. Also, cell phones didn’t exist. If we were out in public and needed to talk to someone we had to find a payphone. Do you remember payphones?




The point I’m trying to make is that, for me, the griddle was a fancy piece of equipment. When my husband first showed it to me my reaction was probably the same reaction my parents had when social media first became a hot topic.


I would’ve prefered using a nonstick frying pan but we didn’t own one. So out came the griddle. I plugged it in and then looked at the temperature gauge. Unsure of what temperature to use, I chose 350° because that seems to be the universal cooking temperature.

I mixed the batter and then used a small measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the griddle.

Along came the almost 7-year-old. “What are you doing?”

“Making pancakes.”

“Why are you using that?” he asked, pointing to the measuring cup.

“I’m using it to scoop the batter out and pour it onto the griddle.”

“That’s not the way dad does it.”

“Well, I’m making them a little different.”

I sat and waited for the pancakes on the griddle to bubble. When then did, I attempted to flip them. They didn’t flip. They stuck to the griddle and my persistance in trying to turn them made a huge mess. 

“Should we get dad?” my son asked.

“No. It’s fine, baby. I’ll figure it out.”

I unplugged the griddle, washed it down with a wet cloth, and tried again. This time I turned down the temperature of the griddle, assuming that it was set too high. Once again, I waited for the pancakes to bubble. I was about to try to flip one of them when my son stopped me.

“No wait. You have to tap it first.”

“Tap what?”

“The griddle. You have to tap it with that thing,” he said, pointing to the spatula.

As he said that I remembered seeing my husband tap the griddle with the end of the spatula right before he flipped them. Maybe that was the secret. Maybe the griddle needed a tap, signalling that it was time to release the pancake so it could be flipped. I tapped the griddle and then tried flipping the pancakes. They stuck to the griddle. Again. And once again, I unplugged it and cleaned it off.

“Maybe I should get Dad,” my son said. “Where is he?”

“He’s outside, baby.”

“Okay. Alexa!”



“Drop in on garage.”

“Alexa! Stop.” I turned to my son. “Daddy’s not in the garage. He’s in the yard. And we don’t need Daddy. Mommy can figure this out.”

As it turned out, I wasn’t letting the pancakes cook long enough before flipping them. I feel really stupid admitting any of this. But as long as I’m being honest, this is probably the first time in over ten years that I’ve made pancakes. Since I’ve been with my husband, pancakes have always been his jurisdiction.

Three times was the charm. I was able to flip the third batch of pancakes.

My son looked at the pancakes. “Mom. The pancakes aren’t dark brown like Dad’s.”

Just then, my husband walked into the kitchen.

“Dad!” My son ran over to him, grabbed his hand, pulling him toward the griddle. “Can you show Mom how to make pancakes, please?”



Despite what my son thought, I successfully made pancakes for the first time in many years. But next time I want to make the kids pancakes, I think I’ll take them to I-Hop.


A. Marie

Thanks for shopping Snark, Sass, & Sarcasm! I’ll see you next time.

Leave a Reply

A. Marie Smith

Your short bio telling the story of why you are a writer and the things that you think are important.