Mind Games: Bisquick pancakes, Brown sugar syrup

Mind Games, John Lennon


When I was a kid, my dad made pancakes on Sunday morning. He used Bisquick and two cast iron skillets—no blueberry faces, no chocolate chips, no banana smiles. There would be margarine and brown sugar syrup on the table—no bacon, eggs, or sausage—just flapjacks, as he called them. After breakfast, he took the Sunday Sioux City Journal into the TV room, sat in his Dad chair, and read the paper, sports section first. 

I can’t remember how it began, but he and I played the same game every week. I brought the paper in from the front porch and after reading the comic section, I carefully recreated a neatly folded stack and set it on the kitchen counter. Daddy cleaned up the flapjacks, poured himself a cup of coffee, picked up the paper, went into the TV room, sat down, and said, “I really love opening a newspaper that hasn’t been touched. There’s something so fresh and new about it.” Then he would wink at me. To this day, after I finish a newspaper, I recreate a neatly folded stack and think of him. How is it that I can retain decades-old, fleeting memories, but forget where I parked the car at Costco?

  • During the weather portion of the news, I saw Grand Mounds WA on the map. The Sweetie knew immediately that the “Mima Mounds” are close by, I thought immediately of my friend Beth. Now, where did that connection came from?
  • In the morning when I put on my underpants, I think of Foster who once said, “Stand up when you put your pants on—you’ll improve your balance.”
  • Every time I wear a turtleneck, I think of Katharine Hepburn. Every time I make cioppino, I think of Dinah Shore. 
  • Muth taught me how to fold a fitted sheet with a rhyme about bunnies in the corner. Can’t remember how it goes, but each Saturday morning when I change the sheets, I fold a neat square bundle thinking about bunnies and my mom.
  • Michael Roberts whacked my knuckles with the flat of a chef’s knife when I didn’t hold my fingers correctly. I still flinch whenever I start to chop vegetables. Jeffrey insisted that the cooks tear lettuce not chop it. I still tear lettuce
  • On the rare times I drive in downtown Seattle, I find my way to the freeway using Normie’s old mnemonic device “Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest” (Jefferson, James, Cherry, Columbia, Marion, Madison, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Pike, Pine)
  • Why are Phil Rizzuto, Allie Reynolds, and Ezzard Charles, familiar names to me? My second grade friends, Marzee Carlstein and Gordie Schmeckpepper, show up on demand but I can never remember the name of our neighbor across the street.
Oh well, “Love is the answer.”

Bisquick pancakes

  • 2 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 eggs 

 Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. 

 Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle. 

 Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden. Note: If you like thin pancakes, use 1 1/2 cups milk.

 Brown Sugar Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter 

Combine the sugar and water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat to medium and allow the mixture to boil for 4 minutes. Add the butter and stir until the butter has dissolved. 

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2 Responses to Mind Games: Bisquick pancakes, Brown sugar syrup

  1. Ginny says:

    I attribute my map folding skills to Daddy, among other life skills of course.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this lovely refreshing post….and thanks for the humor as I do forgot many past familiar things daily! This Post has giving me encouragement and hope that the love and humor will sustains us all. And really what else is there that really keeps us happy?

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