There are pancakes everywhere.
Imagine Privet Drive, circa 1990s. Vernon Dursley is purple with anger, but not for the sake of a million letters pouring into his Surrey home. No, no. This time it’s pancakes. Pancakes everywhere. We can probably assume Harry Potter has been denied that treat for yet another pancake day, despite having made 40 for Dudley. Hagrid would have heard, of course, and reported to Dumbledore. We can guess the joke from there.
Separately from this scene, there are stacks of pancakes in every home across the world. American style made with buttermilk, delicate crepes, kaiserschmarrn, little pikelets. Uttapam, okonomiyaki, apam balik, hotcakes, olady, Scottish pancakes, English lemon and sugar.
Each are folded or cut, a multitude of fillings added according to the eater’s favourite tastes.
There is a kg tub of Nutella on an ugly dark green, plastic counter. An overly chocolaty knife pokes from the top. It had fallen in a minute before and been scooped out by seven year old Isabella. Scooped in the most literal sense. While the knife is overly chocolaty, Isabella’s hand is another level entirely. She has used her small hand as a spoon. Thick droops of chocolaty spread extend in desperation towards the floor, preferring the prospect of the cold wood floor to Isabella’s stomach.
At a pancake stall, some very attractive twins cook crepes in front of buyers. The flat circles are so hot the twins must work quickly. They ask each customer: “What’s your filling of choice?” Creamy white chocolate, with sour, fresh raspberries adding a crunch of juicy seeds? Or maple syrup? Add a splodge of white cream, light and airy against the thick syrup? Ahh, the chocolate orange, a popular choice. With blonde hair just long enough to flop slightly as they bend forwards, they use their muscular arms to stir the pancake mixture, whisking the ingredients together. The ladle sinks deep into the bowl and lifts the liquid mixture out, expertly dropping it onto the hot circle. They are dexterous in spreading the pancake puddles into thin, deliciously crispy, yet soft crepes. Five segments of Terry’s chocolate orange are placed around the edge once the crepe has been quartered. Further folding it into a triangle and pressing down to fully melt the chocolate, the crepe is finally slipped into a flat cone.
The first reaction: Holy crap, yum.
The second: How do I eat this!?