We rarely make breakfasts — it’s usually oatmeal, since that’s what we have time (and patience) for. But this morning, we decided to make pancakes.
I remembered one of my favorite cookbooks has a pancake recipe, so I pulled it out and whipped it up.
The cookbook is one that I got in Belize, on either my second or third trip. Coming from an American missionary family, it’s a mix of American and Belizean recipes — and they’re wonderful.
Whisking the ingredients together this morning I couldn’t help but let my mind wander back. Every morning while I was living there I’d go into the kitchen and help with breakfast. Miss Blanca and Kelly would be starting to put on their aprons and pull out pots and pan.
The menu rotated, and was dependent on how many mouths there were to feed. When teams were there the recipes were multiplied many times; cooking would start early so the limited bakeware could be used two, three, four times.
Conversation was always pleasant, and the music would be going for the whole base to hear. Someone would get the coffee going, and we’d take turns adding sweetened condensed milk as creamer. We’d get dishes washed and dried as food was baking, and the day’s plan for food and cleaning would be laid out.
Some mornings we’d get beans going on the stove while the muffins or fryjacks baked. We’d make sure each table had enough napkins and set out whatever condiments we’d need for breakfast.
When the crowd — team or no team, it was a crowd — came for breakfast, we’d watch as our slaved-over meal was devoured in less than ten minutes. But bellies were full, and everyone was off to face the day.
I snapped back to my own current reality, taking pancakes off the pan and pouring on more batter. I miss those mornings in the kitchen, learning from Miss Blanca and Kelly and experiencing a different way of life.
I miss cooking for a minimum of ten every day, starting early and ending after everyone had left. I miss learning from natives and laughing with them as I made mistake after mistake. I miss the service of providing meals for so many people day in and day out.
For now, I get to serve two. I am blessed to serve them breakfast, lunch, and dinner and watch as they devour the food in a blink. In time our family will grow and maybe someday I’ll be able to serve 10+ again — but right now, I’m thankful for the privilege of serving my two guys.
I’m even able to serve them Belizean pancakes for breakfast. :)