Blake’s school holds an annual “Multi-Cultural Feast” just before they break for Thanksgiving each year. The lucky students get the entire week of Thanksgiving off and end their week just before the break with a day of frolicking and feasting. Now, if we could just get Michael’s school to do the same!
The 9th grade chose the theme: “Organic and Local” for their offerings and Blake volunteered to bring potato pancakes. What that means is that I get to stand in front of a hot pan of oil and make lots and lots of the little tidbits – all while making them organic, local or a combination of both. Mine were the combination, with the “local” part being that the eggs in the recipe came from Grandma’s chickens just a few miles away (yes, my mom raises chickens – and ducks and geese, but perhaps I’ll write about that some other time).
Potato pancakes take a lot of time to make. I decided to make them ahead of time and freeze them until the day of the feast. For those who have never made them, making potato pancakes is no small undertaking. There are onions to be minced, potatoes to be grated and then it takes lots and lots of time to fry up the pancakes in small, crispy batches. Thank goodness for food processors! My grandmother grated her potatoes by hand.
I figured that, since Blake roped me into making these, I would corral him and have him help with the preparation. He did a pretty nice job of grating all the potatoes and mincing the onions. I think he had a wonderful time mixing up all the ingredients and sinking his hands into it all. Just as I went to begin cooking them up, Blake did a double take.
“I didn’t know you were going to cook them in that pan,” he said.
“Yes, this is the pan I always use for potato pancakes.”
I heard him suck his breath in and watched his eyes grow wide. I knew we were having an OCD moment. I said nothing and began frying. As the first batch came out of the pan, I offered Blake a taste.
“No thanks,” he answered. I wondered if my frying pan was “contaminated.”
“Wouldn’t you like to taste them before the feast to make sure that they taste good?” I offered.
“Actually, I wasn’t planning to eat at the multi-cultural feast,” he told me.
As I was finishing up the frying, Blake had wandered elsewhere in the house.
“You know,” I told my husband, “it’s a little sad to know that your child won’t even be eating the food he’s taking to this feast. Sad that he won’t be eating at all.”
My husband nodded as he tried to sneak another pancake.
But Blake pulled a surprise this evening. We ate dinner just as the potato pancakes were finishing. Blake came to the table with two on his plate. A minute later, he was back with two more. I had to ask him to stop eating them because they are for school, but inside I was smiling. I don’t know if he fought off some OCD demon, or if the pancakes simply didn’t defy any OCD rules. Either way, it was nice to see him eat something that I’d made with lots of love and heart.