Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pancakes for dinner...

When I was a little girl, every so often my mom would serve us breakfast for dinner.  Sometimes it was eggs, grits and bacon.  Sometimes it was blintzes with ricotta cheese and blueberries.  What was on the menu didn't matter as much as the idea.  It was fun and a change from the normal routine. So tonight, when Max asked for Pancakes I was happy to oblige...

I made the pancake mix.  Pulled out the ridiculously expensive, but mediocre maple syrup I bought in Paris (maple syrup is not available in Marrakech).  Heated up the pan and started cooking the pancakes.  After just two pancakes were finished, I heard the sound.  That little hiss signifying that the gas is going out. Oh no, please not now.  Then poof! The flame was gone...

Gas stoves work a bit different here then they do in most places.  Here, portable gas tanks are hooked up to our stoves, so when the tank is empty, it must be replaced.  Replacing the tank is no quick exercise. The whole process normally takes an hour or two. First, the assistance of a guardian is enlisted. The guardian will then come to the kitchen to unhook the tank, carry it outside to his motorbike where he balances it on the top of his handlebars and goes zooming off in search of a replacement.  The hanout across the street seems to carry them, but based on the hour or so the guardian is normally gone, he must not be purchasing locally.  A knock at the door signifies the return of a full tank.  The guardian will hook it up, I pay him 40 dirhams (about 4 euros) and we are good to go for another 2 or 3 months.

The empty tank under our stove
It was already 7:00PM.  A new tank to finish the pancakes was not going to arrive until well after the boys should be in bed asleep.  Going next door to finish the pancakes didn't seem reasonable.  Dreading the disappointment, I did the best I could.  I took out two plates, put one pancake on each, sliced some nectarines, opened yogurts, poured milk, removed the cap off the maple syrup, set the table and hoped for the best as I called the boys to dinner. 

The boys cheered in joy when they saw the table and sat down.  Maple syrup was enthusiastically poured and pancakes devoured.  Now the moment I feared... they asked for more.  I explained the situation, offered seconds of nectarines and held my breath.  To my great surprise, there was no melt down, no fit, just a thank you when the second helpings came to the table.
Tonight the boys reminded me... sometimes, just a little bit is all you need. 


  1. You've got good kids! I know the kind of gas crisis you describe, having dealt with the same bottle situation in other countries. It's all part of the grand adventure of expat life. You learn to be flexible.

    Thanks for the great comment on my blog. We certainly think the same way ;)

  2. Thank you Miss Footloose, they are good kids :) It is wonderful to experience this all with them. It makes it so much more meaningful and I believe I learn more through them.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  3. wonderful designs