“Can I get you something to drink? Coffee, tea, water, beer….” Phil trailed off as he watched Emma inspect his bookshelf.
“You drink tea?” she asked as she looked back at him over her shoulder.
He shrugged. “Sometimes.”
“I’d love some coffee,” Emma answered and pulled out a book with a red spine. “Do you happen to have eggs, milk, flour, and a skillet?” she asked as if inspired by something.
“Uh…. What?” Phil stared at her dumbfounded as he pulled coffee from the freezer.
“Do you have all of those things?” Emma asked again, enunciating each word carefully as if he was a child.
“Yeah. I do. Why?”
“Excellent. How long does your coffee take to make?” Then she noticed he had set out a stove-top percolator. “Oh, at least fifteen minutes, yes?”
“Um. Yes.” She was worrying him a bit with her cavalier manner and random questions.
“Good. Pull out the skillet and let me work.” She seemed all business as she pushed up her sleeves, metaphorically since she was wearing a sleeveless top over tan chinos.
He fixed the coffee, putting it on his gas range to perk while he watched her rummage in his fridge pulling out eggs, milk and butter. Then she was pulling out bowls, a whisk and mixing flour and sugar while beating eggs and milk in another bowl. The butter went into the skillet which in turn ended up in the oven turned up high.
She found his small bottle of vanilla hiding amongst the salt and pepper in his ‘spice’ cabinet. He ignored her muttered comment about ‘men and their lack of proper cooking spices’. He was rather mystified by her mixing.
When everything was combined, she yanked the skillet out of the oven and poured the batter into the pan, popped it back into the oven and set a timer.
“That’ll be ready in no time. Do you have jam or powdered sugar?” at his negative shake she frowned. “Maple syrup?”
“That’ll do.” She rinsed everything then wandered back to his bookshelves.
She was rather a conundrum in his mind. She worked outside most of her day in dirt and soil, but she wore diamond drop earrings.
“Just rhinestones,” she corrected.
She wore sturdy pants and a chambray sleeveless top; riding boots. But he caught a hint of lace hiding beneath the shirt. Why would someone getting dirty outside wear lacy lingerie underneath?
She was prim and proper with her attitude and spoke without cursing, though she did let a swear word out as she commented about something she hated. She read naughty books but liked to write clean and elegant poetry. She admired his Varga paintings, and liked some of his more ‘risque’ books, but she looked like she stepped out of a Norman Rockwell. Or something that would be considered ladylike. A study in contradiction.
She was gleeful when the timer rang and she opened the door to the oven, shielding the contents from him. Then he was utterly surprised at the giant puffed up pastry, or whatever she had made, that was practically escaping from the pan.
“It’s a Dutch pancake,” she answered his minor shock. She directed him to get plates and forks while she cut the pastry and the whole thing collapsed. The doused their halves of the pancake with the fake syrup in his cupboard and carried their plates and cups of coffee out to the deck, sitting in the mid-afternoon sun overlooking the mountain lake.
His first mouthful was pure decadence. Not too rich or sweet, but oh so satisfying. He caught her grin as she bit into a dainty bite of hers.
“I moaned, didn’t I?” he asked.
She giggled. “You did, but I’m glad you like it. It’s my specialty.”
“Well you do a damn fine job of it.”
“I may have to keep you around,” he said as he devoured his piece.
“I may let you,” she teased.
The thing was, he wasn’t teasing……………
Ah, flash fiction…. sometimes it comes out perfectly. This was inspired by a recent thought and my new love of Dutch pancakes that I make almost daily for my family. There is something so magical about eggs, milk, flour, sugar and butter that puff up to something so ooey gooey yumminess. For those interested, I highly recommend King Arthur Flour’s recipe but up the sugar. I don’t use lemon, but it’s a personal thing. I really suggest you try it.
Or try this one that I think might be better.
As of 4/26/15, I have modified the recipe using both of the links I shared and so, play around with it. You want it to climb and not sink, like my image above. So much goodness in such a simple thing.(I should add, I do gluten free, so even better)