Swedish pancakes are my soul food.
They remind me of warm Sunday mornings, gathered around the dining room table. Fighting over the biggest corner piece with my dad and brother, pouring maple syrup (the fake kind) over the smooth buttery goodness.
They remind me of quiet Saturday mornings, creeping into my grandparents' kitchen where the table is already prepared with grapefruit halves, orange juice, and coffee. Of vitamin holders and newspapers and calm "how did you sleep"s. Of mornings preceded by Rummikub and card games, of quietly reading Reader's Digest in a dimly lit room, serenaded by something on the record player. Always quiet, calm, peaceful. Of the pink room that was once lime green and orange. Of creaks on the stairs and the comfortable change of spending the night across town, up in the hills.
Of the months I spent in Spain, asking my Swedish friends if they loved Swedish pancakes. Of laughter, as they informed me that those were, in fact, German Oven Pancakes, but that they would still make them for me. Of a smattering of English, Spanish, Swedish, German, Basque... And we ate and walked endless miles and got lost and always, always followed the river home to the ocean.
I made some soul food this morning, and my husband understands only a few of the memories that come over me when I eat Swedish pancakes. But he cooks the bacon for me, touching the raw meat that I refuse to, and enjoys the end result with only the enthusiasm of someone who does not normally eat breakfast, but loves his wife and her crazy idea of soul food.