When I think of breakfast, I think of tacos. But I recognize that pancakes are a staple of any hearty breakfast. Unfortunately, most people haven't been taught the proper way to set up pancakes for optimal enjoyment. Please allow me to explain.
1. The middle of the pancake is usually the fluffiest, thickest, and most delicious part.
2. Butter is the best condiment for a pancake, but it would be socially unacceptable to roll up a pancake and dip it in a bowl of melted butter. But apparently it's OK to drown them in sugary maple tree sap, which doesn't make much sense. So ideally, one should put as much butter on a pancake as is socially acceptable.
3. In most cases (especially at a diner), one is not likely to eat the entire stack of pancakes, because it will come with eggs, bacon, sausage, and home fries. If you aren't eating all of this for breakfast, you're probably dying of malnutrition. You'll know it's true, because you're probably hungry right now. If you aren't going to eat the whole thing, why would you start with the dried up thin edge?
So I've developed a procedure for preparing pancakes properly. Follow along, and live the semi-sophisticated life.
First, you'll want to order a full breakfast. Try to hit all the food groups, including meat, grains, potatoes, egg, cheese, and Diet Coke. Don't forget the pancakes, obviously. And you probably don't need to bother with blueberries, strawberries, or even worse- mixed berries! What is this, France in the 50's? Please. Just bring me buttermilk pancakes and save the berries for baby food.
Ok. The pancakes have arrived. Grab that butter and get to work. Divide all the butter you have (ALL the butter. ALL of it.) equally for each pancake. Don't be afraid to ask for more. Put a blob of butter on the bottom pancake first. Don't spread it around, just stick it in the middle and put the next pancake right on top.
Continue putting butter on each pancake. Don't make it fancy. Just get it in there quick, while the pancakes are still hot.
Now let that sit. The heat from the pancakes will melt the butter. While you wait, eat the rest of the breakfast.
Normally, I live on ketchup. But I don't put ketchup on my eggs. Sometimes, I will dip a home fry in it, but it would be a travesty to drown these beautiful eggs in ketchup. Moderation, folks! Once you've finished the eggs, meat, potatoes, and more meat, it's time to get back to the pancakes.
It's OK if the butter's not completely melted. Don't hesitate. Use your fork to perforate a circle through the entire stack, just around the butter blob. Poke straight down and move the fork in an up-and-down motion while going in a circle. I like to imagine I'm ice fishing, and the fork is the saw cutting a hole through to the water.
This part is called "The Center of the Universe." It's an edible sponge soaked in melted butter. It's the most delicious thing you will ever eat before noon. Leave the syrup out of it. This moment is all about you and the butter. Savor it.
If you ate the middle and left the rest, I wouldn't blame you one bit. Pancakes are kind of like Oreo Cookies. You may only want the middle, but you have to buy the whole thing. People may look at you strangely if they catch you eating the middle and throwing the rest out, but they're probably just jealous. Think about this: If we eat a fish, don't we usually discard the head and tail? If we eat chicken, don't we get rid of the head and feet? Don't be ashamed. Eat the middle and throw the rest out. However, if you decide you still want to eat the pancake, you're already set up for the most efficient syrup delivery method. Fill the crater you've created all the way to the top with syrup. Resist the urge to pour it all over. The key here is to keep everything neat. Pour the syrup in all the way to the top and then exercise a little restraint.
Now you can use the fork to break parts off the middle of the pancake ring (which is now soaking up the syrup like a sponge), sweep them through the syrup pool, and deliver them straight to your yawning maw. Pancakes sometimes form a sort of skin over the flat surfaces, which resist the syrup and send it off to the edges of the plate. By digging this hole in the middle, you're allowing the syrup to access the more absorbent (and fluffier) middle pancake section. Eat from the middle toward the edges until you are full enough to feel ill.
After the first time, you may never go back to the old inefficient ways of our ancestors.
Don't forget to finish your Diet Coke, and leave a big tip.