My burnt pancake

By Kai Meinke. 11 October 2023, 11:00AM

 "We must go on because we can’t go back" Robert Louis Stevenson

I woke up on a warm Saturday morning, excited for the three-day weekend ahead of me. The sun was beaming on the marble floor and I was prepared for the weekend. I woke up fairly early that day, so I had to wait for the rest of my family to wake up. Once my brother, father and mother were awake, we conducted a vote and selected pancakes for our Saturday breakfast. I made my way to the kitchen and then tragedy struck when I realized my brother forgot to do the dishes the day before, so I was left to dig for the frying pan I had to use for the pancakes. I washed the frying pan, and then let it dry for a little bit.

I realized I forgot to do the main step which was making the pancake batter. I got out a bowl and mixed flour, milk, eggs, baking powder and a couple of other things to create the pancake batter. The batter was prepared and the pan was hot. So I applied spray oil and ladled the batter into the pan. I waited for a couple of minutes for the cooking batter to bubble at the top and then I got my spatula to flip the pancake. I was in the moment. I was ready to see the perfectly golden brown colour of a pancake. I slid the spatula underneath, expecting a perfect pancake but then disaster struck.

I flipped the pancake over to reveal a round, charcoal-black colour in the pan that blended into the pan itself. I was so excited and was instantly seated by my own foolish mistake of turning up the stove’s heat way too high. Tears were rolling down my cheeks at the thought of an un-edible pancake. I was defeated, thinking there was nothing to do and nowhere to go from this. I thought the pancake had no chance of ever going into a living species’ mouth; besides the trash bin’s one. I was in absolute shambles until I realised one thing that could work and help bring the un-edible pancake back to life. Dogs.

I remembered that I had three small dogs roaming around my home, waiting for their daily meal. Normally, the meal wouldn’t come until about 3 pm, but they were in for an unexpected surprise. I got out a cutting board, cut the burnt pancake into thirds and put it into my dog’s three bowls. I went outside to see the dogs already expecting me and waiting for me to make foolish mistakes, and then feast early in the day. I put down the three bowls and the fluffy creatures devoured the pancake within seconds. Now I was relieved that my mistake would not go to waste, I could think of a solution. 

My solution was to turn the stove heat much lower, to prevent further burning, and then constantly check under the pancake for further browning until it was perfect. I commenced with that plan starting by ladling more batter into the pan and then checking for perfect colouration, and it worked out perfectly. Out came a perfectly golden brown pancake. My plan was a complete success and I was proud not to have a black pancake. Not racist. I continued doing this and made about five perfect pancakes in a row,

The quote I chose was, We must go on because we can’t go back”. The reason I chose this quote is because it related closely to my story about me foolishly burning a pancake, thinking of solutions and moving on with my life instead of sticking with one problem and not moving away from it. 

• Kai Meinke is a Year 8 student at the Vaiala Beach School. This literary piece earned her 2nd place in the Year 8 English Category of the Samoa Observer Short Story competition. 

By Kai Meinke. 11 October 2023, 11:00AM
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