Anyway, there is one thing that has become a tradition in my life, and that is what I eat on the morning of December 25: blueberry buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, sausage, eggs, and orange juice.
I know that for a lot of people, this day is some sort of holiday celebrating the birth of some dude, but for me, it’s the anniversary of the day I first arrived in the United States. I’m maybe one of the least sentimental people I know, and yet, I have this same breakfast on this same day every single year.
When I was a kid, I would wake up to the smell of bacon cooking and walk into the kitchen rubbing sleep boogers from my eyes to see my dad flipping pancakes on a big electric griddle. The blueberries were always ones we had hand-picked ourselves over the summer, and the maple syrup was always local – either from a neighbor’s farm, or even a few times, syrup my dad had made himself from sap he had collected the previous spring. The elderly Finnish couple who lived across the street who were like my grandparents would come over and bring sausage. I’d pick out the pancakes with the most blueberries to put on my plate and my mom would try to persuade me to eat some eggs and I would try to persuade her to let me eat more sausage instead. Although we often had pancakes on Saturdays when I was growing up, this breakfast, this particular breakfast on the 25th, which was always the same and actually quite ordinary, was the most special and cherished breakfast of the year. No one ever suggested that we have something different, and even when my dad went through a prolonged experimentation phase with his pancakes (let me tell you that English green pea pancakes are kind of gross), even then he didn’t deviate from the standard menu.
These days, the pancakes aren’t exactly the same as the ones my dad used to make. Sparklepants adds a bit of lemon zest to the pancake batter and whips the egg whites, and I might have some champagne in my orange juice, but essentially it’s still the same, often including maple syrup from my hometown.