A One and Three Twofer

Slow Joe Crow wanted to join us today

It’s One-Liner Wednesday, the series brought to us by Linda G. Hill, and many of you will be surprised by how close to one line I am going to come. That’s because I am joined today by Teagan R. Geneviene who will soon release her 1920’s novel. If you’re not familiar with Teagan and her three-things stories, you’re in for a treat. If you are familiar with Teagan’s work, you know exactly what kind of treat you’re in for.

My one-liner is all about a treat too. A few weeks ago, when I woke up in Florida with the task making, changing and cancelling flights on a day the airlines were struggling with a blizzard in the Northeast, I wasn’t eager to get out of bed. I talked myself into action with the following thought:

When you know you’re going to have a bad day, make it better by starting with pancakes.”

Teagan told me that Pip could have some fun with pancakes, so let me get out of the way (after a few pictures for the foodies).

Now, while I finish my breakfast, please enjoy Teagan’s story. Try to imagine my best Ed McMahon voice, as I say:

Heeeeeer’s Teagan!


Hi, everyone! I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. A big thank you to Dan, for agreeing to collaborate on a post with me. I told him to pick any of his themes because they’re all terrific. As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. I’m delighted to be here at No Facilities.

This vignette is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.) Pip’s father and grandmother decided to “settle her down” by having her live with Granny for awhile. That’s where this tidbit picks up. Also, as you guessed, the prompt Dan gave me for this tale was pancakes. I hope you enjoy it.

Pip and Pancakes

1925 La Vie Parisienne woman pancake cooking
La Vie Parisienne, February 1925

Horsefeathers! I think I sprained my wrist,” I complained as the iron skillet plopped back onto the stove with a loud clang.

Outside a crow made a cawing sound that might as well have been the bird’s laughter.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, you will mind your language while you’re in my kitchen,” Granny Phanny warned me.

My grandmother hefted the heavy skillet with a quick motion. A perfectly round pancake sailed high into the air. It landed majestically, golden side up, in the pan. I heard the crow again. If it had a human voice, I was sure it would be saying “Ha! Let’s see you do that.”

Granny must have biceps made of steel under her shirtsleeves. She handled that heavy skillet like it weighed nothing.

The clear blue sky beyond the kitchen window distracted me. I imagined being back in Florida with my friends, watching the boats on Santa Rosa Sound. However, I was in Granny’s kitchen in Savannah, Georgia. Pops had not appreciated the fact that I was a modern woman, a flapper. It was an appalling sentence to be given, and it pos-i-lutely did not fit my transgression. Why it was just a little yachting adventure. Nonetheless, Pops and Granny contrived for me to stay with her and learn to cook!

Pillsbury Home Journal Pancake flour ad September 1920
Pillsbury ad, Home Journal, September 1920

Of course the crow chose that moment to caw some more. It really did seem to be laughing at my predicament. Or at least at the idea of me cooking. I was ready to stick my tongue out at the bird.

Honestly, I only looked away for a moment. Maybe it was my sigh that told Granny my attention had wandered. Her lips curled in, which meant she was impatient. I grimaced, knowing I wouldn’t get any sympathy there. However, Granny gave a sigh of her own, and moved the skillet away from the burner.

“Pip, do you already miss your friends? You’ve just gotten here. This was supposed to be something fun for us to do together,” my grandmother told me.

I blinked in surprise. Granny wanted to do something fun? Applesauce! If I had known it was meant to be fun, I might have put some effort into enjoying it. I cringed when I realized I had said as much out loud.

Granny Phanny gave a snort. “Maybe I’m not as old as I thought, because that actually made sense to me.”

“In that case, let me try again,” I told her with a grin.

I tried to imitate Granny’s motion and give the pancake a flip. It only came halfway out of the pan and landed in a folded messy lump. My grandmother gingerly picked up the half-cooked goo and set it to rights. She told me to try again and give it some body English.

A tight-lipped grimace settled on my face as I picked up the iron skillet. I heaved it just so. The sloppy remains of the pancake lifted into the air. It sailed up and flipped, and then flew even higher. It made a wet thwack when it hit the ceiling… and there it stayed.

With a gulp, I looked at Granny, wondering how mad she would be. Her expression was blank as she stared upward. She cast an evaluative gaze on me, making me wonder if she thought I’d done it on purpose.

“Pip… Well, that was right impressive,” she said, with the riotous squawking of the crow in the background.

Bye Bye Black Bird sheet music 1920s

Hurriedly I stirred the batter and poured a puddle of it into the skillet. I didn’t want to give her time to consider in what way a pancake on the previously spotless kitchen ceiling was impressive.

In my haste I had the heat too high, and the hotcake began to smoke. Granny moved toward the window. She told me to just get the spatula and turn it before it burned. I was more than simply nervous by then. I don’t know what possessed me, but I tried to do a combination, turn and toss, with the spatula in one hand and the skillet in the other.

Just then Granny shrieked. The crow cawed even louder. I whirled around. The bird was right outside the window.

My onehanded grip on the iron skillet was too loose. When I moved so suddenly, the skillet flew from my fingers. The shining black pan could have been the cousin to the cawing crow, the way it soared across the room.

I gazed in amazement at the flying frying pan. It spun as it sailed cleanly through the open window. The skillet crashed into the lilac bush just outside.

The crow’s clamorous cawing abruptly choked. I might have chuckled to have gotten the last word on the bird, even if by accident. However, the sound of Granny’s scream was still in my ears, so I didn’t savor that victory.

I spun back toward Granny Phanny to see what was wrong. She stood stock still. Her hands were in fists at her side. My magnificently tossed pancake no longer littered the ceiling. It draped and dripped over Granny’s forehead.

What’s that they say about the better part of valor? On pretext of retrieving the skillet, I ran from the kitchen. The crow alighted on the lilac bush and looked at me accusingly. It fluttered to the windowsill.

“You won’t go in there if you know what’s good for you,” I told the bird.

Granny appeared on the porch, picking batter from her hair. She gave me a look that I couldn’t define. The crow made a brazen cackle. After a moment Granny burst out laughing.

“Pip, go inside and let’s get cleaned up. You haven’t been to the Georgian Tea Room. I’ll treat us to brunch there. If we stay here we might be eating crow — literally,” she said with a meaningful glare at the bird.

With a last disgruntled caw, the crow flapped away.

Georgian Tea Room in The Olde Pink House 1929
The Georgian Tea Room in the Olde Pink House; Savannah, GA circa 1929

***

The end.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

98 thoughts on “A One and Three Twofer

Add yours

    1. Peanut butter toast? That’s a common weekend breakfast for me. You should know that Maddie gets the last bite – of each piece – of each slice. And, her bite must include peanut butter and, for me, some of the underlying butter layer.

      The pancakes did make that day go a lot easier.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not sure jam would be a good idea. Maddie has a habit of wiping her face on your leg if she gets something gooey on it. But, it does sound pretty good. My favorite is in the summer when I have butter, peanut butter and a slice of fresh tomato. Someone left that as a comment for me once, and told me not to make fun of it until I tried it. I tried it, and it is surprisingly good.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. We enjoy pancakes sometimes, too, Dan, preferably with blueberries in them. I can’t, however, flip them like Granny, even though my pan is much lighter. I do have four in at a time, though, which would make it more difficult even for Granny, methinks.

    Thanks for posting Teagan’s story with your post. I got two-for-the-price of one and would have laughed out loud if I weren’t up early and my husband still sound asleep. I doubt it would wake him, but you never now. :-)

    Happy over-the-hump day!

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Janet. I haven’t made pancakes for a long time, but I wasn’t much of a flipper – or a flapper, for that matter. By the way, I prefer your “over-the-hump day” to “hump day.” It makes it seem likes it’s already behind me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s all relative Dan. Mental health directly affects our physical health. We indulged in homemade waffles this weekend. Hubby wanted them so I bought a small waffle iron. Of course mine had walnuts and chocolate chips. 👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum on chocolate and even fruit in our pancakes. He is a purist, sometimes wanting only butter. Me, I have to ration my syrup and eat them qucickly before it soaks in and I need more. Lol. Good thing it is a quarterly treat around here. Truth is I made two of “my” kind and had one for breakfast. The other I saved for later dessert with ice cream on top! 🙊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan, thanks so very much for letting me visit and working on this collaboration with me. Your photo of the crow is brilliant. For the story, the crow was actually an after thought. I thought it needed a bit of glue, so to speak. Next thing I knew, there was a crow sticking his beak into things. Your pancake philosophy sure works for me! Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was fun, Teagan and I am happy we were able to get it to work. When I first offered a one-liner about pancakes, I was preparing myself for you to say “pancakes, I don’t think so…” I really like the way this turned out. I’m glad you added the crow to the story. That photo was one I had used before, I just cropped it a little differently.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, they’re only sugar free if you leave out things like chocolate chips. I’m pretty sure that when I eat pancakes, it’s not entirely healthy. But they sure are good. I think Teagan did a great job!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this Dan & Teagan pancake collaboration. Not one to eat pancakes anytime, it’s a PB&J lunch for me!! I do agree toast with butter & PB is so good! Always look forward to your writing,Teagan! Think Pip had a surprise super granny, even though a disasterous pancake event, with a crow observer. Dan, your clever posts make me smile. Plus I learn about tech things, and buildings in some. Happy Wednesday! 💛🎶💛 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Christine. Working with Teagan was fun. I never would have guessed that I’d be collaborating over pancakes, but they are a favorite of mine. I’m just luck Pip had such a good story to tell.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Christine, I agree completely — Dan’s posts are entertaining and often educational. I love his woodworking posts (except for the cut fingers stuff… o_O )
      Thank you for your encouraging words about the stories. I have nearly as much fun writing about Granny Phanny as I do with Pip. Huge hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Since I’ve been eating waffles for breakfast lately, without knowing if it would be a good or bad day, or so-so, I want to have time to actually read it – which means this coming weekend, so I’ll be back:)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a fun collaboration :-) Blueberry pancakes are Tornado Boy’s mainstay when he stays with Grammy and Grampy. I can’t lift those darn cast iron skillets either – forget flipping them in the air! Now I’m hungry! :-)

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Teagan, your Pip is a vibrant character who understandably feels stuck but somehow, I believe, Granny will loosen up and make their summer a wild ride! ;)
    Dan, strawberries and banana slices are super additions to pancakes. I always include real butter, maple syrup and I actually love pecans sprinkled to add protein. I love dipping bacon in syrup. . . Mmm-m!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, you had me hungry and salivating!
        At Cracker Barrel restaurants, they often have people order a single pecan pancake, add real butter and only have little glass individual bottles of real maple syrup, Dan. (That’s where I made the money to pay for most of my Master’s degree.) My Dad introduced me to pecan waffles on a father-daughter trip to Waffle House. I was thrilled, as everyone likes one on one’s with parents. :)

        Liked by 1 person

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