"We need to make Apple Pancake," announced my friend Jennie. It was nearly a dozen years ago; I was fresh out of college and knocking around my own kitchen for the first time, doing experimental things like putting cinnamon in pasta sauce and struggling to bake chicken breasts. "Apple pancakes?" I said, forming a pleasant picture of a stack of chunky apple buttermilk pancakes, beaded with syrup. "No," she said. "The apple pancake."
There were not multiple apple pancakes; there was no stack. The apple pancake was something altogether new to me, involving apples, a family story, a cast iron skillet, and the magic of a hot oven — all before breakfast.