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The Perfect Batch of Pancakes

I believe in the Sherwood Diner. I believe in the perfect silver-dollar, chocolate-chip pancakes soaked in syrup and placed before me by Sally, my favorite waitress. I believe that this establishment lies beneath the foundation of our small community and provides a solid bedrock of Greek cuisine that all Westporters can fall back on. In the sleepiness of a Sunday morning, I believe that the members of our neighborhood society can unite under the expertly burnt hash browns and the skillfully scrambled eggs.
Located only several minutes from most homes, “The Diner” has served as the perfect meeting place, luncheon spot, and social hall. Business deals are handled over egg-white omelets, relationships bloom as the fluorescent light bulbs dazzle inside their faux-stained glass overhangs. Life whooshes by as fast as the Range Rovers on the Post Road out front, but inside the diner life is tranquil, easy, and as sweet as a chocolate milkshake. My daily grind of school and field hockey practice is hectic and exhausting, yet that looming essay is always put off for dinner at my favorite twenty-four hour joint.
I still have scraps of paper placemats from the diner, its building sketched on the front barely visible beneath my own purple scribbles. The corners are soaked in grease stains from my syrup-drenched French toast, a favorite of the past. The day I brought that placemat home, my family had decided to introduce my four month old brother to the diner. As an eight year old, I found it necessary that he be inducted into our weekly diner tradition. While our meals arrived, he played with the colorful assortment of Equal’s and NutraSweet’s and, unnoticed, consumed an entire clump of artificial sweetener and some of the blue paper as well. He began to choke and as my family and I panicked, the entire staff and nearby restaurant goers ran to our corner booth to see if he was alright. I looked around and recognized one of my mom’s friends, a girl from my soccer team, and my second grade teacher. All of them had left their steaming brunch meals to come and help my little brother regurgitate a packet of fake sugar. A sense of warm pride poured throughout my body, and I knew it wasn’t because of the hot chocolate. I realized then that this local eatery is one of the few places in which the friendly and accommodating nature of our suburban town is perfectly exemplified.
Now as a teenager, sitting in the coveted circular booth, I order the Oriental Chicken Salad with low-fat dressing and cheer as the football players make a grand entrance after their 27-0 victory against Ridgefield. Clustered around the table with my close friends, and heaps of varying delicacies, we gossip, laugh, and giggle as the starting quarterback glances at our group and smiles. Across the dining room I see my dad’s golfing buddy and walk over to say hello. On the way, I receive waves and high fives and a wink from Sally. As I look around the crowded building, I see that the atmosphere is buzzing with amiability that could only be found in a small, close-knit community. I believe in this community for its kindness and congeniality. Yet I believe that these qualities are displayed most prominently when served up with a side order of silver-dollar pancakes.




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Laughternchoclate said...
Mar. 30, 2010 at 3:43 pm:
I'll have to try it... live around were you do
 
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