Papa’s House

Papa’s house always smelled of pancake batter. Pancakes and orange and vanilla musk from his aftershave. The warm haze of the stove’s steam left me an eager five-year-old, awaiting the sound of the spatula’s spin and the sizzle of butter and cooking oil. Nothing else could beat the privilege he always gave me of topping each pancake with six chocolate chips. In all of his cooking perfection, he always managed to maintain the texture of the chocolate, so that the chips would melt on my tongue rather than in the cushion of pan-heated batter.