National Pancake Day Address
'The Blessings Of Pancakes'
As originally live-tweeted from the kitchen.
Throughout our long National history, we have always been able to depend upon the blessings of pancakes.
Whenever we have suffered the strife of conflict, or enjoyed the repast of peace, pancakes have had a seat at that table.
There, with us, they have always been welcome.
Long before the horseless carriage, our founding fathers knew of no better vehicle for butter and syrup than the pancake.
Stories abound of Union and Confederate soldiers who halted their fighting long enough to bow heads together and say grace over a plate of cold, hard pancakes.
When our astronauts first set foot on the moon, they left behind on the lunar landscape a cup of coffee and a pancake as a symbol of goodwill to any nation which might one day choose to follow in our footsteps.
So, wherever we may look in our journey as a common people, we find that more than not, a pancake has led the way.
We may ask ourselves, what is it in the nature of the pancake which causes it to be such a good and loyal friend, especially to a species which is destined to consume it? I say the answer may be found in the question itself.
Mankind and Pancakekind share a special relationship.
Men of science inform us that we are both children of the stars, brothers burst forth from the same gaseous womb of time and space, and that 15 billion years later there is little that physically separates us,
except that they taste great with syrup and we may be the lone sentient beings in the universe.
Is not their natural wholesomeness, and our desire as a people to in turn be wholesome-for I believe that is still our wish even in this modern age-the sweet compote that binds us together?
Many relationships are born of the necessity of self-preservation, yet when humans and pancakes meet at the breakfast table both are transformed; we from being hungry, and they from being pancakes.
Relationships, no matter how romantically we may regard them, do not in themselves evidence a higher purpose to life.
I know that many are content to dispense of the gnawing philosophical questions which have so absorbed the ages and move on to the pressing and practical considerations of life, such as "Where shall I find my next pancake?"
Truly, there is no nobler pursuit in life than to search for a pancake and then find one.
My friends, let us not fall into the moral broiler of Pancake Exceptionalism. For it is our love of and respect for the pancake which makes them exceptional, and not simply the fact that we happen to have some.
Now some have claimed that our breakfast table is only so large, and while agreeing with our enthusiasm for the pancake, they do so with the hidden purpose of excluding waffles, french toast, and crepes.
Let us not allow this to happen.
An attack upon any established breakfast item is an attack upon breakfast itself.
Here in the US we do not have beans for breakfast, and yet, on the isles of Britain is is honorable to do so, and has been since the time of signing of the Magna Carta. Are we then to claim that the very presence of beans, as alien as that may strike some of us, makes a meal not breakfast, but dinner?
And if French toast or crepes greet us at the start of the day in the stead of our expected pancake, should this grant us license to speak loudly at one another in the exaggerated manner of Maurice Chevalier or Pepe LePew?
I say no.
All breakfast foods expect and deserve our respect. Their duty is to cause us to break the fast of night, to replenish our bodies and spirits following a period of extended unconsciousness, and they do so admirably.
We and the pancake share a common enemy, and that enemy is hunger.
When we awaken in the morning, one of the first things we wish to do is to eat; not the third meal of the day, not the second, but the first. And we expect that first meal to be second to none.
When we partake of breakfast we strike a blow against hunger, and I know of no serving more eager to do so than the pancake.
In this regard we confess to bias, if bias mean that we have decided from experience what we prefer before called upon to choose.
Nor should we testify from ignorance, as if a lack of knowledge were to be envied or lauded.
We live in a very dangerous world. To go forth in the morning with thoughts driven by empty calories, or worse yet, fueled by nothing at all, is to choose to operate from peril, and not pancakes.
It was Alexander Hamilton who first said that those who believe in nothing fall for anything.
If we don't believe in pancakes, what can we believe in?
Can anyone fully claim they believe in a poptart, or even more absurdly, a cronut?
Magnanimity does not require that we abandon principle. We are not syrup infused McPancake heathen.
Let us be secure enough in our faith to bide comparisons.
Breakfast diversity alone is not the source of our strength; that comes from wholesomeness, substance, and the ability to be satisfied.
We should keep the pancake not just in our stomach, but tucked into our heart as well.
History tells us that neither Hitler or Stalin had any interest in the pancake.
Hitler never painted a single postcard featuring a pancake, or breakfast establishment.
He never depicted people eating pancakes, or sitting with pancakes, or even so much as thinking about pancakes.
Fact is, he never painted people at all.
Yet, this idealistic young man from Austria first thought of himself not as a politician, but as an artist.
From what he know of Stalin, he never once penned a love poem to a pancake, or praised the pancake while extolling the revolution.
Yet this young idealistic man from Georgia first regarded himself as a priest and a poet.
Now what can this tell us about both? We can deduce that the blessings of the pancake were far from the hearts of either man.
Today in this modern world, we know that 'you are what you eat.' We also know that people are not eating enough pancakes.
The devaluation of the breakfast table has had a detrimental effect on the middle class.
When we acquiesce to cold, foil wrapped breakfast items, we as a nation become less willing to dream; to dream big, and to dream large.
I am not speaking of dreaming of becoming physically larger as a people; although even in that regard I perceive no great social offense.
We seem to have limited the scope of our aspirations to size of our breakfast plates.
Let us not as thoughtful diners repeat the mistakes of tyrants who wished to consume the entire world but turned their backs on the pancake.
I will be honored to represent Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District and the pancake, though not necessarily in that order.
The interests of both are interchangeable. If pancakes are well represented, so follows the 2nd District. If the 2nd District is enabled to make the most of its resources, this in turn benefits the pancake.
This relationship is self-evident.
A pancake is a fellow traveler with the cows of the field, for they give us the blessings of milk, and butter, and whipped cream.
A pancake is the compatriot of the water of the sky, and of the stream, and of the deep well, which enables our tea, and coffee, and juice.
A pancake is composed of the grain of the ground, fathered lovingly by the people of the dirt who we call 'farmers'.
A pancake is a faithful partner with the tree, which give us spoons of wood with which we may mix our batter, and also toothpicks.
Not least, a pancake is a buddy of the earth itself, from which we may smelt frying pans and utensils, without which we would sit at the breakfast table with hands at our sides.
On all of these resources and more we depend to produce the world's most beloved and perfect food.
Citizens, do not support the candidate who appears briefly at a pancake breakfast in the AM and then quickly jets back to Washington for champagne brunch.
I ask you with due respect; do not serve the public servant who does not first serve the pancake.
As your congressional pancake person, I pledge to keep a tall stack on my desk in the house chamber at all times, so that my constituents can see that I have not forgotten the evidence of our blessings.
As your painter of pancakes, I promise to always depict the pancake with truth and righteousness, with justice and honor, and usually with butter and syrup.
Most importantly, as your representative from the 2nd District, I will lead the fight to have all public water towers converted to dispensers of batter, so that no citizen need worry about the source of their next pancake.
As we enter a new breakfast age, I invite you to join me at that table, a pancake in each of our upraised hands, singing not Pfannkuchen über alles butPfannkuchen mit allem; 'Pancakes With Everything', for no other dish could best represent the fulfillment of our long national journey.
Dan Lacey, March 5, 2014