We receive an invite to join a hike up Mount Tamalpais to the West Point Inn for the last pancake breakfast of the year. We went up there with the kids a couple of years ago and it’s one of those things that C talks about repeatedly and always wishes we could do it again. So, of course we say yes. It’s a glorious weekend and what could be better than spending Sunday morning in good company, hiking up a mountain that has stunning views that sweep across San Francisco and The Bay.
There is only one catch. C won’t be able to eat the pancakes. So, we’ll have walked up the steep trail to the Inn, using the dangling carrot of fresh pancakes when we get to the top and all he’ll be able to eat is a slice of fruit. Mmm.
The answer is pretty simple, I guess. A little more time consuming than just getting up, giving the kids a quick pre-hike bite to eat and going. But not really that complicated in the end. I make him a batch of our favorite buckwheat pancakes at home. So easy to make and super tasty – warm, or cold. I feature them on my recipes we love page. I wrap them up in foil and pack them in the backpack along with a stash of Klean Kanteens filled with water, some Trader Joe’s organic g-free lollipops as energy back-ups when the kids start stalling on the way back down the mountain and a jar of nutella along with the funky nutella spreader that I received as a give-away at the BlogHer Food conference.
Little did I know that the highlight of the pancake breakfast hike would be that wee jar of Nutella. Funny how things transpire sometimes. We sit at a long long table and the nutella moves up and down the row of children at quite a pace. It finally winds up firmly planted in front of a couple whom we’ve never met before, and will probably never see again. I definitely puts a smile on their faces.
C declares that his love of chocolate probably stems from his ancestors. He tells the story of the Stockmann chocolate factory in Germany and how they invented After Eight Mints. Heads turn to look at me with that questioning ‘is it true?’ look. It is – albeit that the After Eight was invented in the Stockmann Chocolate Factory, a few years after Rowntree Mackintosh moved in as the majority share holders. Nestlé moved in after that and now it’s the the biggest Nestlé production plant in Europe. Nestlé now stakes it’s claim as the creator of these beloved after dinner mints. Funny how history can reinvent itself.
The kids play ring-toss after their pancakes. We declare the breakfast a success. We head back down the mountain in baking heat and are supremely glad that we packed so much water and also those yummy lollipops. Just when it seems as if the kids can walk no further, they are spurred on by the delight of this treat. We create visions of the swimming pool that we plan to jump into that afternoon and congratulate ourselves on having survived this escapade with smiles on our faces when we finally get back to our cars.