At The Heals
by Käthe

Laynie learned how to make pancakes off the back of a Bisquick box. She made them every year on her birthday, first for Colin, then for her friends at St. Margaret's. Later she made them for roommates and lovers, and when there weren't any of those, Laynie made them for the neighborhood children. But Laynie Hart never made them for herself.


When Amy was a little girl she always helped her mother make peanut butter cookies. Rose would mix the thick batter, almost dough-like in consistency, but it was Amy's job to spoon it out onto the cookie sheets. Amy's favorite part of the whole process was when she got to make the little crosshatch marks on the top, squishing the small globs down with a fork.

While the cookies were baking she'd sit on the floor playing with magnets, or Grover, or the miscellaneous things her mother had left in her play pail. And when the cookies were done, Amy and Rose would sit in the kitchen and talk while Bright and Colin played basketball in the yard.

Her father and Bright were never allowed to eat the peanut butter cookies. They were for the women alone.


Delia was twelve years old when Nonny taught her how to make latkes; the thinly sliced potato pancakes that Dr. Brown never could perfect.

She loved the patience involved in cutting and shredding the potatoes into fine slivers. She loved the heavy and homey smell that filled the house when the latkes were cooked to a golden brown in the giant skillet. That smell, greasy but wonderful, would hang in the house for the whole day if she didn't open a window or turn on the fan. But Delia especially loved that her mother had been good at making the latkes too.

When Delia was fifteen Bright Abbott came home for the winter holidays. He was quite grown up and Delia's crush was renewed, though it had never really gone away. She made a batch of latkes and delivered them to the Abbott house, just for Bright. He invited her in to share the cakes with him.

That day she kissed Bright Abbott for the first time. When she realized he had kissed her back, she ran out the door.

She forgot to bring home the plate.


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