Men, (if you’re out there), how many times has your significant other sighed and yelled, “God, why can’t you be like Noah from The Notebook!” Ladies, how many times have you updated your Facebook status to something cheesy like, I wish that I found love like in The Notebook, or my personal favorite If you’re a bird, I’m a bird, accompanied by lots of less than three hearts? If you’re blushing, then you’re guilty.
It is no secret that I absolutely hate Nicholas Sparks because he is a genius. All his books are exactly the same. They have the same plot and same character personalities and us girls eat that up. We can’t get enough of it- I mean, he could literally re-title The Notebook to The Postcard, change Noah’s name to Billy and Allie’s name to Mandy and we would buy The Postcard in epic quantities. Warner Brothers would probably make it into a movie too. Sparks really has us wrapped around his little finger. Genius, I tell you!
Anyway, as a girl I am guilty of not only yelling at boyfriends to act more like Noah, but also of making those cheese-tastic Facebook status’ about The Notebook. I also cried like a total dork when I first read the book and like an even bigger dork when the movie came out. Around Valentines Day, it seems that The Notebook infiltrates the lives of us women in more ways than we’d like to admit. Deep down, we all want someone to care for us like how Noah cared for Allie- even if you are a huge romance cynic like myself. We crave that book romance that swept us off out feet as readers. We just wish our boyfriends and husbands would get a hint.
So enough about that, let’s talk book. The Notebook takes place post WW II in North Carolina. Noah Calhoun is a rural Southerner and handyman who became famous in the town for rebuilding a massive mansion, previously left in a less than livable state. While working on the house, he was constantly reminded of his former love Allie Nelson with whom he spent an unforgettable summer with. Allie was from a wealthy family who did not approve of her relationship with Noah. Her parents were so against the romance that they sent Allie away to school in the Northeast. Before she was sent away, they shared a night in that old run-down mansion, which is a symbol of their relationship.
Years later, Allie is engaged a man named Lon, who her parents are overly fond of. While Allie is trying on wedding dresses, she sees a photo in the newspaper of Noah in front of the newly finished home. She is compelled to visit him and from then on they are inseparable. Allie leaves Lon and builds a life with Noah in that home.
The home becomes more important than ever when the reader sees Noah and Allie in their golden years. Allie suffers from Alzheimers so Noah converted their home into a nursing home. He also wrote down their entire relationship in a notebook and reads it to her every day. Sometimes, she comes back to him and remembers their life together, other times she does not. It is a modern day love stories that will no doubt grab the attention of readers for many decades to come.
One of my favorite characters is Noah’s father. He is a humble man with a gently sarcastic personality. During the summer Allie and Noah spent together, Allie stopped by Noah’s home with a painting. When she arrived, Noah was reading Robert Frost on the front porch to his father. His father called Noah out of a prior stuttering problem, which was fixed by reading Robert Frost poems out loud. He then invited Allie inside for some pancakes. She questioned him because it was nighttime. His father said, “It’s never too late for pancakes,” and I totally agree with that.
P.S. All you men out there, this blog post is my Valentine’s Day gift to you.
P.S.S. Ladies, I suggest e-mailing this blog post to your boyfriend or husband immediately.
Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Ingredients (For Pancakes)
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons white sugar
3 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3/4 Cup buttermilk
1/4 Cup sour cream
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon red food dye, liquid
4 Tablespoons butter, melted.
2/3 Cup chocolate chips
Ingredients (for Cream Cheese Syrup)
1- 8 Ounce package of cream cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons milk
- Mix together white sugar and cocoa powder. This will prevent clumping. Then sift together the sugar and cocoa mixture with, the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, beat the egg. Then add the buttermilk, vinegar sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix well. Then add in the red food dye. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Then, add in the melted butter and chocolate chips. Mix until lump free.
- I’m about to let you in on a secret to making perfect pancakes. As a pancake connoisseur of sorts, I’ve perfected the pancake. To make a perfect pancake, measure out 1/3 cup of batter and pour into a greased pan on medium low heat. Then, forget about the pancake. Don’t look at it, don’t think about it. Just ignore it for 4 minutes. At this point, the edges of the pancakes should look cooked and the top of the pancake should be infiltrated by a bubble army. NOW FLIP IT. Cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Hazza! It’s perfect! Now do this until you run out of batter. This recipe makes about 8 medium sized pancakes.
- For the Cream Cheese Syrup, melt together the cream cheese and butter. Then add you confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. Once it is smooth, add your milk. Drizzle this on top of your pancake.
“It wasn’t Noah she loved; she loved what they had once been. Besides, it was normal to feel that way. Her first real love, the only man she’d ever been with – how could she expect to forget him?” – The Notebook