Burb's Eye View: Better charity through music and pancakes

September 20, 2011|By Bryan Mahoney

In the back corner of the John Burroughs High School courtyard, about as far as you can get from the stage and still keep an ear on the action, Connie Trimble packed up the last of her cooking utensils.

On that stage all Saturday morning, the varied and dynamic singing groups of the school’s Vocal Music Assn. took the community through a musical odyssey, from warm-ups all the way through a complex harmonized classical piece. Through it all, Trimble kept the crowd well-fed with a signature pancake recipe from her family’s restaurant, Barron’s.

Now it was cleanup for the breakfast crew. As the last act, the Sound Sensations, ended its warm-ups, Trimble picked up a pancake dropper. The large, metal funnel distributes a perfect dollop of buttery batter onto the griddle. It’s a professional-grade tool, and as she runs a finger around the rim she tells me it was one of the only things recovered when Barron’s burned in November 2001.


That day, she says, was her “personal 9/11.” The restaurant her parents owned and operated for 50 years, where Trimble herself grew up, was gutted when faulty wiring on a freezer caught fire.

Nowadays, Burbank gets to revisit the original family pancake recipe when Trimble mixes up a batch for local fundraisers.

“I worked with my parents for 40 years. This becomes a way I still touch them,” she said.

For the last few years, Trimble and other parents have catered the fundraising rummage sale and breakfast at Burroughs. It’s part homecoming, part family reunion for the students and alumni who attend the performances, and for the parents whose children have long since graduated.

If it’s not the students taking center stage, it’s Trimble’s pancakes — a recipe made famous on “Visiting…with Huell Howser.” The day that show debuted in 1997, Connie said, “kept me alive for four or five years more.”

People still talk about her pancakes. After a few bites I can see why — there’s a perfect balance of spongy, gooey and toasty in the old Barron family recipe, and my irresponsible amount of syrup does not drown out their deliciousness.

“I look forward to this day for 364 days,” said Burroughs music director and 2000 graduate Brendan Jennings between bites of pancake. “I’m sad that it’s almost over.”

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles