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So how did you celebrate Nat'l Pancake Day?

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By AMBER

NOHRENBERG

Butter or margarine, layered or staggered, regular or flavored syrup - no matter what the style, it's all about the pancakes. Tuesday was National Pancake Day and Detroit Lakes residents Natalee Yocom and Nikki Nelson celebrated in style.

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"We try to be self-disciplined, but National Pancake Day? We just have to do it," Yocom said about their flapjack splurge at Country Kitchen. "We've talked about it forever."

Yocom and Nelson heard about the holiday on the radio last Friday. Both work at Pizza Hut in Detroit Lakes and decided that this year would be when they would try to eat nine pancakes each.

Yocom had the day off from work, but Nelson said she had to work later. She had already warned her co-workers that she might be lazy that day after her pancake splurge.

Yocom said they chose Country Kitchen because they heard the pancakes there are some of the best in town.

They didn't make their goal, but they gave an impressive performance. They each had three pancakes in their first stack, but they differed on how they set up the stack.

Nelson slathered each pancake with butter, then staggered the flapjacks on her plate before covering them with the maple syrup. Yocom buttered each cake and then poured syrup on each individual pancake in her stack. Each pancake got its own pat of butter.

Both Nelson and Yocom preferred the maple syrup over the flavored ones offered at Country Kitchen.

"They can take back the other ones and bring another maple syrup," Yocom said.

The bottle of maple syrup at the booth was almost empty before their first stacks of pancakes were gone.

"Boy, these just soak up the syrup like a sponge," she said.

It was tough going for both women a little over halfway through the first short stack. Yocom took slower bites and deep breaths.

"Each bite I take, I have to chew more and more because it's harder to swallow," Nelson admitted.

"This is the classic "eyes are bigger than your stomach,"" Yocom said.

After the first three-pancake stack, Yocom and Nelson decided to try to go further. Nelson ordered one more pancake; Yocom ordered two. Yocom said she can't seem to be able to order just a single pancake, that the pancakes have to be in a stack.

"Maybe that's the way my mom did it when I was young," she said.

Server Jannell Marsh said she wasn't aware of the special day, but they do sell quite a few pancakes at Country Kitchen. She was surprised when the women put in their order for more pancakes after their first stacks.

"I'm surprised they ate what they had," she said.

Before the second order came around, Nelson said she was pretty comfortable, "But I feel like I'm going to be miserable soon."

"I'm extremely full -- I'm not looking forward to this first bite of the second batch," Yocom admitted. "That's the thing about pancakes. As you sit here, they expand."

In the end, Yocom was able to finish four pancakes. Nelson ate three and three-quarters pancakes.

"I don't know why I thought I could eat nine of them," Yocom said. "I wasn't thinking of the expansion from there."

"We gave it our best shot--I'm really tired now," she said.

When it comes to competitive eating, the two aren't likely to keep Crazy Legs Conti of New York up at night worrying about his record -- 3 1/2 pounds of pancakes and bacon in 12 minutes.

But there is always Feb. 15, National Gum Drop Day, and Feb. 19, Chocolate Mint Day. Not to mention American Chocolate Week the third week of March.

With practice, maybe Yocom or Nelson can beat the record of 1 pound, 15.5 ounces of Chicago Chocolate Hearts eaten in 7 minutes by Patrick Bertoletti on Feb. 13, 2006, according to the International Federation of Competitive eating Web site.

Now there's a goal worth shooting for.

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