Tuesday, March 15, 2011

how to make really good pancakes. and be happy.

First day of spring break, and my kids are in that unpleasant state of nearly well but not. quite. there. At 3:14 a.m., my room was not a restful, fun or even pleasant place to be. Day five of Daddy being gone again, this time with all four children and myself a bit under the weather. Fever-induced visions and vomiting spells and whimpers and stirring, stirring, stirring 

Today was a new day. Today was a day for a very large pot of coffee. Today was a day for pancakes. And pancakes make my kids happy. So while the boys hung out in their pajamas, I made pancakes. The fashion-conscious girl decided to find an outfit to wear that took the better half of an hour, so she is disappointingly absent from these pictures. No big deal, but she did look fabulous while eating pancakes.

We have a fan-freaking-tastic never fail pancake recipe. I have embellished it to make it more nutritious, but I'm gonna be honest when I say that the non grain-ified version is delicate, smooth and Oh So Delicious.

I have altered the recipe slightly from the cookbook version where they call for you to pre-sift the flour and assemble the dry ingredients and set aside, beat your egg ahead of time in a separate cup before adding it to your wet ingredients in yet another bowl... as you can see, dirtying several bowls and extra utensils. In my version, let's call it the quick-and-dirty version - only one bowl and one whisk get dirty. My kinda cookin'.

Without further adieu:

Quick and Dirty Pancakes

I always begin to heat my pan with a titch of oil before assembling any ingredients. This recipe makes about twelve pancakes. Hungry crowd? Double 'er up.

In one bowl, dump in:
1 1/2 cups flour
1-2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 3/4-2 cups milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

In my slightly healthier version, I use whole wheat flour, and add 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed, 1/4 cup ground oats, and add an extra 1/2 cup milk and more vanilla. Some days when we're feeling a bit adventurous, small chunks of apple and cinnamon, or blueberries, or bacon and cheese get put right into the batter. If batter thickens, add more milk. If you like pancakes thin, add more milk.

Drop 1/4 of batter for each pancake. Cook on one side until the bubbles pop that have come to the surface, until the edges lose their gloss. Then flip 'em.

If you notice your pancakes are gooey on the inside but dark brown on the outside, your pan is too hot. Turn it down, wait a moment, and begin anew. And just for the record, we don't actually call them "Quick and Dirty."

Girl Time

Egan. Little fiery one. This one and I have been butting heads of late. I'm feeling like some one on one girl time is in order, just her and I. My girl. My Sweet Pea. She got to dress as a student from one hundred years ago for the hundredth day of school - and her teacher was so impressed with her outfit, she got to go show it off to other teachers and classes. (not sure who enjoyed that more, her or I.)

She has this natural, incredibly strong instinct to help so often, so well, and to mother the little ones on top of my mothering, and it can sometimes lead to trouble - "oh you don't feel like eating supper, do you Jacob? That's okay - you want Mommy to get you a candy instead, right? MOM! He wants candy, not supper!" type deal... she means oh-so-well. She is missing having a piano, like music is her life-blood. She poured herself out into her little songs and creations. I do believe I will be dedicating a post to her and perhaps tailgating it on her post, when she finishes it. Such a special girl, so full of infinite potential.

Throw the door wide open...

Spring is in the air. I can almost taste it. Sure, we may not have sunny beaches, or gardens year round like these people or these people where we live now, but I will take what we have over the snow filled backyards and dipping temperatures of where we used to live.

Time to throw the doors open wide, let that fresh air in and clean out some closets, and get my hands dirty. It seems I have been waiting for years and years until we were in a house of our own again, a house that we would 'own' (well, as my brother would say, a house that the bank owns and we make oodles of payments to for years and years, but I digress...) 

I have been waiting to be able to plant a garden, all this time. I have decided instead to really, truthfully bloom where I am planted, and do what I can right here. A container garden is beginning to fill the better part of my conscious brain. One like this, or this, ooh ooh, or this, so if you have any wisdom, experience, or tips, please feel free to pass them on.

Things that make us happy.

We planted sprouts. They make me happy.

I was having a minor setback this week, regarding delayed milestones and how Amos isn't sitting up yet. But I pulled myself back together, sent a shout out to several other DS mamas (thank you for all of the kind and useful information, mamas!) and chose instead to again revel in how sweet this baby boy of mine is. And you know what makes me happy? How quickly he can scoot across the floor when he rolls. It's funny. He surprises us, and he surprises himself.

I think I realized, much like my waiting for a garden, I needed to be patient to get to the point I am today, to recognize that I can bloom where I'm planted. Much the same, I need to be patient with Amos. Anywhere I looked for information to help him to develop more quickly told me the same thing - he will reach milestones at his own pace. Most of the mamas who responded to my plea for help said "be patient, mama - it'll come." Just like watching my sprouts grow. Wisdom.

Yes, he managed to get himself a little teeny bit wedged under the couch there.

Jacob, and his continued love for all things lip gloss related. It makes him happy. A little slice of heaven, in his mind.
His little smile of sheer pleasure makes you happy, no?

The winner of the scarflet, courtesy of www.random.org and Angie Boldt (who has offered to donate other handmade pieces for giveaways! How amazing is that?) is cato-wall who said...
I'm a sucker for winter accessories. So here's my comment. Have enjoyed perusing your blog. Warm words, cute pics. Also, I just watched every Mike Tompkins video on youtube. Did you know he's Canadian? Laters, k
Congratulations, cato-wall! Send your details to lauraluyt@gmail.com, or just pop over for a visit and I'll hook you up with a sweet winter accessory! (And since you mentioned it, I looked up some info on Mike Tomkins, and learned he was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Crazy!)

My Honey is home tonight.
So I'm off to snuggle.

Enjoy today. Enjoy tomorrow. Do something that makes you happy. This baby is a little slice of heaven, right here. This fine boy. Oh, Amos. You make me happy.


  1. Great post Laura! We planted our garden this weekend!! It was so exciting to see the kids getting involved and loving the whole watering part of it!!

    Hurray for Spring! We are entering autumn here in NZ but lucky for us the "winters" are not quite like Canadian winters (although I do really miss those snowfilled days!!) and are quite mild.

    Loving your sprouts!! The photo's are fab, might get some going myself! I have so many little jars of things on the go (stuff for bread, jams, and homemade Caspian Sea yogurt) that I need to make some more room for some sprouts....oooh yeah!

    Have a look at what we did with the garden if you like!!


    Oh, and pancakes are what keep us going in this house!! My kids love em' and I love that I've at least introduced one good CAnadian tradition that they love and will nourish their souls...good old comfort food!!

    Thanks again for the lovely read!! Love the pics of Amos rolling around!! He WILL get there, don't you worry!! :)

  2. Hi Laura, I've had similar dreams of gardens - I naturally want the third choice you suggested, but will likely be pursuing the first option (true container gardening), since I can move it out of harm's way when the frost comes mid-summer. ;) (since I STILL live in the place where we have "snow-filled backyards and dipping temperatures"!) Mind you, it's spring-like today, which gives me hope and keeps me wishing for a garden. Enjoy your day. I'm off to make pancakes now. <3 - Suzanne

  3. Laura,
    Hello there, beautiful Mama! We're in this together, sister! And almost at the same rate. Nora isn't sitting on her own AT ALL. Nor does she reach for or hold onto things for more than a few seconds. It's been exhausting, me being her only entertainment, but I recently found a new way of looking at her "delays". I posted this on Facebook just yesterday.....funny that I related it to "blooming", and here you are talking about gardens and such. Hope this can encourage you, too!

    "....Watching Nora develop is like watching a flower unfold in slow motion. We are forced to take in every detail, anticipate every move, while watching in wonder God's design of her little body. Not a single breath or milestone is taken for granted. Nora is officially rolling over :) Bloom, my little flower bud!"

    Blooms and Blessings,

  4. i read too many posts of yours today to know which ones to comment on. A friend recommended this blog to me - knowing my soft spot for little ones... & i'm so glad she did.
    Blogs like this can change the world...

  5. "I can bloom where I'm planted." "Just like watching my sprouts grow."

    Reminded me of the service today. We are seeds that "bloom where we are planted" and feed the world. That make the world.


make no mistake, I am smitten with your words. please say hello, or pour something out - you will make my heart happy.

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