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the weekend, and a fresh start

the weekend, and a fresh start

by jax on September 8, 2014

I’m hoping to start a new blog soon, to get a fresh start. Until I find the time to figure out how to start a new site (or, realistically, just get my husband on board to do it), I’ll write here because the desire to put my thoughts down can no longer be quelled.

van and mommy

It’s Monday, and a good one. Because the weekend felt long and luxurious.  And this morning’s preparations flowed smoothly, ending in these delicious pancakes and sweet goodbye kisses. This isn’t always the case in a house with a sassy three-year-old, a teething 16-month-old, two tired parents, and 14 animals to feed (12 of them are feisty hens, plus one loving dog and one new kitten).

van carrying tree limb

Even though the three-year-old had tantrums and the baby was fussy, I fell more in love with my family this weekend. We just spanned time together (name the movie reference and I’ll love you forever), playing and working in the yard, cleaning and messing up the house, cooking and eating, crying and laughing. There were highs and lows, as with life itself. I saw my husband in his best role – playing chase and throwing balls with his sons, teaching the older one how to carry big pieces of wood from the tree he cut down (it was on its last limb), and using ingenuity to create and build with his hands. Trust me, he and I have periods of tumult, but this weekend wasn’t one of them. This weekend I grew to appreciate and respect him even more for his honesty, strong character, and genuinely content and joyful nature. And for recognizing qualities in me that I have a hard time seeing.

blueberry walnut three-grain griddle cakes

I want to be free to write here as a real person, a real mom. We’re not a picture-perfect, instagrammable, pinterest-worthy family all the time, but we’re beautiful and happy and thriving nonetheless. We face internal struggles and external adversity yet remain unwaveringly optimistic about people and the world. We are constantly striving to be grateful for what we have and to fight the desire to consume more, more, more. Our intention is to live simply and freely.

This weekend we worked on our imperfect house, picked raspberries in our almost perfect yard, he watched football, I read Delicious!, the boys looked at books together in the too-long grass, and my heart swelled with gratitude and love.

Blueberry-Walnut 3-Grain Buttermilk Griddle Cakes
adapted from Coooking from a Country Farmhouse (I just love this simple cookbook circa 1993)

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (full-fat, please, if you can find it)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the griddle
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Maple syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend.

Heat a griddle or skillet over moderate heat and brush with butter or coconut oil.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs into the buttermilk. Add liquid to the dry ingredients and pour the melted butter on top. Stir gently with a whisk until the batter is just barely mixed and still lumpy.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop a scant 1/4 cup at a time onto the griddle. Sprinkle a few blueberries and a bit of chopped walnuts onto each pancake. Cook over moderately low heat until small bubbles have formed on top of the cakes, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a wide spatula, gently flip and cook until the second side is browned, 45 to 60 seconds longer. Grease the griddle as necessary to prevent sticking. Serve hot, topped with butter and maple syrup.

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