Monday, August 1, 2016

Blueberry Picking + Easy Weekday Blueberry Pancakes

The three of us went blueberry picking a little earlier in the season. It was fun to watch Clementine follow behind Hazel, reminding her to pick the blue ones, even though Hazel continued to fill her bucket with green, red and blue berries.

With a third baby arriving so soon, it is nearly impossible not to notice how quickly my other two are growing up in front of me. After a whirlwind year of work and caring for them, I have slowed down quite a bit, mostly out of the necessity of surviving late pregnancy. Slowing down is allowing me time to pay attention to the small changes in each girl. I am noticing how well they communicate with each other, how Hazel easily follows Clementine's directions (and how Clementine adores taking charge). I am watching Clementine naturally gravitate towards independence, dressing herself and buckling herself into her car seat. Hazel is a ball of sunshine much of the time, singing to herself throughout the day and doing her best to make her dad laugh.

Since I have been home more, both girls have grown especially attached to me. It is sweet, but also exhausting at this point in my pregnancy. I suspect they sense a change ahead and I am worried about their transition when the baby arrives. How do you prepare your older children for another baby? How do you avoid frustration and exhaustion when everyone wants you most of the time? I want to finish out this season well, but most days I feel frustrated and impatient; I worry about my ability to be tender with them when the needs of a newborn are added to the mix.

Having pounds of fresh blueberries in the house has meant a lot of baking over the last few weeks. I have baked oatmeal in the freezer, milk making food for my first few weeks postpartum, and we've had blueberry muffins and pancakes on a regular basis. 

Pancakes have typically been a Saturday morning breakfast in our house, they require extra time and work that isn't conducive to busy weekday mornings. I value calm and simple weekday mornings (even though they are often anything but), but it is nice to have a special treat from time to time to break of the monotony of everyday life. More recently, I have been whipping pancakes up more frequently because I have adjusted a favorite recipe and memorized it, making it simple enough for any old Wednesday morning or Friday night. I wanted to share the recipe with you, because it really is so simple and it is a staple meal in our house both for breakfast and "brinner" when I am looking for an easy dinner to cook. 

Easy Weekday Blueberry Pancakes adapted from Fifteen Spatulas
Serves 4, easily doubled for larger families

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (a little more if using white, all-purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted + more for greasing pan
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, beat buttermilk, egg, butter, vanilla, and maple syrup together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and gently fold in the blueberries. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Drop a good spoonful of batter into the skillet and let cook for roughly three minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface, before flipping. Top with with melted butter, more blueberries, and maple syrup. 

    How do you mix things up when weekdays are starting to feel monotonous and old hat?

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