I don’t know about most of you but I associate certain foods with certain seasons.  This is not just for the obvious reason that fruits and vegetables have specific growing seasons.  Rather, food for me has memories and feelings associated with it specific to different times of the year.

For example, summer for me includes daily trips to the local Farmers’ Market for the makings of a summertime feast.  (Unless it comes from my own garden!) Give me a meal of mouth-watering slices of watermelon, silver queen corn, tomatoes fresh off the vine topped off with freshly made iced tea and cobbler and I’m a happy camper.  (You can find my recipe for cobbler on my post, Quick Summer Fruit Cobbler.) And, what summer doesn’t include outdoor barbeques?  Nothing beats the aroma wafting through the air of something on the backyard grill.  It signals summer for me just as much as the smell of freshly cut grass does.

For many of us, the autumn chill signals football and tailgating as Chef Ryan writes in his post, Tailgating- A Great American Tradition.  For me, the changing season signals pancakes.

The smell of pancakes cooking on a cool autumn morning does much the same thing for me as smelling a backyard grill in the heat of the summer.  For me, pancakes are a way to feel warm and cozy as the weather changes.

The tradition in my home is to have pancakes every Sunday morning.  It is something both David and I look forward to as it is really the only breakfast of the week that we actually sit down and enjoy together – the rest are eaten on the run or are eaten quickly to merely fortify our bodies and start the day.  Sunday morning pancakes are a total feel good experience for us!

Years ago I thumbed my nose at pancake mix in any pre-made form.  Seriously, what could be better than homemade pancakes?  I can whip up a batch in less than ten minutes using all organic ingredients that are better than any out of a box, can or bag. Last Sunday morning when David and I sat down to eat he looked at me and said, “Pancakes together on Sunday morning is my favorite time of the weekend”.   My David loves food but, this Sunday morning ritual is what he looks forward to as much as the yummy meal!

How to prepare pancake batter

Getting started

I do have one secret step in making my pancakes that I want to share.  It is a step that in my view absolutely, positively makes the lightest and fluffiest pancakes ever.  I witnessed this step years ago while I was in junior high school.  I had a friend whose mom was Swedish and so every Saturday morning she made Swedish Pancakes.  I was always thrilled to be invited to Laurie’s house, as I loved these pancakes.  I noticed one day that Laurie’s mom let the batter sit on the counter for a long time untouched.  Nosy me, I observed this and watched the batter actually rise up with tiny bubbles forming on the surface.  (I later realized this is what crepe recipes call for you to do.)  Once I began to make pancakes myself, albeit the traditional kind, I did this as well.  I soon learned that perfect pancakes are the result of letting the batter sit untouched for about 45 minutes.  So, every Sunday morning after I have started brewing a pot of coffee I make the pancake batter and let it sit.  David and I enjoy our mugs of coffee, play scrabble on our IPad and wait for breakfast.  This Sunday morning ritual of relaxing while the pancake batter rises gives us both warm fuzzies!

Here’s my recipe:

1 ½ c. flour                    1 egg, beaten

2 T. sugar                       1 ½ c. milk

3 t. baking powder      3 T. butter, melted

1 t. salt

Cooking homemade pancakes in an iron skillet

Cooking in the iron skillet

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Combine in a separate bowl egg and milk; blend well.  Add egg mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients until the batter is stirred.  Be sure to leave it lumpy.  Let sit for 45 min. to an hour.  Cook preferably on a griddle or cast iron skillet.

Get creative:

Add any fresh berries or fruits you want.  You can also add nuts such as pecans or spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

Enjoy!

Best homemade pancakes

Mmm, Mmm good

Everything begins in the home.  How you live in your home, the way you interact with others in your home, the traditions and rituals in your home and the foods you eat in your home all evoke feelings in you.  Each part of the goings on in your space is vital to your essence.  Be cognizant of the importance of this!

Food does more than nourish our bodies. It nourishes our hearts and souls as well.

To living and loving life…

I know Chef Ryan is the resident foodie on this blog but every once in a while I feel compelled to share with you one of my own favorite food recipes that for me adds to making a wonderful recipe for life!  Look for Chef Ryan again soon!

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Helpful Hannah Tip #2
Bring fresh flowers into your homespace.

Just recently I got a Facebook message from one of my nieces’, Jackie O’Connell.

She wrote, “I bought fresh flowers at the market today.  My inner Aunt Jamie came out.”

I wrote her back and said, “That’s not just music to my ears but, a full symphony!”

You see I love nothing more than to know that my love of creating beauty in the home has filtered through to my family.

Jackie and Sarah Shrader (her sister, my niece) had been shopping in an open-air market near Richmond, VA for a dinner that Jackie and her husband, Scott were hosting that night.  They came upon some beautiful bouquets of fresh wildflowers and stood there debating whether or not to buy them.

Suddenly, Jackie and Sarah looked at each other and said, “Aunt Jamie would!”

They were right.  For ten dollars, heck yeah.  In my view, the flowers would set the tone for the evening.

They did.

Jackie later told me that everyone that came into the house noticed them.  Smiles erupted each time they took the flowers in.  Even Ryan Sink (Jackie and Sarah’s brother-in-law, Christy’s husband, another nephew-in-law of mine!!!) exclaimed about their beauty when he saw them.  What compliments for ten bucks!!

So- here’s my Helpful Hannah tip:

Bring fresh flowers into your homespace.

Like Jackie, take the opportunity to bring the beauty of flowers into your home.  It will bring freshness and joy into your homespace, guaranteed.

Magnolia blossom

Photo credit: Sammi Blake

There are so many choices in the summer months.   Here are some ideas:

  • You can include your children on walks of nature hunting for flowering honey suckle.  My kids used to love to put sprigs of honey suckle in glasses of water on their dressers to smell the fragrance and let it fill the air.
  • You can find fresh lilac growing and bring stems into your homespace to perfume the air.
  • Cut stems of flowering outdoor plants such as lavender  to add to fresh flower arrangements.
  • Pick up inexpensive wildflowers from farmer’s markets in your area and put them in unusual containers such as crockery.
  • Pick wildflowers on nature walks to bring inside (make sure you are in a place where this is permissible).
  • Pick flower stems from the ones growing in your yard.  Cutting the flowers on a regular basis will make them produce even more flowers.

I am so happy that my nieces enjoy their homes.  More importantly,  I am happy that they are teaching their children to as well.  Another niece-in-law, Crystal  (aka “The Domestic Diva” on my Fan Page of Facebook) let her daughter, Ryleigh choose some flowers for the kitchen table just the other day.  Ryleigh chose some orchids that were on sale at Lowe’s for three dollars.  Ryleigh is learning both the importance of being frugal as well as learning how to bring beauty into her home.

My daughter-in-law, Kathleen Aliff is the consummate hostess.  Every dinner party or gathering of friends includes southern charm with her use of beautiful sterling silver to display her delectable food choices.  And, what does she always remember?   Fresh flowers of course!  She has even been known to call me excited with the unusual ones she has found for her home.  Nothing thrills me more!

Kathleen entertaining with sunflowers

Kathleen entertaining with sunflowers. Photo credit: Kathleen Aliff

So, go out and explore the abundant choices of flowers that summer has to offer.  Bring them inside.  It will make you and your homespace come alive!

One thought…

Flowers bloom and can make us bloom, too.

Go blossom!

Purple wildflowers

Photo credit: David Solganik

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