Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Eggs and Pancakes with the Cousins
My brother Rich drove down from Vermont with three of the four kids he and his wife Emily have. A house full of kids and cousins is a dream come true for Rich and I. We grew up without knowing our one cousin, and we yearned for the familial, non-sibling bond we saw our friends and their cousins share. It was with real joy that we planned to get all our kids together. We made one whole room into a room of beds in case of rain, and set up a tent under the apple tree in the pasture. I got out the tall stack of enamel plates, all the tiny spoons and forks and unbreakable glasses. Rich brought eggs from their chickens, we stocked up on bread, berries, milk.
Richmond has raised, is raising, a lot of kids. When Jay and Maddie were little they went through the predictable, "I don't like that!" phase for everything you put in front of them, even if they had eaten a mountain of it the day before. Rich is Gandhi like in many ways, very good at finding a path of least resistance and saving himself some aggravation. He decided that it was not going to do any one any good to get into a dynamic of anxiety about food. The kids were toddlers and far from "failure to thrive" so he decided, that they would eat when they were hungry.
He continued on his mealtime routine, presenting the kids with nutritious options at regular intervals throughout the day and left it at that. Sure enough, they would eat like little curly headed birds for a day or two, and then eat everything put before them for a stretch.
Rich's choice was very refreshing to witness. He followed his gut and found a path that worked for him and his kids. It has helped me a lot with my own kids. Colby can be hard to feed, there are textural, sensory issues and resistances to eating that are still a mystery to us. It takes a lot of persistence and patience, but sometimes, she, like all of us, just isn't that hungry.
Rich's wisdom sets a healthy, open field for food in his family: food is for when you are hungry and it is a communal experience. Come sit at the table, be together, eat what your body says it needs.
The cousins together at the table, five plates of fried eggs and a platter of pancakes. They ate their fill, and bounded off, into the yard, into the day, with all the fuel for play they needed.
7 or 8 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
1 tbs plus 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
In a sauce pan over low heat combine the butter and milk. Heat until the butter melts and set aside. Beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl. When the milk/butter blend is lukewarm, slowly pour it into the eggs while stirring.
In a large bowl, wisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Pour the egg mixture into the flour. go slow barley mixing. the batter should be lumpy with dry patches here and there. Do not over mix.
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Wipe with a bit of butter, vegetable oil or bacon fat. When hot to touch, ladle in about 1/2 cup batter for each pancake. When they begin to bubble and are a deep, golden brown on the pan side, flip and cook until done. if you wish to add anything...sliced apples (try a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of lemon juice on those slices!), berries...candied bacon (!) do so when the first side is cooking, then flip.
Serve with whatever you like, jam, maple syrup, honey, yogurt. And for sure, an egg on the side.