Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sunday Night Solution

I am sure I have mentioned before that I am terrible at implementing structure or routine in my life. My poor children must feel like waves tossed by the wind. Without an outside force, I sleep till whenever, serve meals whenever I can get them ready after people start talking about being hungry, and go to bed at all hours of the night. Exercise might happen at 7am or 1 am or any hour between (or not at all!). I'm a mess. I don't really mind it so much, it just makes it hard to work with other people. I have often supposed that if my life had a report card with a comment section, I would have "does not work well with others" written there. Sad! I so want to work well with others... Enter my constant state of stress, trying to keep up with everyone else's time frame and "rhythm of life." I give people a hard time if they are super strict with their routine, but I truly do see structure as a good thing. I just think the angels passed me by when they were handing out internal clocks and concepts of time, and always trying to make up for that is a case for major stress. Well, as usual, I have belabored my point. I really was just going to write about how I have established one little consistent thing in my overwhelmingly inconsistent world.

While I am generally hopeless when it comes to meal plans and schedules, one night had become a particularly hard night to ever pull anything together for, Sunday night. Sundays are just hard all around. Unless church happens to start at the exact same time as your school or work day starts (and is the same distance away), and unless you always get up at the same time on Saturdays too, Sunday starts off frantic. It's a total removal from the norm. Every week, it comes crashing in telling you to do everything differently. For one thing, you need to look nice. While I try to iron dresses and make sure everything is clean and ready on Saturday, it is easy to forget at least one thing because of all the things that are usually going on on Saturday. It seems like someone is always running around on Sunday morning, half dressed, searching for a hair bow or a pair of shoes or some other something that no one has seen since last Sunday. Once you finally make it to church, you will probably realize that, even if you fed your kids, you and your husband have had nothing but half a cup of coffee. By the time the worship service, Sunday school hour, and fellowship between and after is over, you are all about ready to eat your hands. Maybe you head to Qdoba (like the Edemas do from time to time), maybe you go through the drive through at a burger joint, maybe you had the foresight to actually prepare something ahead of time that will be waiting for you at home. It doesn't really matter what you eat for lunch, you eat much of it, and it is late when you finish- likely after 2:00- and you will not be hungry at normal dinner time. In all probability, you won't be hungry again until almost 7:00 or later- which is fine if you have night church, because you aren't home yet anyway. But school starts at 8:00 tomorrow morning and Sunday was exhausting because we missed nap times and had to spend all day in the car and sitting in services and everyone needs to go to bed soon! What are you going to do?!

I'll tell you what you're going to do because it is what I have been doing for weeks now, and it is fantastic both during the school year and during the summer! You are going to send your children upstairs to put on their pajamas while you make breakfast- brinner, to be exact.

If you are a plan-y person, you can always make a breakfast casserole that will be ready to pop into the oven. You will have thought of this ahead of time, so the hour and a half bake time is nothing to you because you will also have thought of that. If you are that sort of person, I apologize. I am sure I must drive you totally crazy. Why are you even reading?! If you are not that type of person, I have help for you. The fabulous thing about most breakfast foods is that they are fast. Scrambled eggs? Bacon? French toast? Grits? Biscuits? All of those can be ready in less than 20 minutes. Ah! It's finally starting to feel like a day of rest isn't it?

You may remember two of my favorite pancake recipes from past posts. Polenta Pancakes with Warm Berry Sauce are a always huge hit (though, the 1 hour sit time for the batter makes these not so great for Sundays unless you remember to do it the night before or any time up to an hour before you want to cook). My father-in-law took the rest of the berry sauce on a 10 hour drive in an un-air-conditioned car all the way back up to Michigan last time he was here because he was delighted with it and determined it would be fantastic on vanilla ice cream. And, as my children say "it smells like Christmas" every time you make them. Spiced Apple Pancakes are almost my very own creation. I am never much for the pancakes with stuff in them. For some reason, I prefer toppings. So, I found a recipe with apples in them and changed it a up a little to have an apple topping. Incidentally, my love of toppings is how I discovered the Polenta Pancake recipe as well. So many recipes just want you to throw perfectly good berries into perfectly good batter and create mediocre pancakes! What will you top them with? Syrup? How will you be able to really taste the berries? It makes no sense. No, the fruit must be the topping. And for Spiced Apple Pancakes, I also recommend a little freshly whipped cream! In the original post, I recommend the pancakes from Joy of Cooking. I totally stand by that for that particular recipe. They are almost crepe like, and that is perfect for the apple topping. However, Joy of Cooking pancakes are a little too rubbery for just plain old pancakes. I wanted Cracker Barrel pancakes- big, fat, fluffy, buttery pancakes that sop up the syrup and taste like sunshiney mornings on the farm (or so I should think). And that's how buttermilk finally became a staple in my home. I'm not sure if you can accomplish those kinds of pancakes without buttermilk. And so, I give you, from the kitchens at Southern Livng, Pamcakes. Dinner is served:


1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 c. butter, melted

- combine first five ingredients in large bowl.
- in a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs.
- gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture.
- stir in melted butter.
- pour 1/4 c. scoops for each pamcake onto hot buttered griddle or nonstick skillet (set an electric skillet to 350). cook 3-4 minutes on each side (I actually set a timer because this is so accurate).
- if your family is not eating them as swiftly as you can get them off the griddle, store them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven until they're all ready and you can all sit down and eat together. Famtastic! (see what I did there?)


Fittsy said...

I love things in my pancakes for the precise reason that I don't particularly like syrup. I much rather have butter and a light sprinkle of powdered sugar, while I enjoy the fruit, nuts, or chocolate inside my pancakes.

I think we're on our way to Sunday night brinner. The children and Stephen fixed waffles for Mother's Day dinner, and we did the same for Father's Day. The children loved it both times. I like things that set apart Sundays, and this is a great (and easy) way to do it. Thanks for the encouragement!

Abby said...

Okay, I can see that- just no syrup at all. That makes sense. But then, why wouldn't you just have a muffin? I guess it's not the same. I think we agree though, that syrup is not good on a fruity pancake because then you can't taste the fruit, which is always better than syrup. Yea for Sunday night brinner!

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