For Erica, having a kitchen table overflowing with chairs, food and laughter is a happy normal.
“I’ve become a massive homebody. Our lives can be pretty chaotic, and I find incredible comfort in the stability of being home. But I also crave the connection of being with people. Having friends and family come share a meal with us satisfies so much of my soul.”
She submitted a recipe for pancakes that have become a Sunday morning family tradition. Her own kids have always enjoyed weekend pancakes and the tradition has deepened as her family has grown. She even made pancakes on their campsite this summer; under a tarp in the rain, one slow pancake at a time.
“We have a very unorthodox blended family and I feel so grateful for the abundance of love that holds us together.”
In fact when asked for the secret ingredient in her pancake recipe, her answer was just that: abundance.
“It’s such an easy recipe to double, triple or even quadruple with ingredients I always have on hand.” This is an important feature in a recipe because you never know who might turn up on the doorstep, and for Erica opening space at her table means opening space in her heart.
There is nothing fancy about this recipe.
“I used to obsess with making perfect pancakes and would long to have the skills to create Pinterest-worthy creations.” She laughed. “But in reality, aside from the occasional interpretative heart-shape, they are generally pretty misshaped blobs.” Not to worry, this just adds to the conversation around the table, assuming anyone takes time to really look at them before they are devoured.
Although her and the kids have experimented with fun flavour combos (white chocolate chips and raspberries, dark chocolate and banana), she typically makes the first ¾ plain and then adds frozen blueberries to the last portion for her and her partner.
Her advice for having friends over for a meal:
“Don’t wait until you’ve planned a fancy meal or have cleaned your house to perfection. A couple of ingredients is all you need for a stack of pancakes. Add a French press (or two) of good coffee and maybe a side of bacon and your table, and heart, will be truly full.”
[taken from: The Clueless Vegetarian by Evelyn Raa]
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder (if you’re making double/triple batches each week like me, I’d suggest buying baking powder in bulk)
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I will often use coconut oil), plus more for the pan
Sometimes I add a splash of vanilla
Optional add-ins (alone or in combination):
• Frozen berries (our go-to is blueberries but I also like raspberries) *Warning: adding frozen blueberries to the batter will turn everything a blueish-purple hue – think Gonzo coloured blobs.
• Mashed up bananas
• Chocolate chips
• White chocolate chips
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and oil. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
3. Pour a small amount of oil into a large frying pan or griddle, spread it around to thinly coat the pan and place over medium heat.
4. With a spoon or ladle, pour the batter, ¼ cup at a time, gently spreading it out to a flat, even circle. (or haphazard heart shape)
5. Cook the pancake on one side until bubbles begin to appear on the top and the bottom is golden brown.
6. With a spatula, flip the pancake over and let the other side cook until it’s golden.
7. Remove to plate and repeat until all the batter is used. (or transfer on a baking dish and keep in 200* oven until all pancakes are cooked)
8. 1 batch makes approx. twelve 4-inch pancakes. (but who’s measuring?)