Category: Recipes

goonies never say die!

Fresh Scratch, Kelli Samson, Shelby Payne Photography

So it’s the day after Labor Day. School’s about to start. In comes the routine. But I’m here to tell you that summer can still live on. It just takes a little effort on your part to eek out the last of the season. The glass of Sangria is half full, not half empty, my friends.

Fresh Scratch, Sangria, St. GermainSangria? Yes. In September. Because it’s not too late.

I hosted a clothing swap with my lady friends a couple of weeks ago, on the last fine evening in our weather report for what ended up being like 10 days. The rain finally arrived, and it was glorious and sobering and cozy and sad all at once. But first came the muggy night with Sangria in the backyard under the twinkle lights.

Stuff You’ll Need:

* ideally, a punch bowl or large pitcher, though you could break this down glass-by-glass

* the fruits of the season: stone fruits, late summer berries, apples, and – dare I say it? – pears

* 2 bottles of white wine {my fave? L’Ecole. But Sangria is a good place to go even cheaper.}

* 1 bottle of elderflower liqueur {try something cheaper than St. Germain – if you go nuts, this Sangria could easily cost you $60, so simmer down.}

* sparkling water

What to Do:

1) chop all the fruit into bite-sized pieces & dump it into the vessel of your choice

2) pour in the alcohol

3) serve with some fruit in each glass and top with sparkling water to help dilute it a bit. Seriously. I didn’t do this part because I forgot I had seltzer water in the pantry, and after three or four of these, I definitely felt it the next morning.

Viva la Summer! …but welcome to fall, too. Let’s not be haters!

father’s day and blueberry pancakes. because, duh.

Recipes, Fresh Scratch

Surprise! A Sunday post! This is from last year, but it bears repeating and is still timely, as, yes, I am off to Europe again in a couple days. Whether you’re up cookin’ the pancakes this morning or enjoying them, this one’s for you.

I ended an email with a close friend from long ago recently with the lines, “I just want my life to be authentic. All of it.”

I was referring to big things and little things. I was thinking a little of my word of the year, “embrace.” I was wondering if my life right now is an honest life.
I was feeling tangled. You know what I mean? Tangled up in stuff that matters and stuff that doesn’t and wondering which was which. Wondering if I needed to keep on keepin’ on or make some big decisions.

And he sent me this video that gave me great pause. I am in love with this little gem. Please give yourself, right now, the gift of the five minutes it takes to watch this so you can fall in love, too.

Amazing, right? And what happens next?

Isn’t that always the question?

After I watched this the first of ten times, my immediate reaction was to disappear off of social media. To take a road trip to the middle of America with zero documentation in the immediate sense. To reconnect with the seventeen year old that still lives somewhere inside of the mom body I masquerade around in.

The next reaction was that I wanted my dad.

I wanted to have a big talk with him that unraveled slowly, as it does between a dad and daughter; Dad not wanting to push, me wondering how much to spill. I wanted to sit on his back deck overlooking Puget Sound with a bowl of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip each, gently rocking in his deck chairs, my feet up on the rail, the spoons making a happy clink on the bowls.

I wanted him to tell me that I am beautiful on the inside and the outside, that he is proud of me, that some things are hard but we must do them, anyway. I wanted him to get me to snap-to.

Luckily I had lots of those kinds of talks with my dad while he was alive, and most times when I wonder what he’d say, I find I knew him well enough to know. And that always feels like a gift he gives me from the great beyond.

But there are times when I’m really unsure of what he’d say – when I’m in uncharted territory; places in life we never really got a chance to talk about as adults because I wouldn’t have understood in my early twenties.

Those times call for me to get quiet. To go off into the quiet spaces of the world and listen to its heartbeat. To make room for knowing.

I leave for Europe next week without my family. That’s where I’m going to find his words. Somewhere strange that snaps me to the present. That reminds me what is honest and true and where my heart lies and what it feels like to be young and free to roam the world.

blueberry pancakesMeanwhile, I’m going to make blueberry pancakes.

My dad loved to go out to breakfast. There was a place where we’d have the most enormous blueberry pancakes – bigger than your head! He was a berry lover, for sure. So, for now, I’ll make pancakes and start to untangle and be thankful to have had a dad who loved me enough to teach me that being authentic is the most important thing, that life is short, and that I am so lucky to have had such a person to miss.

Blueberry Pancakes (he always called them “pan-cockys” – nice, Pop. Nice.)

Makes like 3 dozen, incredibly loosely adapted from Gwynnie.

You’ll need:

3 cups of flour (don’t go for whole wheat)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar

1  Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3 c. buttermilk

6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted and cooled – microwave it for 30 seconds and stir. That should do it.

6 eggs

2 c. of blueberries


Do this:

1. Whisk the dry ingredients into one bowl.

2. Mix the wet ingredients into another.

3. Combine with a whisk, and don’t worry about the lumps.

4. Toss the blueberries with a Tbsp. of flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the batter, then fold them gently into the batter.

5. Slick a hot pan or griddle with butter. I usually use a soup ladle to measure out my pancakes. Sprinkle a fine dusting of cinnamon on top of each one {trust me}. When each pancake bubbles, flip it over until it’s done.

6. Serve with maple syrup.