The cake is light enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, but I highly recommend taking an afternoon coffee and cake break, especially if you can share it with a friend.
This rosy brunch, a precursor to the COVID crisis, was a celebration of a few of the female bonds in my life. It was a celebration of what makes each of us unique and a celebration of what we share. It was my effort to look at my calendar, and my photos, and my posts to see if my values matched my life. Was I defining myself with work, or was I making time to foster relationships? Was I taking action, or was I falsely relying on "someday" and "sometime?"
If someone told me a few years ago, "Relationships take work," I probably unintentionally rolled my eyes. Then I probably [intentionally?] shot tonal daggers from my hazel irises at this brilliant interlocutor. All these snarky eye rolls implied, "Ok genius, but I am a worker. I can even be an obsessive worker. Some have been so bold as to call me a workaholic, so why, why, WHY could I not seem to work on, or for, or in my relationship?" No one seemed to have a handy guide for that work. No one offered the faintest clues as to what that work looked like. It was an interview without a job description, so I went on my own freakin' journey, one wrought with plenty of pain, mistakes, mourning, and a fair bit of baking.
I meant to share these photos and this Dutch Christmas Bread recipe last year, but as so often happens, I was busy, and the season passed too quickly. However, as Christmas and Hanukah rolled around this year, I started reminiscing about the book and our brunch. The sentiment behind it felt even more meaningful after the major challenges of this year. It felt like this post was meant to be shared in 2020 all along.
I know we're not all in the same boat, and taking the time to have breakfast with a friend may be the furthest from your reality right now. However, if you are able to take the time, I encourage you to do so, especially if it includes a warm slice of pumpkin cream cheese bread.
Chocolate chip pancakes conjure the moments in childhood when I felt the safest, the most innocent and the most loved. I've updated these gluten-free oat pancakes to be heartier, healthier and more sustaining, but I hope the feeling remains the same. For those moments when you want to pretend this is just an extended snow day, these pancakes are here.