Email. Cell phones. Facebook. Twitter. Imagine disconnecting from all of it! A friend of mine just spent a month in rural Germany doing just that. With a fresh notebook in tow, her goal in travel was to work through the baggage of her past, but when she sat to write, her pen was heavy and stationary. Day after day, she tried, but no words would saturate the paper. She was surrounded by beautiful German farmlands, eating fresh food and engaging with kindred spirits. Why stir the waters and tarnish the placid lake?
Feeling as though she had abandoned the intentions of her retreat, she spoke with a German therapist. “Of course the American therapists told you to analyze the past, but why? Why make yourself miserable?” she pushed. “Why not move forward? If those issues from the past arise, deal with them then, when you are healthier, happier and better equipped. Enjoy all the beauty surrounding you now!”
It was as though she had carried those words across the Atlantic just for me! Nearly one month ago, my Special One said the words I never thought I would hear him say, “I’m not ready for ‘this,’” and with that utterance, he left my life. “This” to me was the deepest of friendship and a wholehearted love, so I was devastated. I debated diving into what “this” meant with him, but then I heard the words from Germany, and I knew to move forward. Why dredge up muck and misery when I had truly given my all?
The transatlantic message wasn’t advising me to bury emotions. I will still feel heartbroken, and I will still cry on occasion. I can embrace those emotions, but I won’t seek more sadness. This blog is a collection of snapshots of my life. This isn’t meant to be a passive aggressive jab. This is but another snapshot, another segue. As is usually case, these experiences overlap with meals and memories. He was my batter flipper, but the time has come for me to hone my pancake skills myself. I’m improving because I am moving forward and focusing on joys like this one…
Though I said farewell to my Special One, I welcomed home my Little One at long last! My search for a puppy had felt endless and impossible, but she was exactly the one for me. My little Julep was born on an Amish farm on Earth Day, making us earthy kindred spirits born in conservative places. My precious Australian Shepherd/Lab is smart and loving. Her little puppy eyes could melt your heart, pushing me straight over the cusp from sanity to crazy dog lady. Bringing Julep into my life was one of my best decisions to date, and she is definitely helping me move forward. She is just helping me move in general! Puppies have lots of energy, but they also nap quite a bit. In one of those Julep naps, I managed to whip up these southern/Julep inspired pancakes for me, myself and I!
Peach ‘n Bourbon Buckwheat Pancakes w/ Minty Whipped Cream
Makes 7-8, 4-inch pancakes
Butter for coating the pan
3/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large, organic egg
1 cup Organic Valley French Vanilla Half & Half (I found this to be too sweet for my morning brew, but I love it in pancakes)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 small peach, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
Pour the olive oil over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
Add the egg, half & half and almond extract. Stir only until everything is combined. Do not overmix. A few lumps are fine.
Fold in the peaches and pecans.
Heat a well-seasoned griddle or cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Put a small amount (a half teaspoon) of butter on the pan or griddle and spread it around to coat.
Ladle the batter onto the hot surface to the desired size, about 4-5 inches wide. (A 1/4 cup measure will ladle about a 4-inch pancake.) Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on this first side. Watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake.
When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Keep your pancakes warm on a rack in the oven set on “warm,” or stack them on a plate and cover with a towel as you make more.
Serve with fresh peach slices and a big dollop o’ minty whipped cream.
Minty Whipped Cream
1 cup local heavy whipping cream
2-3 Tablespoons mint simple syrup (made with pure cane sugar), to taste
2-3 Tablespoons bourbon, to taste
Combine whipping cream and simple syrup in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer (with chilled mixer attachments) to beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the bourbon, and continue to beat until stiffer peaks form. Do not overbeat, or you’ll end up with butter, which would be tasty, but not the idea here.