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Pancakes for Breakfast

ROAR! In my house, baking is announced with the roar of the grain mill. Pancakes for breakfast. Little feet come running. Quick as a wink, two stools are pushed up to the counter and two eager children scramble up on them. They hold their hands over their ears and then take them off again. On. Off. On. Off. What are they doing? I try it. The grain mill says “waa-waa-waa-waa” when I do. We three look at each other and grin. We look ridiculous clapping our hands on our ears. The sound from the mill goes up an octave. The wheat has become flour. I shut off the machine.

Kid sounds fill the vacuum of silence. “I want to measure!”

“I want to crack an egg. Can I crack an egg, Mama?”

I measure out the baking power. Claire and Charlie take turns adding it to the bowl. Charlie tries to shove Claire off her stool because he wants to pour in the salt.

“No, Charlie. Here. You crack this egg.”

I’m brave with the eggs. My sister taught me how to scoop out shell bits with a shell half. It’s easy and so Charlie can crack eggs. He bangs it on the side of his bowl. He squeezes it hard with two hands. Somehow the egg plops into the bowl without any eggshell. Charlie takes care of that problem. He drops the entire shell into the bowl on top of the egg. I scoop it out and Charlie pours the egg into the batter.

“I want to stir!”

“No! I want to!” Again with the shoving.

“Charlie, you just cracked the egg. Let Claire have a turn first.” Claire stirs gently and then pushes the bowl over to her brother. He stirs recklessly. I wipe up the batter that splashes over the side. Not nearly as much mess as the time Lauren was mixing up banana bread with the hand mixer and she fell off her stool with the mixer still whirring in her hand.

“OK, you two. Your part is all done.” They do not hop down but lean in close as I spoon out the batter onto the griddle. They wait for the bubbles to come to the surface.

“Mama, there’s bubbles. It’s time to flip them.” Claire knows about pancakes.

Lauren pours the juice. Faith puts the butter and syrup on the table in the sunroom. Claire gets the silverware and Charlie puts a napkin on everyone’s chair. After he's been called five times, John appears with sleep in his eyes and chicken hair. Then it’s a scramble to get everybody’s pancakes buttered and cut and spread with syrup.

“My pancakes don’t have any butter.”

“Yes they do Charlie. It’s melted in.”

“They don’t have butter. They don’t.”

Alright! Here’s a little more. Faith that’s WAAAY too much syrup. Pour some of that onto Claire’s plate.”

Finally, the sound of silence as five mouths are full. The pancakes are delicious, light and fluffy and buttery. A great way to start the day.


Alana said…
Pancake mornings are a favorite around here as well!

I laughed out loud at the image of your daughter falling off the stool with the mixer in hand!

I wish you could teach me the egg shell trick. I would love to let my kiddos do that, but have egg shell fear!

Just use 1/2 the shell after it's been cracked and emptied and scoop out any broken pieces that fall into the bowl with the egg. The little pieces cling to the membrane that lines the inside of the egg.


I love it when you give us a "play by play"! I can just see those little faces and hands helping you!

Miss you all!
Hubby is the pancake maker around here. But if making pancakes here were half as much fun as at your house, I'd do it in a minute ;D

CJ helps me make dinners some. I'm learning to let go of the perfection I feel I need in the process...the end results (and ensuing dinner conversation) are worth so much more!

Have a great day!
Alyson said… make your own flour??
that is really cool. How ?? please tell me
Faith said…
Love the picture you just painted. :) Your kids sound like a lot of fun.
Mmm, pancakes!
LOVE your egg shell collecting advice! I will use that next time! Sounds like an active morning! I still am missing my normal voice so ours started with a whisper. I thought perhaps all would join in with me but that was not the case! They still are in regular tone! :)
I Love your stories and how the LOVE for your children just pours off the page. Thanks for your encouragement Kate!
Much love,
Xandra said…
You are awesome. I am going to come live with you if a catastrophic event forces us to live off the land and do things like make our own totally rock! Seriously.
Anonymous said…
I can picture it so well, right down to the light shining into the kitchen in the morning.

A friend of mine and I did a "cooking club" with our girls a year or so ago, one night a week. We took turns, the girls would cook (the goal was to teach them how and get them interested, add recipes to their collections, etc...), and then our families would eat together. It was a lot of fun, and they did learn a lot, but the best result was that from then on, their appetites have been wondeful and their tastes more diverse! Their exposure to cooking had unexpectedly happy results! :) It was a lot of work, but it's a good memory, well worth it.

Thanks for sharing your day so beautifully.

Janelle said…
I wanna come to your house for the weekends. This sounds delightful. Actually we have Waffle Saturdays. It really is a rush to get everyone buttered and syrup-ed. I love the way my kids smell sticky sweet afterwards. Yummy.
nad said…
I am not sure I can be as patient as you were :D
lori said…
I have always "tried" to cook with the kiddos...they have always "battled" to crack the if it were an honor! I can see and hear it all!
And there is ALWAYS one with WAY TOO MUCH SYRUP!! I love it...that is, my friend what LIFE, a simple, good life is made of!!
I loved it!!
(you sound like "the bomb" to me!!:)
Tami Boesiger said…
It sounds like your mornings are as hairy as mine, but you enjoy yours! I gotta learn that trick (and quick, it's time for that rat race to begin)!

Thanks for your kind words on my blog. Have a great day.
ValleyGirl said…
I think it's AWESOME that you grind your own flour!!! And that you have the patience to let your kids help in the kitchen. I fail at that on a daily basis.

(I love it that your kids play 'pharisees!!' So grown up and dang cute all at the same time!!)
Kate, thanks for sharing. You remind me of a time when the neighbor boy, who was 4 at the time, helped me bake a birthday cake. I had pulled a stepladder over to the counter so he could watch the process and, when I went to get the milk, he beat me back, grabbed two eggs, slammed them against the bowl edge, and dropped them into the flour mixture. As I picked out the egg shells, I asked him if he helped his mother like that. "No!" he said with big brown eyes. "She doesn't let me!"

Enjoy this wonderful time with your children!
Susan said…
A grain mill? We're not worthy! Sounds wonderful and delicious and earthy. I love it!

Love the little snippets from your life on the side.


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