Thursday, March 22, 2007

More on pancakes

Pancake breakfasts around here take more effort than the usual "yogurt and toast" breakfasts that are easy to do. It takes up a good chunk of my morning to prepare the ingredients, mix, cook, serve, and clean up a pancake breakfast. I rebel against industrial food by making my own pancake mix, not using Aunt Jemima's. The effort is shown in the result, for I like a good tasty pancake, mixed by my own hand.

Creating food for your family can and should be a creative process. In older times, it was a neccesity. Time was spent preparing food from scratch. As Anne Morrow Lindbergh says in her classic Gift From the Sea:

"In other times, women had in their lives more forces which centered them whether or not they realized it; sources which nourished them whether or not they conciously went to those springs....
......nothing feeds the center so much as creative work, even humble kinds like cooking and sewing. Baking bread, weaving cloth, putting up preserves, teaching and singing to children, must have been far more nourishing than being the family chauffeur or shopping at supermarkets, or doing housework with mechanical aids. The art and craft of housework has diminished; much of the time-consuming drudgery--despite modern advertising to the contrary--remains. In housework, as in the rest of life, the curtain of mechanization has come down between the mind and the hand."


Looking around, I see a rebirth of these kinds of sensibilities, and it gives me hope for the mother. Will my children embrace the work and look at it as a creative process? Are we evolving from neccesity, to shunning it, to embracing it as a creative process? I hope so.

"We are going to have to gather up the fragments of knowledge and responsibilites that have been turned over to governments, corporations, and specialists, and put those fragments back together again in our own minds and in our families and household and neighborhoods." ~Wendell Berry
A Continuous Harmony: Essays Cultural and Agricultural

19 comments:

Rae said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by my place & taking the time to comment. I'm actually a Texan girl stuck up in chilly Minnesota. "The Northern Southerner" tends to confuse people sometimes, even myself! ;)

Have a great Thursday! =)

Beverly said...

I really like the concept of housework as a "creative work." We've departed too far from this concept in our modern culture! I appreciate the fact that you "rebel" against using premade mixes for your pancakes. Good for you!

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, this is the post of my heart. Love, love, love these quotes!

So, you see, now I'm on to learning how to make ketchup. It's expensive (when bought organic) and it's generally stored in a plastic squeeze bottle (toxic).

I figure I will regain knowledge and creativity one little bit at a time. First it was granola, then bread... now ketchup. Maybe next year I'll try yogurt.

AIMEE said...

My sister Leslie and I were having this same conversation on our day together on Tuesday...she is thinking of starting a Hope Chest Society for young women:
http://www.hopechestsociety.com/

Kendra said...

Lovely post!
It seems like the more I focus on my domestic activities the more satisfied I am with them. My children may not know that the waffles began cooking last night when I was soaking the flour, but I do - and I can be glad to cook something nutritious for them in the morning.

Trina said...

My kids loooove pancakes and I've found that Sue Gregg has some great time saving and healthy blender batter recipes. Have you heard of her? I'm trying to rekindle some of the long lost kitchen skills but I'm learning I can't learn them all at once! Thanks for stopping by my place.
Blessings

Miriam said...

Andrea, yes! So well put. And I loved those quotes as well. As for taking time in the kitchen, for some reason I find that I need to give myself permission to take time and linger in creativity. Sometimes other things have seemed more important (like getting a reasonably early start on school) and I find myself rushing through the meal preparations. But I've also thought of all the time past generations and other cultures have to put into their meals recently, too. So...thank you for articulating my scattered musings so well. I will be reading this post again (and again). :) I'm catching the vision little by little, and it is a beautiful, freeing thing.

Andrea said...

Beverly--haha. The "rebel" part was a tad "tongue in cheek". I'm not a purist, by any means, I just like a good pancake...:)

L.L.--give me your granola recipe!
And as much as I appreciate your efforts in making ketchup, I still love that yucky Heinz stuff.

Aimee--sounds like an interesting website--I will check it out.

Kendra--so you are into NT, too? I'd like to hear more.

Trina--yes, I have some of Sue Gregg's recipes--thanks!!

Miriam--your'e such a sweetie. I know how it is to try to rush to start the school day--that's why I only make the pancakes once a week....

And, ladies, you inspire *me*. We had take out pizza for dinner tonight.:/

Elise said...

Yes - I've been trying to put my finger on that *hope* I've been experiencing this last year - I think it is the renewal of joy in the process. Scratch cooking, thinking through healthy ingredients, mundane chores becoming time to commune with the Lord - I, too, hope my little ones will be able to take part in this "revolution". :)

Elise said...

Oh - and I always make my pancakes from scratch - the kids know the difference! And I do, too - it's the difference between asking for seconds and not! ;)

Susanne said...

We've always made pancakes from scratch. The box stuff just does not compare. I do feel creative with cooking, I wish I could transfer that feeling to other housework. There is a great satisfaction though after doing housework to look around and see it all done and looking fresh.

Christine said...

You're so right. Convenience has taken the place of the joy that comes from caring for your family and your home from scratch. This from a woman who does use boxed pancake mix, though...

:)

bluemountainmama said...

andrea- i love making homemade pancakes and biscuits, too. to me, it's as easy as using a mix. we do keep mix on hand, though, when it's my husband's morning to do pancakes. :) something he enjoys doing.

i do like this trend toward non-consumerism, simplifying, and creating margin in life. it's how i was raised. i had a great example in my mom, who stayed at home until we were school age, always gardened, canned, sewed, cooked from scratch, etc. plus, she was able to pursue her creative self...which centers around music....getting her master's degree and now being a professional musician. she was somehow able to balance all of that. and i see the results in all my sisters, who are now wonderful women of substance who have pursued their dreams and are making a difference in the world, as well as being good wives and mommies.

i don't know if i'm at a point in my life where i view chores and other homemaking tasks as creative outlets for me, but i like keeping up my home and making it beautiful and peaceful. i don't enjoy cooking all that much, but do it out of necessity. and i AM grateful for some of the modern conveniences that allow us moms to not be all consumed with homemaking and allow us time to nurture our individual callings, dreams, and giftings that are God-given..... some that involve things outside the home.

i have no glamorous or romantic views of a woman's life back in pioneer days..... it was dawn until dusk, exhausting, bone-numbing work. i look back through family photographs of my ancestors, and the women look so haggard at such a young age....and didn't live to the ripe old ages we see now.

Andrea said...

Blue--
I, too, am thankful for the modern conveniences--my point is that they allow our humbling work to be creative. Our ancestors or pioneer women didn't have that option, for it was a neccesity. As Wendell said, I think we should (living in this post-modern culture) pick up those fragments from the past and "put them in our own minds" as he said.

What that looks like for you, I don't know. For me, it's looking at my work "creatively" or as Elise put "the joy in the process". Who knows if our post-modern world has eradicated that? I sense it has in some regards, but I want a life lived with some "margin" as you said. Embracing the homemaking for me is not canceling out any options or individual callings other than motherhood for my life.

Didn't mean for that to be a blog post, but I felt I needed to clarify myself some. Thank you for your comment--great thoughts.

dorothy said...

I love this post. I have been seeing my homekeeping more and more as an enjoyable, focused time during which I can be creative, consider my family and how beauty affects our moods, how we glorify the Lord, and enjoy what He has given us. Cooking has always been this type of an activity for me, but more recently (and strangely, even) cleaning and simplifying our home has been so satisfying. I just put Gift from the Sea on hold at the library. Thanks for sharing it. BTW, I have a great granola recipe I'll get to you.

Jess said...

I always truly enjoy reading your blog. You have such a fabulous way of putting things. You always make me think about something more than I have before. I am grateful for people like that. I think to often we take things for granted. I think we need to stop at times and really think about our life and how we live it. Thank you. Be blessed.

Kate said...

WOW, girl! :) Excellent point...that really makes alot of sense when you said, "creating food for your family can and should be a creative process". I think alot of my view on cooking comes from my mom, who is not "creative" when it comes to cooking. It's like whatever is fast and easy...I don't really like it that way. Thanks, friend for giving me something to ponder and consider...and asking God to develop this area in me, to be more creative like Him! :) I would love my children to grow up having a solid and godly work ethic and to learn to embrace it as well. (I'm feeling a tad guilty since we had Aunt Jemima pancakes this a.m...ha ha ha, girl, send me your from scratch receipe when you get the chance!!) Love in Christ, Kari

joyfulhomemaker said...

Thank you so much for this post! Today is the first time on your blog and I am inspired!

April

Trina said...

Wanted to let you know that I linked to this post. Have a blessed day.

Trina