There are two things I’ve picked up from following blogger Sarah Hart on instagram (@homeiswherethehartis) and elsewhere: #1 Exposed shelves are definitely the way to go in a family kitchen (I’m obsessed.) And #2 The woman knows how to capture a moment. I mean that visually speaking, of course (her photography is gorgeous), but mostly I mean it philosophically. You realize pretty quickly that Hart, the mother of four boys ages 2 to 7, seems to have turned the idea of “being present” into an art form, whether it’s expressing the zen satisfaction of a clean bedroom or embracing the daily humor intrinsic in raising young kids. It’s why I knew she’d have a good tradition to write about for my Family Ritual Series. Here she is guest-posting about….weekend pancakes. Take it away Sarah!
My husband and I started making pancakes on the weekends long before children entered our lives. With busy work schedules, I guess the weekend was the perfect time for us to slow down and spend a little extra time in the kitchen, because who has time to make pancakes on a Tuesday morning? We would sit around the table sipping coffee and reading the New York Times while we ate our pancakes, enjoying the silence and each other’s company. You know, those moments when you can just be with another person without feeling the need to fill space with chatter and be totally comfortable with it.
The tradition happened organically. There was never any talk of having to make pancakes on the weekends or forcing our eventual children to take part in making them. It wasn’t planned. Instead, it just became a thing we knew would happen, something we looked forward to, and is something that still happens today, although the tradition has certainly evolved. We started out following a recipe and not being able to eat all of the pancakes to now tripling the recipe without any leftovers. We also have a lot of extra hands helping with measuring, pouring, mixing and making a mess in the kitchen. (One thing has not changed: I’m still in charge of all the clean-up.)
We’re pretty flexible with our weekend tradition – sometimes pancakes happen on Saturday, sometimes they happen on Sunday, sometimes there are blueberries in the pancakes, sometimes we use a mix if we’re short on time, sometimes everyone wants to help, sometimes it’s just me in the kitchen, and sometimes there’s even bacon. I’ve never once heard a complaint about changing things up, though, because I’m pretty sure my kids would eat pancakes with escargot or chicken liver mixed into them. I probably would too.
When I think back on my own childhood, it makes me a little sad that there’s not a particular tradition in my family that still resonates with me today. I think because of that, I knew early on in motherhood that I wanted to create special moments for my boys to remember, moments they can revisit with their own children someday. But, like I said, we didn’t set out to find the Weekend Pancake ritual; it’s more like the ritual found us. And I love that.
For more Sarah, follow her on instagram. P.S. Her family’s go-to recipe: Old-Fashioned Pancakes.
I love this! Growing up—my grandmother always had over the family for waffles on Saturday morning. It was a time to hang out with my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins–talk about the paper or anything going on, and just be chill. It is literally my favorite memory from childhood. Whenever we visit grandma, she still makes us waffles. I’ve tried to do the same with my kids. Sunday mornings are lazy. We might do pancakes. We might do waffles. We might do British Scones or biscuits, but there is always something involving refined flour, butter, and sweet toppings. I hope when my kids have kids, they will all come over for Sunday morning breakfasts.
So lovely. We do something similar. For us it’s Sunday “big breakfast”. Usually it’s bacon and eggs. Sometimes with biscuits. Sometimes with English muffins. Sometimes tacos. Sometimes pancakes or French toast. Sometimes there’s sausages. About half the time there’s fruit. We didn’t start until after we had kids and got in the habit of eating meals at the table. Before kids it was brunch out but the places that opened at breakfast hours.
I love her too!!!!!
There was always a bowl of cut up fruit or strips of veggies with a dip on the table when my sisters and I got home from school. I think it was our Mom’s sneaky way of adding extra fruit and veggies to our diet but it worked…..inevitably the bowl would be empty by dinner. I find this with my own kids today-if fruit or veggies are there on the table they eat it. This was a small thing for my Mom to do but obviously one that stuck with me to this day.
I love this story. Traditions can bring together families and make new places feel like home. My family has split and lives in all different parts of the world, my brothers in Canada, mother in Switzerland and I am in Miami. But I know that there are certain days when we are all doing the same thing. And interesting these traditions often are brought about through the kitchen. On Christmas morning no matter where in the world we are we will have muffins and tea before opening presents. Great story I can’t wait to read more.