Feather Pillow Pancakes with Warm Lingonberries

by Laura on January 21, 2012

My Honey Girl flew back to college tonight. Everywhere now, throughout the house, there are reminders of her, and of our last week together: a scarf hanging to dry after a walk in the snow, boots tossed in the hallway, the last blueberry pancake from our breakfast this morning wrapped in foil in the refrigerator, her gym thingamabob on my key fob, a tin of British baked beans in the pantry which she bought while home and never ate, the smell of her lovely perfume on a scarf she borrowed.

When she was a baby, and my Dear Husband was completing a graduate program in England, I walked with her every day.  We didn’t have a car, so I’d take her out in our Emmaljunga buggy, whatever the weather.  We’d stroll to the shops–to the butcher or fishmonger, the bakery, or the grocer—for a bit of fresh air and sunlight, or to look at the hoarfrost or the landscape drenched in rain, and on the way I’d talk to her.  I’d wonder out loud to that little, smiling face wrapped in a pale blue hood, what would she look like at five, at ten, at fifteen, at twenty?  What would she like, and dislike?  What would her voice sound like?  What would interest her?  As I said goodbye to her across the airport security lines, blowing kisses and catching a glance of her face one last time, I realized that this was it, my Honey Girl at twenty.  I’d never wondered beyond this age.  It seemed so far off, so impossibly distant.  And it’s here, so quickly, much too quickly.  Here she is, all of those mysterious details filled in.  She is such a lovely person.

The transition when she leaves is always difficult; this one especially so.  There are mothers who would sing Alleluia when the summer ended and school resumed, who sang the praises of summer camp, and nights with babysitters, and playdates at others’ homes.  I never felt that way.  I loved having her around—at every age—and her friends, too, their voices, their talk, their laughter filling up the house.  It’s hard whenever she leaves because I treasure her so, because we’ve always had such a nice day together—every day, whatever the circumstances or season or age.  My Dear Husband says that we’re entering a new phase: the adult friendship stage, one of true independence and an end to active parenting.  That sounds nice, I suppose.  But I think of it this way: she’s a cooked egg now, and she did such a good job of growing up.

I used to make these pancakes with warm lingonberries when she was a little pip.  She and my Sweet Boy would eat them up as quickly as they came off the griddle.  In fact, I made pancakes of one variety or another so many mornings together before school that I couldn’t possible count them.  I can see them now, toothy grins over the edge of our tall table, my Honey Girl in a printed dress and my Sweet Boy trying to press down a rippling shirt collar, or both of them still in winter pajamas with fuzzy hair.

These pancakes are tender and remarkably light.  If you can’t find fresh lingonberries, serve them with maple syrup, fruit preserves, or confectioners’ sugar.  And if you want to squeeze making pancakes into a busy morning, mix together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls the night before, and refrigerate the wet ingredients.  In the morning, heat up a griddle, stir them together, and fry up the pancakes.  These are even easier.  The batter can be made the night before, excepting the egg whites, and refrigerated.  In the morning, beat and fold in the egg whites.  By the time little teeth are brushed and buttons buttoned, you’ll have breakfast nearly ready.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kaitlin January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Sweetest recap ever! This reminds me of the time I spend with my mom at home. I’m glad you two had such a lovely time together.

These pancakes look delicious. I love how beautifully browned they are! Also, that tip about prepping everything in advance is such a good one!

2 Lizzi January 22, 2012 at 12:55 am

This is lovely/you are lovely. I feel like I’m now in the adult friendship stage with my mother — but it’s not really a friendship as I would usually speak of them. She’s still my mother. I still am rude and inconsiderate in a way I would never be with anyone else; I still tell her to SHHHH or HURRY UPPPPPppp when she’s telling a ridiculously long, drawn-out story. I still hog the sofa and drape my legs over her while we’re watching TV with no concern for personal space. I still call her at ridiculous hours to ask what the difference is between baking soda and baking powder, because I’m too lazy to Google it…… and because I trust her more than the internet. I still happily gobble up pancakes she cooks me…. but these days, I do the washing up without being asked, and I actually want to hear HER thoughts, HER opinions, between bites.

Maybe I should REALLY take our relationship to the next stage by cooking these for HER… hmmm. ;)

3 Laura January 22, 2012 at 8:47 am

Thank you, Kaitlin. You really are the sweetest.

4 Laura January 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

Thank you, Lizzi. So much. You’re a sweet daughter. You and your mom are lucky to have each other. xo

5 kris jacobson January 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

What a beautiful, touching story.
I fully enjoyed reading it.
I can feel the feelings.

6 Laura January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Thank you, Kris. xoxo

7 Kathleen Penninggton January 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I really enjoyed this post. I love hearing other mother’s talk so lovingly about their daughters. My sweet one is 34 and now planning a fall wedding. She has brought such joy to my life. I have loved all the ages and stages and am joyous at the beautiful competent woman she has become. Thank you for sharing.

8 Laura January 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Thank you so much. So do I. I’ve been so disheartened recently hearing so many negative and chaotic accounts of parenting, so I truly appreciate your comment. And Congratulations! My best wishes to you, your daughter, and your family. I hope you all have a wonderful day of celebration.

9 Joyce February 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

Such a lovely post. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own relationship with my Mom lately and it’s so very nice to see it from a different point of view. I just got to spend an amazing month with my parents on break and I miss them so much already.

P.S. I’m very jealous that you can get your hands are fresh lingonberries, I’ve dreamt of them since I had lingonberry jam at one of my old neighborhood’s pancake houses.

10 Laura February 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

Joyce, Thank you. I’m touched by your perspective. And I’m so happy that you had such a wonderful long break with your family. As for the lingonberries, if you’re ever in Minnesota, ask a butcher for them. They always seem to have a stash of berries that they’ve frozen after season. Whenever I ask it seems like I’ve unearthed a secret. Now you know, too!

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