Sunday, March 20, 2016


What better way to usher in the Vernal Equinox than to include some sentimental quotes from John Burroughs

 To see the fire that warms you, or better yet, to cut the wood that feeds the fire that warms you;
to see the spring where the water bubbles up that slakes your thirst and to dip your pail into it;
to see the beams that are the stay of your four walls and the timbers that uphold the roof that shelters you; to be in direct and personal contact with the sources of your material life; to find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to find a quest of wild berries more satisfying than a gift of tropical fruit; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wild flower in spring- these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

Oh, Spring is surely coming, her couriers fill the air; each morn are new arrivals, each night her ways prepare; I scent her fragrant garments, her foot is on the stair.

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Gluten-Free (or not) Buttermilk Pancakes

When my grandchildren are here overnight or after school, it never fails that they request pancakes for supper, breakfast, or BOTH! Needless to say, we go through a lot of maple syrup, as well!
This recipe is my old standby... I can only imagine how many hundreds of pancakes I've flipped over the years for my four children and these two grands combined. We've also used the rare leftover pancakes as a base for ice cream sandwiches (or cones) in a pinch!
Because we go through so many pancakes, I make a large batch (16 cups) of dry pancake mix, which I keep in a half-gallon glass jar. I simply add my wet ingredients to a measure of the dry, and we can have pancakes in no time flat! (no pun intended)
First, the pancake recipe...

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes
(to make non-gluten free pancakes, use the same amount of all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum)

Preheat a greased griddle over medium-to-medium-high heat on your stovetop

In a bowl, combine
1 and 1/2 cups GF Flour Blend
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt and
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
Stir well, then add
1 large Egg
1 and 1/2 cups Buttermilk
(NOTE: if you don't have Buttermilk, simply add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to 1 and 1/2 cups of milk and allow to set for a couple of minutes to curdle)
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Mix gently til all is incorporated, but do not beat. Drop by spoonfuls onto preheated griddle (we prefer silver-dollar size pancakes) Let cook for a few minutes til bubbles begin to appear on pancake surface, then flip and cook for another few minutes til golden brown and set.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve buttered with Maple Syrup and/or Raspberry Jam.

To make your own 
Gluten-Free Dry Pancake Mix
sift and mix together well in a large bowl

12 cups GF Flour Blend
(or regular All-Purpose Flour)
2 Tablespoons Xanathan Gum
(omit if using regular flour)
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
Store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

     To make a small batch of pancakes, mix together
1 cup of Dry Mix with
1 large Egg
1 cup Milk with 1 teaspoon Vinegar added
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

{I use a simple homemade gluten-free flour recipe blend for most all of my baking needs, to which I add 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum per each cup of GF flour used in a given recipe. I mix together equal amounts of brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. I purchase each in 5 pound bulks through the buying club/co op I run, and dump them in a 5 gallon food-safe tin, mixing very well}