As you know, over the course of the year, I am working through the Sally Clarkson book The Life Giving Home workbook. It's amazing how it manages to be exactly what I need each and every month. Life has been rather stressful and I've been getting bogged down in my own head. I hate to sound trite but I am so lucky and it's so easy to forget that. This book from Sally Clarkson does so much to help me to avoid getting bogged down and to see how lucky I am.
For March, the idea is to focus on the beauty around us, to create beauty where we can and to restore our souls and those of those around us. It's so important but it can be so hard sometimes. My goal for the month is to slow down a bit, to live in the little moments and to keep my focus on how blessed I am.
We ended up being given that chance early in the month. We have wonderful neighbours across the street who have become very close with our children. They have three children and no family locally. They moved here from overseas (dad is originally from here but mom is Japanese and has no family in our country at all). At first, mom stayed home but she has fairly recently been able to find a job (which is so hard for newcomers here). They were leaving their kids home in the morning together before school (they had no other options) so we offered to take them in the morning before school. It makes our mornings a bit crazier and yet, it's totally worth it. My children love having them here and I know how expensive daycare can be. I'm fortunate in that my own children's schools are early start while Dh and I are at late start schools so I can put the kids on the bus and then make it to work myself.
Tuesday night, I got a rather frantic phone call from the dad to say that they both had to be out Wednesday night and had no childcare and were in a bind. Of course, we said we would take them. Dh was out at a union meeting and it was me with five kids but I couldn't say no.
It ended up being so much fun. We are discovering that the girls LOVE our family food, especially anything English that I learned from Dh's family and so I offered to make "English Pancakes." We very rarely have them here but when we do, the family adores them. They are very simple - yorkshire pudding batter cooked up similar to crepes and then dotted with sugar and drizzled with lemon or orange juice. I won't lie, I was exhausted and not really feeling it all but when they kids got to dig in and had SO much fun, it was all worth it!
I am not a food blogger or a food stylist and the pics are taken on my phone, which has been dropped in water a few times so the camera isn't great but still, I wanted to capture a joy.
1 c all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 c water
1 tsp salt
butter for frying
Combine the flour, milk, water, egg and salt and mix until no lumps remain.
Heat a fry pan and melt some butter. Pour batter into a circle the size of a large pancake and then, swirl the pan to spread the batter out thinly, roughly the size of the pan. Carefully use a spatula to loosen the edges and when, the pancake will hold together, flip. Cook until golden but still soft on both sides.
To serve, put on a plate and sprinkle with sugar (roughly a tsp). Drizzle with lemon juice or orange juice and roll up. My kids also love them with maple syrup.
I often get bogged down in life and forget that having guests can actually restore me, especially when they are children who really don't care how tidy the house is or how nice the meal is!