Weekend mornings for me are sleeping in, pancakes, cuddling on the couch with my husband and dog, listening to records, enjoying huge cups of our favorite coffee, and reading. These ingredients on any given Saturday or Sunday always start the day off right and allow me to reflect on all the good in my life.
I was recently faced with the thought of what my life would be like if we were to move to another place, far away from our current, and only known, home. My first thought was a resounding, NO! I LOVE my friends, family, job, city, life here, etc. I would never move. Then, as I let the thought sink in further, I started to have different thoughts, more open and curious thoughts: Is my life here the best it can possibly be? Are there other places that could present new and exciting opportunities, different and maybe closer friendships, and an overall more calm and less stressful existence? Isn’t that the point of life? To find and create as much happiness, connection, good-will towards others, health, and love as possible? I started the think about what my life could look like. It looked interesting and different and potentially better, and scary.
What I realized at the end of this 3 day mental exercise is that I am not as stuck here (or anywhere) as I thought—and that there are lots of possibilities and roads to happiness. My job, and friends, and city do not define me. Where I live doesn’t determine my happiness. Moreover, I learned how powerful it can feel to be very open. It’s freeing. So while I picked apart everything that is not ideal here, I really learned that these things don’t really matter (and I also realized what it felt like to take a super strong magnifying glass to my life—not recommended!). I realized I can make changes no matter where I am. The only factor that remains the same at any given point in my life is me. Going somewhere else only adds to the amazing pot of friends and family I already have; it doesn’t take away at all. Who knows where my life will lead me, but I am ready for it with an open mind and a sense of adventure.
Cornbread Pancakes with Fresh Blackberry Compote
Cornbread Pancake Ingredients
Makes about 12 small pancakes—serves 2 hungry people
7 oz gluten free cornbread mix or 1 cup (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup gluten free flour mix (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (Whole Food’s brand works the best!)
*if the batter is too thick and mouse-like, add more milk (about 1/4 cup or so) until it resembles pancake batter. You do want it WAY thicker than normal batter, though. I’ll sometimes add 1/4 cup or so more milk and that’s it.
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (olive oil or bacon fat work too!)
Blackberry Compote Ingredients
1 12oz container fresh blackberries (frozen would work too!)
2-3 heaping tablespoons sugar (to your liking—2 was subtly sweet)
1 lemon zested (add some juice if you want it more tart!)
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the compote:
In a small sauce pan, add the blackberries, sugar, zest, and ½ cup water. Bring to a good boil. While waiting, in a small bowl mix really well 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. Once the blackberries are boiling, add in the vanilla and cornstarch mixture. Lower heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Judge the consistency and decide whether you want it to be thicker. If you do, add 1 more tablespoon to your small bowl with enough water to make the mixture smooth (not too much); add that to the pan and cook a few more minutes. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice, if desired! Take off the heat to cool a bit, and thicken.
For the pancakes:
In a medium bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. I use a skillet pan to cook the pancakes and check to make sure they are not getting too well-done, cooking them over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side. I use a small ladle so they are uniform, and since the batter is very thick, I use the ladle to even the batter out a bit once I’ve spooned it on the skillet. Place cooked pancakes on a plate and cover with a paper towel to keep warm.