Autumn. I love everything about this time of year. Life starts winding down as we head indoors and settle into slower routines and even a slight drop in temperature brings crisp coolness with every breeze. My focus always seems to draw inward at this seasonal shift. All the thoughts and ideas I was too busy to tend to in the hectic summer months suddenly come to a head and for a time I struggle to find direction. By and by, I rediscover my path and embrace the change.
Comforting, seasonal meals certainly help with that and these pancakes are perfect for welcoming the first morning of Fall. The pumpkin is not so overwhelming and the pecans are a simple way to up the gourmet factor.
For the pancakes:
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used hemp)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice or pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups water
For the topping:
1-2 T vegan butter (Earth Balance is good.)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 T sugar
1/3 cup real maple syrup
Combine non dairy milk and vinegar, set aside.
Combine all other pancake ingredients in a mixing bowl, add milk/vinegar mixture to the batter and stir until just combined. Set aside while you make the nut topping.
Add butter and vanilla extract to a large skillet. Heat over medium until butter is melted. Add pecans and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and stir again to coat. Add maple syrup and stir yet again. Reduce heat and cook another 1-2 minutes, until syrup has cooked down just a bit. Stay close lest you burn your pecans! Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool while your pancakes cook.
Heat griddle to if 325° if using an electric griddle or over medium-high if using a stovetop griddle or frying pan.
Pour batter onto the griddle in whatever size you want your pancakes to be. Cook until there are bubbles forming around the edges. Carefully flip the pancake and cook another couple of minutes on the other side.
Drizzle your stack of pancakes with a little extra syrup before you add the pecans for the best flavor. (This recipe makes about 15 pancakes.)
Morning is by far my favorite part of the day. I used to stay awake late into the night and sleep through the morning. Not only would the time I spent awake at night be entirely unproductive but I would wake up groggy and be cranky most of the day. To be at my best, I need rest. But I also need alone time and routine. So now I wake up between 5:30-6:00, spend a few minutes with my husband as he prepares to leave for the day and enjoy a cup of hot coffee and quiet solitude. Now when my babies wake up, I feel fresh and calm rather than that jolted feeling I'd have when they would wake me out of a deep sleep. I'm still acclimating to this new routine but being present when the sun rises makes the change well worth the effort.
I'm at a threshold of something great. I can feel my entire body and soul being drawn in a particular direction. But I stall. I doubt. I tell myself that I have no idea what I want. I allow myself to stretch to my limits in every direction but the one I am being drawn toward. I use the fearful scapegoat of procrastination. I know that if I would only focus my thoughts, intentions and actions, I will progress beyond my wildest imagination.
I have lost the path of intention and simply 'go with the flow' of my day. This may not sound like a bad thing but it is. It is, because rather than be an active participant in my life, I let it flow around and past me, not purposefully but apathetically.
I find inspiration all around me these days. So many women before me have set their intention to be true to themselves and seek out that which their souls needs to thrive. And if it's not there, they create it. I want to be one of those women. I want to create a reality that is full of purpose and joy for myself and also bring that to others.
I find myself here, in this space, yet again. The idea struck me recently that perhaps the time had come to again devote some intention to my thoughts... acknowledging them, releasing them, allowing them to flow.
Does Autumn do this to you? I have noticed this pattern over the last three years that at Spring & Autumn, the seasonal transitions also beg for internal progression. Particularly in the Fall, I feel a deep desire to seek and absorb wisdom, allowing it to propel me on the next leg of my journey here. Whether in regard to parenting, womanhood, creativity, spirituality... my appetite for insight and inspiration is insatiable.
Thus, I am here, prepared to share my thoughts and hoping to find my way.