Guest Post from England: Adventures with Blueberries


Dawn and I met when she spent a year at my workplace, the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy in Oakland. She was a health care policy fellow participating in the Commonwealth Fund’s prestigious Harkness Fellowship Program. We quickly bonded over food, parenting, and 80’s music, and we continue to stay in touch after her return to England to work as a professor at the University of Leeds. I love that she reads our blog from across the pond, and that she sent this post about baking with her son, Iddy. Enjoy!

One of the things I miss most from our year in Berkeley is our Saturday mornings having brunch at Cafe M on Fourth Street. Iddy and I would order a full stack of blueberry pancakes to share. There was nothing better than sitting in the sunshine enjoying the delights of pancakes and Berkeley life.

On Friday I was in our local store (in York, England) buying some food for the weekend – blueberries were on a special deal and the thought of pancakes for breakfast (and maybe some muffins inspired by Anya’s blog the weekend before), I bought the ingredients we needed.

The next morning Iddy and I made pancakes, using the recipe from my Bubby’s brunch book (a treasured memento of my time in California along with my measuring cups). We carefully measured out the dry ingredients into a bowl, then Iddy whisked the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter for me in the mixer. We carefully mixed in the dry ingredients and the begun to cook our pancakes. Having made a stack, we smothered them with syrup, and for a moment I was transported back to Berkeley, eating pancakes with my family.

After a day spent cycling we returned home and I felt it was time to try out Anya’s recipe for blueberry muffins. Iddy by now was tired after his bike ride, and I appreciated the time in the kitchen listening to KFOG (the wonders of the Internet), following the recipe carefully. I had some buttermilk left over from the morning’s pancakes which I mixed with natural yogurt, as a slight amendment to the original recipe. They went into the oven and as the delicious smell started to permeate the house, both John (my husband) and Iddy began to hang around the kitchen.

They were delicious and a great ending to a day of blueberries!

Mother’s Day Pancakes

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I awoke on Sunday morning to happy sounds. Caleb and Mateo laughing in the kitchen, and Sadie making her usual bird songs throughout the house as she was trying on various shoes and clomping around. Is that genetic? Mateo had taken out his family pancake recipe and was making a Mother’s Day breakfast with Caleb for me.

Watching my guys in the kitchen together fills me up with all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings. Mateo is a baker and usually engages Caleb in pancake making or pie baking when he feels moved to cook something. I love that their project this morning was in honor of me.

Caleb follows his poppa around the kitchen and hangs on his every word. It’s sweet to see a family tradition of pancake making being passed down to Caleb, and eventually Sadie (Mateo’s father, Fred, was the pancake chef in their household growing up).

The blueberry pancakes were delicious! Soft and fluffy, and packed full of fresh berries…yum! I enjoyed every bite while sitting around the breakfast table with my family. Feeling pretty proud of the work Mateo and I have done over the past 5 years.

Mother’s Day wishes to my sisters, Niki, Jody, & Rebecca – truly wonderful mothers, all three. Special wishes to all of my mom friends. Finally, to the most important mother in my life, my mom, Lola. I miss you immensely, especially today, and wish you were here to see all this. This post is dedicated to you with all of my love and gratitude. Thank you for teaching by example. I hope I’m making you proud. Happy Mother’s Day.