Our healthy living correspondent, Ina Denburg, is in the middle of her Winter Solstice preparations, continuing a family tradition that has been in place for nearly 25 years. Combining elements from Hanukkah, Christmas, and earth-based Solstice celebrations, Ina and her family will celebrate for three nights.
Those evenings include a family night with the house lit with candles and a nighttime walk together. “Community night” is a children’s party with candles, sparklers, “grab bags” for the kids, and a traditional “sunshine platter” made up of orange slices dipped in sweetened coconut and arranged in a circle around a center of caramelized pecans and dried cranberries. Very sunny on the longest night of the year!
The third day is “present day” where family gifts are exchanged and goodies are tucked into “winter socks.” More than Christmas stockings, each sock has an applique added yearly to represent the highlights of the last 12 months. The socks tell the continuing story of the family.
A big Winter Solstice breakfast begins with pancakes! Here is Ina’s “2 by 2” pancake recipe. Simple, versatile, and flexible!
The key to the recipe is 2 cups of liquid and 2 cups of flour. Use whatever flour you have on hand and mix in whatever liquid you like.
2 C flour and meal
1 2/3 C unbleached white flour and 1/3 C buckwheat
1 C unbleached white flour, 3/4 C whole wheat flour, 1/4 C flax meal
Or any combination of flour – and meal or seeds – that you prefer
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 C liquid
2 C almond milk, soy milk, cows milk, or any other milk you prefer
1 1/2 C milk (dairy or non-dairy, of your choice) and 1/2 C yogurt (dairy or non-dairy, your choice)
Or any combination of liquid you prefer – you could even add a little fruit juice or sparkling cider!
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 – 1/2 C blueberries, mashed bananas, or other fruit, if you like
Mix together until smooth, batter-like consistency, and measure by 1/4 cupfuls onto a griddle to cook.
Serve with fruit, yogurt, and/or syrup or jam of your choice.
Have a Happy Winter Solstice! Yum!
Photo credit: wonderyort, used with permission under Creative Commons license.