Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes


Sending your child off to school at the tender age of 5 is sometimes difficult.  As I dropped my son in the kindergarten rooms at Kelly Elementary some 9 years ago and watched him walk into the classroom with tears streaming down his face I continued out to the car with duplicate tears falling down my own cheeks.  The 4 hours that he was gone seemed to last an eternity, but I knew he was safe.  Thoughts of "bad guys" entering our school trying to hurt any of our children never entered my mind.  Yet that is exactly what happened at Kelly Elementary in Carlsbad, CA last Friday. 

Details are still sketchy, but at 12:15 PM, lunchtime, a man hopped the school fence and began shooting into a group of 2nd and 3rd graders on the playground.  Circumstances could have been so much worse, and we count our blessing that only two girls were superficially wounded in the ordeal as a couple of nearby construction workers (our local heros) tackled the shooter to the ground, sustaining him until police arrived.  Children who heard the shots and saw the man ran for distant classrooms and safety with stories of little heros emerging such as one 8 year old girl stopping to carry her injured 7 year old friend.  

There is no word regarding the, "Why?" that everyone is asking.  The school was on lockdown for a number of hours and the two injured girls were life flighted to Children's Hospital.  Their physical wounds have been tended to, but I can't imagine the psychological scars that will remain to be dealt with. 

Every parents nightmare is to be involved in this situation... this is something that you read about in People Magazine, or hear on the Nightly News happening in some other city.  But it happened here.  My own children were blocks away at different schools, Liv having promoted from Kelly Elementary, our home for the last 9 years, last June.  My husband and I nevertheless rushed to Liv's school to be ready for pickup and to just be there as word was that there was one more suspect in the area.  Our phones were in constant action receiving news from Kelly Elementary just a few blocks away and arranging rides for older children as our friends were at Kelly anxiously waiting to be reunited with their little ones.

Liv had two of her girlfriends over last night, returning life to girl giggling and a bit of normalcy.  They didn't talk much about the incident and enjoyed a good movie along with a big bowl of popcorn with extra butter while wrapped up in toasty blankets and comfy pajamas.   The sun rose again this morning bringing pangs of hunger which we immediately filled with a big batch of our favorite Pumpkin Pancakes drenched in maple syrup.  Light and fluffy with a nice autumn spice, these pancakes most definitely hit the spot.  



Pumpkin Pancakes
Thick batter cooks into light, fluffy, spiced cakes of pumpkin goodness!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup spelt flour (may sub A/P flour)
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/2 cups milk (I use nonfat)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbs vegetable oil
bananas, nuts and/or raisins for topping


In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.  In a small bowl wish together the milk, pumpkin, eggs and oil.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, being careful not to overmix.  The batter will be thick!  Ladle batter in desired portions over a nonstick pan or griddle and flip when bubbles begin to break on the tops.  Cook another few couple of minutes and remove from griddle.  


Liv says these are best served plain and drenched with maple syrup, but I prefer mine topped with sliced banana, a spoonful of raisins and a sprinkle of walnuts!  

21 comments:

  1. Those pancakes do sound comforting! I can only imagine as a mom what was running through your head. Hard to sleep after experiencing something like that. So glad nothing worse happened.
    -Gina-

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  2. I can't imagine how awful those hours were for the kids, the parents, the teachers! Everybody really get hurt (as you say physically or psychologically). We are always with high guard for some suspect around our new school. It's an awful feeling. I don't think there is a rational why for these things. I'm glad you treated the girls this morning!

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  3. I can't imagine....it has to be every parents worst fear. You do all you can do to keep your children safe, and then something like this happens. Its amazing how food can comfort us, you did a great job with the pumpkin pancakes...fun and delicious!

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  4. yummy delicious
    check out the event in my site

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  5. What a scary situation, glad no one was seriously hurt. These pancakes look delicious, adding to my "to-try" list! Best, X

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  6. What a horrible situation for everyone directly involved, and those indirectly involved, like you. You like to think that your neighborhood is safe, and then something like this happens. Anyway, these pumpkin pancakes were a good way to comfort everybody.

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  7. Three years ago, I subbed at my daughter's school - there was a lockdown that day. I wrote a play about a lockdown - not using anything similar from my experience and had some students over to read it. I asked them (they were from 6 different schools) if they had been involved in a lockdown. All had - none of these lockdowns were drills - they were all true lockdowns. Sadness and terror and a place that was thought safe - now is not. So this post hit me where I live. Creating something as wonderful as the pancakes - to wrap their spirit around is a kindness and a sweetness. It won't solve this difficult world - but it makes a piece of it a haven.

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  8. Outstanding - these scream fall! My husband would love these for breakfast and in fact I have this book marked to make next Sunday. Thank you and have a great week!

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  9. I feel like the opposite thing happened to me. tears rolled down my cheeks while I was sent off to school, and my parents waving happily at me.
    I read the news yesterday. It's horrifying, that he would choose a PLAYGROUND of all places.

    Pumpkin pancakes, however...my idea of a safe haven.

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  10. pumpkin fever! this looks so delicious for fall!

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  11. I love pancakes of any kind. Since pumpkin is the queen of season it wouldn't be fair to leave it out of pancakes. They look delicious!

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  12. Beautiful photo!!! Wowzers. I love your variation of pumpkin pancakes.

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  13. Oh my word, I am horrified, as I am sure you were. My son is in kindergarten right now and I can't imagine how I would feel. I am glad your daughter and her friends took comfort in each other...and your lovely pancakes!

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  14. Gorgeous! the pancakes look delicious.

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  15. How horrible for the girls and everyone involved. I can't even imagine how scary that must have been. It's sad to think what this world is coming to sometimes.

    Those pumpkin pancakes look so delicious and definitely comforting! Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try them out!

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  16. Worrying as a parent never takes a break, does it.

    Food is a good way to bring things back to normal; to relax everyone; to calm nerves down enough for the talking to begin. These pancakes look fantastic.

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  17. OMG, I missed this post somehow. I'm so sorry and can only imagine how scary this must have been. As a mom to 3 school aged kid this would be my worst nightmare. I'm so glad to hear that none of the kids were seriously hurt. When I went to school this was nothing we had to worry about, it's truly making me sad to see what this world is coming to.

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  18. As a teacher, we fear this everyday. I was just starting the teaching program when the Columbine tragedy happened and I spent some sleepless nights wondering if I should do this. I'm so glad I did, but I know in the back of my mind that it could happen anywhere, especially rural Alabama. My thoughts and prayers are still going out to the families and staff.

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  19. As a teacher, I am horrified by this story. Each year we do an emergency intruder drill, and each year I say a prayer that we will never have to deal with something like this. Your child will be in my prayers, as well as all the children and teachers of her school. The pumpkin pancakes sound wonderful! Could you use whole wheat flour, you think?

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  20. I can't believe that story! I have a small guy in first grade and remember being stunned last year when he had his first "bad-guy-entering-the-school- safety drill. I'm so glad your family is safe! And, by the way, I have been looking for a recipe for pumpkin pancakes for a long time! Thanks!!

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  21. Jen, thanks for the comment. I hadn't read this post for a long time. We are just coming up on the anniversary of this day and it has been on everyone's mind.
    Hope you enjoy the pancakes!! The have indeed become one of Liv's favorites, and we actually had them this morning!

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